Hydrogen assisted diesel combustion

Gregory K. Lilik, Hedan Zhang, José Martin Herreros, Daniel C. Haworth, André L. Boehman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations


Hydrogen assisted diesel combustion was investigated on a DDC/VM Motori 2.5L, 4-cylinder, turbocharged, common rail, direct injection light-duty diesel engine, with a focus on exhaust emissions. Hydrogen was substituted for diesel fuel on an energy basis of 0%, 2.5%, 5%, 7.5%, 10% and 15% by aspiration of hydrogen into the engine's intake air. Four speed and load conditions were investigated (1800 rpm at 25% and 75% of maximum output and 3600 rpm at 25% and 75% of maximum output). A significant retarding of injection timing by the engine's electronic control unit (ECU) was observed during the increased aspiration of hydrogen. The retarding of injection timing resulted in significant NOX emission reductions, however, the same emission reductions were achieved without aspirated hydrogen by manually retarding the injection timing. Subsequently, hydrogen assisted diesel combustion was examined, with the pilot and main injection timings locked, to study the effects caused directly by hydrogen addition. Hydrogen assisted diesel combustion resulted in a modest increase of NOX emissions and a shift in NO/NO2 ratio in which NO emissions decreased and NO2 emissions increased, with NO2 becoming the dominant NOX component in some combustion modes. Computational fluid dynamics analysis (CFD) of the hydrogen assisted diesel combustion process captured this trend and reproduced the experimentally observed trends of hydrogen's effect on the composition of NOX for some operating conditions. A model that explicitly accounts for turbulence-chemistry interactions using a transported probability density function (PDF) method was better able to reproduce the experimental trends, compared to a model that ignores the influence of turbulent fluctuations on mean chemical production rates, although the importance of the fluctuations is not as strong as has been reported in some other recent modeling studies. The CFD results confirm that temperature changes alone are not sufficient to explain the observed reduction in NO and increase in NO2 with increasing H2. The CFD results are consistent with the hypothesis that in-cylinder HO2 levels increase with increasing hydrogen, and that the increase in HO2 enhances the conversion of NO to NO2. Increased aspiration of hydrogen resulted in PM, and HC emissions which were combustion mode dependent. Predominantly, CO and CO2 decreased with the increase of hydrogen. The aspiration of hydrogen into the engine modestly decreased fuel economy due to reduced volumetric efficiency from the displacement of air in the cylinder by hydrogen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4382-4398
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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