Low Temperature Combustion (LTC) is identified as one of the pathways to meet the mandatory ultra low NOx emissions levels set by regulatory agencies. This phenomenon can be realized by utilizing various advanced combustion control strategies. The present work discusses nitrogen enrichment using an Air Separation Membrane (ASM) as a better alternative to the mature Exhaust Gas Re-circulation (EGR) technique currently in use. A 70% NOx reduction was realized with a moderate 2% nitrogen enrichment while maintaining power density and simultaneously improving Fuel Conversion Efficiency (FCE). The maximum acceptable Nitrogen Enriched Air (NEA) in a single cylinder spark ignited natural gas engine was investigated in this paper. Any enrichment beyond this level degraded engine performance both in terms of power density and FCE, and unburned hydrocarbon (UHC) emissions. The effect of ignition timing was also studied with and without N2 enrichment. Finally, lean burn versus stoichiometric operation utilizing NEA was compared. Analysis showed that lean burn operation along with NEA is one of the effective pathways for realizing better FCE and lower NOx emissions.

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