Investigation of a hydrogen-assisted combustion system for a light-duty diesel vehicle

Matthew G. Shirk, Thomas P. McGuire, Gary L. Neal, Daniel C. Haworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Two sets of experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of adding gaseous hydrogen to the intake of compression-ignition (CI) engines fueled with 20% bio-derived/80% petroleum-derived diesel fuel (B20). A 1.3 L, 53 kW CI engine coupled to an eddy-current engine dynamometer was tested first. Data were collected on engine operating parameters, fuel consumption, concentration of total oxides of nitrogen (NOx) in the exhaust, and exhaust temperature. Eight steady-state operating points were tested with hydrogen flow rates equivalent to 0%, 5%, and 10% of the total fuel energy. In a second set of experiments, the stock gasoline engine of a 2005 Chevrolet Equinox was replaced with a 1.3 L, 66 kW CI engine, and urban drive cycles were run on a chassis dynamometer. The drive cycles were repeated with 0%, 5% and 10% of the fuel energy coming from the fumigated hydrogen. In both experiments, the addition of hydrogen did not result in discernable differences in engine efficiency. In the vehicle testing, there were no noticeable differences in drivability. There were modest reductions in NOx emissions and increases in exhaust temperature with hydrogen addition. This investigation demonstrates that fumigating relatively small amounts of hydrogen into the intake of a modern diesel engine results in only modest changes in combustion efficiency and emissions with no detrimental effects on vehicle performance or drivability. This strategy can be used to partially offset the use of petroleum-based fuels in light-duty transportation vehicles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7237-7244
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2008

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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