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Publication numberUS20030226351 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/356,035
Publication dateDec 11, 2003
Filing dateJan 30, 2003
Priority dateJun 11, 2002
Also published asWO2003104637A1
Publication number10356035, 356035, US 2003/0226351 A1, US 2003/226351 A1, US 20030226351 A1, US 20030226351A1, US 2003226351 A1, US 2003226351A1, US-A1-20030226351, US-A1-2003226351, US2003/0226351A1, US2003/226351A1, US20030226351 A1, US20030226351A1, US2003226351 A1, US2003226351A1
InventorsWilliam Glenn
Original AssigneeGlenn William Douglas
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Mid-combustion fluid injection for NOx reduction
US 20030226351 A1
Abstract
A method of reducing the amount of NOx produced by a diesel engine, by injecting a heat sink fluid into the combustion chamber after commencement of a combustion cycle, and before the natural cessation of NOx production during the same combustion cycle, thereby altering the NOx formation cycle associated with the combustion cycle.
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Claims(18)
I claim:
1. A method for reducing the formation of NOx in a diesel engine, comprising:
injecting fuel to begin a cycle of combustion of said fuel and an associated cycle of formation of NOx in a cylinder of a diesel engine; and
injecting a heat sink fluid into said cylinder, said heat sink fluid injection beginning after said beginning of said cycle of combustion of said fuel, said heat sink fluid injection beginning before cessation of said associated cycle of said NOx formation in said cylinder.
2. The method recited in claim 1, wherein said heat sink fluid comprises air.
3. The method recited in claim 1, wherein said heat sink fluid comprises nitrogen.
4. The method recited in claim 1, wherein said heat sink fluid comprises water.
5. The method recited in claim 1, further comprising ceasing said injection of said heat sink fluid before cessation of said cycle of combustion of said fuel.
6. The method recited in claim 1, further comprising repeating said injection of said heat sink fluid during selected said combustion cycles in said cylinder.
7. The method recited in claim 6, further comprising omitting said injection of said heat sink fluid during at least some said combustion cycles.
8. A method for reducing the formation of NOx in a diesel engine, comprising:
injecting fuel to begin a cycle of combustion of said fuel and an associated cycle of formation of NOx in a cylinder of a diesel engine;
beginning injection of a heat sink fluid into said cylinder, after said beginning of said cycle of combustion of said fuel and before cessation of said associated cycle of said NOx formation in said cylinder; and
ceasing said injection of said heat sink fluid before cessation of said cycle of combustion of said fuel.
9. The method recited in claim 8, wherein said heat sink fluid comprises air.
10. The method recited in claim 8, wherein said heat sink fluid comprises nitrogen.
11. The method recited in claim 8, wherein said heat sink fluid comprises water.
12. The method recited in claim 8, further comprising repeating said injection of said heat sink fluid during selected said combustion cycles in said cylinder.
13. The method recited in claim 12, further comprising omitting said injection of said heat sink fluid during at least some said combustion cycles.
14. A method for reducing the formation of NOx in a diesel engine, comprising:
repeatedly injecting fuel to begin a plurality of cycles of combustion of said fuel and a plurality of associated cycles of formation of NOx in a cylinder of a diesel engine; and
repeatedly injecting a heat sink fluid into said cylinder, after each said beginning of selected said cycles of combustion of said fuel and before cessation of associated said cycles of said NOx formation in said cylinder;
wherein each said injection of said heat sink fluid ceases before cessation of said associated cycle of combustion of said fuel.
15. The method recited in claim 14, wherein said heat sink fluid comprises air.
16. The method recited in claim 14, wherein said heat sink fluid comprises nitrogen.
17. The method recited in claim 14, wherein said heat sink fluid comprises water.
18. The method recited in claim 14, further comprising omitting said injection of said heat sink fluid during at least some said combustion cycles.
Description
    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Pat. App. No. 60/387,940, filed Jun. 11, 2002, for “Mid-Combustion Fluid Injection for NOx Reduction”.
  • STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
  • [0002]
    Not Applicable
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0004]
    The present invention is in the field of processes for controlling the operation of a diesel engine, specifically in the area of limiting the production of nitrogen oxides.
  • [0005]
    2. Background Art
  • [0006]
    During the combustion of fuel in a diesel engine, nitrous oxides are commonly formed as a by-product. Nitrous oxides are detrimental to the environment, so it is desirable to limit their formation. Methods for accomplishing this are known, but each such method typically has drawbacks such as reduced engine power, reduced efficiency, or increased production of other pollutants such as particulate matter.
