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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/K84479/01
Principal Investigator: Wyszynski, Professor ML
Other Investigators:
Bhattacharya, Professor A Rimmer, Dr P Hayden, Dr P
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Johnson Matthey Rover Ltd
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Organisation: University of Birmingham
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 February 1997 Ends: 31 May 1999 Value (£): 157,177
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Combustion Energy Efficiency
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Transport Systems and Vehicles No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The overall aim of the application of fuel reforming in this proposal is to achieve high efficiency in a highly diluted engine operation whilst retaining stoichiometric operation of the three-way catalyst. This application relies on increasing the flame speed in a high EGR charge by addition of hydrogen, produced on board in a reforming process by direct contact of natural gas fuel with exhaust gases from the engine. The refoming process proposed here may be a combination of all three elementary reforming processes (steam reforming, partial oxidation and thermal decompostion ). This process has to be achieved at the low exhaust gas temperatures pertaining while the engine is running at part load and tolerate oxygen surges occuring on engine overruns, whilst still achieving an overall improvement in engine efficiency.To achieve this aim the work will concentrate on: establishing the envelope of benefits in engine application of hydrogen and EGR fuel additives, research and fabrication of non-nickel catalysts capable of reforming the fuel at low temperautres to the required compositions, and on development and engineering of an integrated system comprising the engine and reforming reactor. This would be realised in three stages: engine testing of the potential catalysts for transient survivability and performance in a mini scale reactor fitted in the exhaust stream of an engine fuelled with natural gas and synthesised mixtures of fuels, followed first by a pseudo closed loop operation of a system consisting of a multi-cylinder exhaust producer engine, a full sized fuel reforming reactor and a single cylinder consumer engine, and next by a fully closed loop with a single cylinder engine.Such fuel reforming system could in the future also be developed to be applied at lower temperatures to the air diluted charge in the event of lean burn three way catalytic exhaust converters becoming available. The need to improve the combustion is highly diluted charges would then remain equally valid, particularly for methane based fuels.
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.bham.ac.uk