Exhaust gas assisted reforming of rapeseed methyl ester for reduced exhaust emissions of CI engines

Athanasios Tsolakis, Athanasios Megaritis

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64 Citations (Scopus)


The nitrogen oxides (NO,) emissions of compression ignition (CI) engines fueled with biodiesel are generally higher compared to conventional diesel fuelling. Previous research work in CI engines has shown that the partial replacement of hydrocarbon fuels by hydrogen combined with exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) can reduce NOx and smoke emissions without significant changes to the engine efficiency. In the present study, the production of hydrogen-rich gas by catalytic exhaust gas assisted fuel reforming of rapeseed methyl ester (RME) has been investigated experimentally as a way to provide the required hydrogen for the reduction of biodiesel emissions. For comparison, tests with ultra low sulphur diesel (ULSD) were also performed. The reforming experiments were carried out in a mini reactor supplied with exhaust gas from a single cylinder Cl engine. In all cases, the reactor inlet temperature was kept at 290degreesC which was chosen as a typical low exhaust gas temperature of diesel engines operating at part load. The engine operating condition (speed, load) was the same in all the tests and the reactor product gas was examined as a function of the reactor fuel flow rate and the composition of fuel and engine exhaust gas. Up to 17% hydrogen content of the reformer product was achieved and the results indicated that the main reactions in the reformer were the exothermic complete oxidation of part of the fuel and the endothermic steam reforming reaction. Reforming of RME produced more hydrogen with higher fuel conversion efficiency compared to ULSD reforming. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-505
Number of pages13
JournalBiomass and Bioenergy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2004


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