  • [0007]
    It is known that the production of NOx in a typical diesel engine combustion cycle begins shortly after the injection of fuel into a cylinder of the engine. Specifically, the production of NOx begins shortly after combustion of the injected fuel actually begins. So, upon injection of fuel into a given cylinder during a given engine rotation, a combustion cycle begins in that cylinder. Shortly after the combustion cycle begins in that cylinder, an associated NOx formation cycle begins in localized areas of the cylinder where the local temperature rises above the temperature at which NOx forms. The formation of NOx then continues in some regions of the cylinder where the local temperature is above the level at which NOx forms.
  • [0008]
    As the combustion cycle advances during the power stroke of a given cylinder, the piston in the cylinder is driven downward to produce power. As the piston continues to be driven downward and the combustion chamber expands, the pressure and temperature in the combustion chamber both eventually drop. This drop in the temperature causes localized temperatures to fall below the temperature which will support NOx formation. When there are no localized areas with temperatures high enough to support NOx formation, the NOx formation ceases. As the temperature drops off, the level of NOx concentration in the chamber increases until there are no local areas in which the temperature is high enough to support additional formation of NOx, and the NOx concentration stays at that level until the combustion products are exhausted. This NOx concentration can be thought of as the level at which NOx concentration levels off or naturally “freezes” during a combustion cycle. This freezing or leveling off of the NOx concentration caused by expansion in a given combustion cycle in a given cylinder of an engine can be thought of as the “natural” freeze of NOx concentration during the “natural” combustion cycle in that cylinder. Each NOx formation cycle in each cylinder of an engine typically stops before the associated fuel combustion cycle in that cylinder is complete. As the crankshaft continues to rotate, the piston rises during the exhaust stroke to expel the combustion products from the cylinder to the atmosphere. Additional fuel combustion cycles and their associated NOx formation cycles follow in each cylinder.
  • [0009]
    It would be desirable to alter the operation of the engine to further reduce the level at which the NOx concentration freezes, below the “natural” NOx freeze level, to thereby limit the overall rate of production of NOx, without significantly affecting the efficiency of the combustion cycle.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0010]
    The purpose of the present invention is to reduce the rate of formation of NOx in the combustion process of a diesel engine by altering the in-cylinder temperature after the start of combustion in a given combustion cycle and a given cylinder, and before the “natural” freeze, due to expansion, of NOx concentration during the NOx formation cycle associated with that combustion cycle. The manipulation of the NOx mechanism, therefore, comes after the time at which the combustion cycle has begun, and before the time at which the NOx level would have “naturally” frozen during the associated NOx formation cycle.
  • [0011]
    The NOx formation cycle is manipulated by injecting into the cylinder a heat sink fluid. This fluid may be air, nitrogen, water or any other fluid that can act as a heat sink once introduced into the combustion chamber. An added benefit can be increased soot oxidation within the combustion chamber, if turbulent mixing is promoted. Depending on the amount of NOx reduction required, the heat sink fluid may be introduced into the combustion chamber during every cycle, every other cycle, every third cycle, etc. The heat sink fluid is injected after the beginning of the combustion cycle, with the result that the beginning of the combustion process is left undisturbed. Unlike exhaust gas recirculation or water injection at the same time as the fuel, this process will allow the “natural” combustion to proceed until it is time to shut down or slow down the NOx formation mechanism.
  • [0012]
    The heat sink fluid is also injected before the “natural” freeze of NOx concentration, in order to slow down or stop the NOx formation process. This alters the NOx formation process prior to its “natural” freeze, unlike injection of fluid after the “natural” freeze, which can not reduce the formation of NOx.
  • [0013]
    The novel features of this invention, as well as the invention itself, will be best understood from the attached drawing, taken along with the following description, in which:
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0014]
    [0014]FIG. 1 is a combination of two graphs illustrating a combustion cycle and the manipulation of its associated NOx formation cycle in a cylinder of an engine, according to the method of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0015]
    As shown in the upper graph of FIG. 1, cylinder pressure increases during a compression stroke in a given cylinder of an engine, as the piston moves toward a crankshaft angle at Top Dead Center (TDC). At some point, fuel is injected into the cylinder, with this Start of Injection (SOI) being, in this example, at a crank angle just before TDC. Shortly after SOI, the Start of Combustion (SOC) occurs, and cylinder pressure continues to increase for a short time as the piston passes TDC. Then, as the piston moves downward after TDC and the fuel combustion cycle continues, the cylinder pressure eventually decreases. This is the pressure cycle seen during a single fuel combustion cycle in the “natural” combustion process in a given cylinder of an engine.
