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    Concepts

  • Normal Diesel Engine Operation
  • Bi-Fuel Engine Operation
  • Concepts

    With the rising cost of fuel, especially in diesel oil, the use of natural gas generated from agricultural waste to power the engines has proven to be a very attractive alternative. The price of natural gas is relatively cheap and with the proper technologies, diesel engines can be converted to run on these gases.

    In the South-East Asia region, palm oil obtained from the agricultural sector has shown much promise as an an alternative fuel to power diesel engines.

    Integrated Energy Industries Pte Ltd has the necessary expertise of using technologies to:

    • Convert existing diesel engines to run on natural gas, biogas or bi-fuel,
    • Generate and produce biogas from agricultural waste,
    • Compress and bottle biogas for use on road vehicles and other prime movers,
    • Liquefy and store biogas for use on road vehicles, earth moving machinery and electrical generators.

    The company has partnered with Altronic Inc of USA to develop the technologies necessary to operate reciprocating engines on biogas with adaptation of electronics for optimal control of system in class I div II areas.

    Integrated Energy Industries Pte Ltd is a company that has pioneered optimization of gas utilization for various energy application such as Bi-fuel System, Power Generation and Gas Compression.

    Normal Diesel Engine Operation

    In a normal 4-stroke diesel engine, air is introduced into the combustion space inside the cylinder in the air intake stroke of the piston.

    After that there is the compression stroke which brings the air to a high temperature.

    Diesel oil is then injected into the combustion space as a very fine mist. It does this by using fuel pumps and injectors.

    The mixture of air and diesel explodes and pressure builds up at the piston top. This pushes down the piston and has the momentum to drive the engine for the next 2 cycles.

    The next cycle is the exhaust stroke. In this stroke, all the products of combustion is driven off from the piston top.

    After that, the air intake stroke starts again.

    Bi-Fuel Engine Operation

    In a bi-fuel engine, instead of just fresh air intake in the air intake stroke, a mixture of natural gas and air is delivered to the cylinders and is then ignited by a diesel pilot which acts as an ignition source for the air-gas mixture.

    However, not all combustible gas is usable. Methane is usable while LPG or propane and butane are not usable.

    The gas concentration in the intake air is typically less than 3.0% by volume, which is substantially below the 5.0% Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) of methane. Due to the lean condition of the air-gas charge, the possibility of ignition in the engine air-intake system due to backfire or other causes is minimized. (compared to 2% LEL for LPG)

    Another factor is the high ignition temperature of methane at 650~750 deg C compared to 450~500 deg for LPG.

    By just including some methane into the normal air intake, the engine can thus be run on two types of fuel, namely, methane gas and diesel oil.

    Therefore conversion requires no modifications of the engine and allows the engine to operate on gas mixtures ranging from 50% to over 70% of total fuel consumed. After conversion, the engine can still be operated on 100% diesel fuel without loss of power or efficiency.

    Despite the simple concept, there are various important key control technologies and controls that must be in place to make the system work. Amongst the critical controls are:

    • Gas supply pressure
    • Regulator output pressure (switch)
    • Air filter vacuum
    • Manifold air pressure
    • Manifold air temperature
    • Exhaust gas temperature
    • Engine vibration
    Gaseous Fuel operation will typically reduce production of nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, reactive hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide and particulates. Exhaust opacity levels (visual emissions) are also typically reduced.

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