Impact of Ethane Enrichment on Diesel-Methane Dual-Fuel Combustion

Zeeshan Ahmad*, Ossi Kaario, Qiang Cheng, Martti Larmi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Over the past few years, the growing concerns about global warming and efforts to reduce engine-out emissions have made the dual-fuel (DF) engines more popular in marine and power industries. The use of natural gas as an alternative fuel in DF engines has both the environmental and economic advantages over the conventional diesel combustion. However, the misfire phenomenon at lean conditions limits the operating range of DF combustion and causes emissions of unburned hydrocarbon (UHC) and unburned methane (methane-slip) in the environment. The greenhouse effect of methane is considered 28 times greater than CO2 over a 100-year perspective, which raises concerns for the governments and marine engine manufacturers. In efforts to reduce the UHC and methane-slip from DF engines, this study discusses ethane enrichment of diesel-methane DF combustion in a full-metal single-cylinder research engine under lean condition (λGFB = ~2.0) while keeping the total-fuel energy rather constant. The 99.9% pure methane is enriched with ethane in such a way that three gaseous-fuel blends of 0-20% ethane concentration could be achieved. The substitution rate of gaseous fuel blend (methane + ethane) is 97%, which is ignited by a small pilot diesel (3% of total energy). The conditions at top-dead-center (TDC) are kept constant in all experiments i.e. motored peak pressure of 60 bar and TTDC = 835 K. Moreover, engine speed (ω) of 1500 rpm is utilized during the experiments to explore the effect of ethane enrichment on engine-out emissions and combustion characteristics. The results show that adding ethane into the gaseous-fuel blend decreases the ignition delay time (IDT) and improves overall combustion that leads to a significant decrease in UHC and methane-slip. Furthermore, coefficient of variability of IMEP (COVIMEP) decreases about 53% by enriching pure methane with 20% ethane.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSAE Technical Papers
Issue numberApril
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2020
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventSAE World Congress Experience - Detroit, United States
Duration: 21 Apr 202023 Apr 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of Ethane Enrichment on Diesel-Methane Dual-Fuel Combustion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this