  • [0016]
    The lower graph of FIG. 1 shows a plot of the level of concentration of NOx in the cylinder, during the fuel combustion cycle represented in the upper graph. The vertical lines for the crank angles at which SOI, TDC, and SOC occur are at the same locations as in the upper graph, to illustrate the time relationship, relative to crank angle, between the fuel combustion cycle and its associated NOx formation cycle. It can be seen that the solid line representing NOx concentration increases from near zero, at approximately the time of SOC. In the normal combustion process currently known in the art, the NOx concentration increases continuously until it levels out or “freezes”, as a result of the expansion of the combustion chamber caused by downward movement of the piston. This “natural freeze” of the NOx level is shown by the upper solid line indicated on the graph.
  • [0017]
    According to the method of the present invention, a predetermined quantity of heat sink fluid is injected into the cylinder at a time after the point at which SOC occurs, but before the point at which the “natural freeze” of the NOx level would normally occur. This heat sink fluid may be air, nitrogen, water, or any other fluid that can act as a heat sink once introduced into the combustion chamber. The exact timing of the heat sink fluid injection, and the quantity of fluid to be injected will vary from one engine to another. Therefore, these parameters will have to be determined experimentally, and they will be dependent on the individual diesel engine. Depending upon the amount of NOx reduction required, the heat sink fluid may be introduced into the combustion chamber during every fuel combustion cycle, every other cycle, every third cycle, etc.
  • [0018]
    Since the heat sink fluid is injected after SOC, the initial portion of the fuel combustion cycle is left undisturbed, until the heat sink fluid is delivered at a controlled time to the combustion chamber. Unlike the EGR process, or water injection at the same time as the fuel, this process will allow the first part of the “natural” combustion process to proceed until it is time to shut down or slow down the associated NOx formation cycle.
  • [0019]
    As shown in the lower graph in FIG. 1, a relatively larger quantity of heat sink fluid can be injected to completely stop the NOx formation cycle, causing an immediate leveling off or “freeze” of the NOx concentration. This higher quantity injection option is represented by the lower, horizontal, solid line in the lower graph. Alternatively, it may in some cases be sufficient to inject a relatively smaller quantity of the heat sink fluid, resulting in a slowed, rather than stopped, production of NOx. When this relatively smaller quantity of heat sink fluid is injected, the level of NOx concentration increases at a slower rate than before the injection, then it ultimately freezes at a level between the “natural freeze” level without heat sink fluid injection and the “immediate NOx freeze” level with the larger heat sink fluid injection. This lower quantity injection option is represented by the intermediate dashed line in the graph.
  • [0020]
    While the particular invention as herein shown and disclosed in detail is fully capable of obtaining the objects and providing the advantages hereinbefore stated, it is to be understood that this disclosure is merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiments of the invention and that no limitations are intended other than as described in the appended claims.
Referenced by
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US7793638Apr 12, 2007Sep 14, 2010Sturman Digital Systems, LlcLow emission high performance engines, multiple cylinder engines and operating methods
US7954472Oct 22, 2008Jun 7, 2011Sturman Digital Systems, LlcHigh performance, low emission engines, multiple cylinder engines and operating methods
US7958864 *Jan 15, 2009Jun 14, 2011Sturman Digital Systems, LlcCompression ignition engines and methods
US8596230Oct 11, 2010Dec 3, 2013Sturman Digital Systems, LlcHydraulic internal combustion engines
US8887690Jul 12, 2011Nov 18, 2014Sturman Digital Systems, LlcAmmonia fueled mobile and stationary systems and methods
US9206738Jun 19, 2012Dec 8, 2015Sturman Digital Systems, LlcFree piston engines with single hydraulic piston actuator and methods
US20090193809 *Feb 4, 2008Aug 6, 2009Mark Stewart SchroderMethod and system to facilitate combined cycle working fluid modification and combustion thereof
US20140366507 *Jun 17, 2013Dec 18, 2014Southwest Research InstituteDiesel Engine With In-Cylinder Soot and NOx Control Using Water or Aqueous Injection
EP2042722A2 *Sep 26, 2007Apr 1, 2009Pierino ZecchinMethod for increasing the efficiency of an internal combustion engine, supply system for an internal combustion engine implementing said method and perfected internal combustion engine
WO2007124046A1 *Apr 19, 2007Nov 1, 2007Sturman Digital Systems LlcLow emission high performance engines, multiple cylinder engines and operating methods
Classifications
U.S. Classification60/286, 60/301, 60/285
International ClassificationF02M25/03, F02D41/00, F02B47/00
Cooperative ClassificationF02M25/0227, F02B47/00, F02D41/0025, F02D2250/36, F02M25/03
European ClassificationF02M25/03, F02B47/00, F02D41/00F
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 30, 2003ASAssignment
Owner name: GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY, NEW YORK
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:GLENN, WILLIAM DOUGLAS;REEL/FRAME:013732/0157
Effective date: 20020607