Effect of Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) on Performance

and Emission characteristic
 Mechanical Department, Pondicherry Engineering College, Puducherry, India
Received 14 May 2012, Revised 19 July 2012, Accepted 26 September 2012, Available online 9
November 2012
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DOI: 10.1016/j.aej.2012.09.004
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Open Access funded by Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University

Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) is being used widely to reduce and control the oxides of
nitrogen (NOx) emission from diesel engines. EGR controls the NOx because it lowers oxygen
concentration and flame temperature of the working fluid in the combustion chamber.
However, the use of EGR leads to a trade-off in terms of soot emissions moreover it
exhausted more unburned hydrocarbons (20–30%) compared to conventional engines.
Present experimental study has been carried out to investigate the effect of EGR on
performance and emissions in a three cylinders, air cooled and constant speed direct
injection diesel engine, which is typically used in agricultural farm machinery. Such engines
are normally not operated with EGR. The experiments were carried out to experimentally
evaluate the performance and emissions for different EGR rates of the engine. Emissions of
hydrocarbons (HC), NOx, carbon monoxide (CO), exhaust gas temperature, and smoke
opacity of the exhaust gas, etc. were measured. Performance parameters such as thermal
efficiency, brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC) were calculated. Reductions in NOx and
exhaust gas temperature were observed but emissions of particulate matter (PM), HC, and
CO were found to have increased with usage of EGR. The engine was operated for normal
running conditions with EGR and the performance and emission readings were observed.

 EGR;
 Engine performance;
 Staged combustion;
 NOx

1. Introduction
Better fuel economy and higher power with lower maintenance cost has increased the
popularity of diesel engine vehicles. Diesel engines are used for bulk movement of goods,

1.powering equipment. higher emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) have been noticed as major problems. nitrogen (N2). Diesel engines are very popular power plants for decentralized power production in rural areas all over the world as well as for powering the farm equipment due to their fuel economy. record diesel car sales have been observed in recent years [1]. and oxygen (O2). The exhorting anticipation of additional improvements in diesel fuel and diesel vehicle sales in future have forced diesel engine manufacturers to upgrade the technology in terms of power. major constituents of diesel exhaust include carbon dioxide (CO 2). water vapor (H2O). fuel economy and emissions. In most of the global car markets. forming NO 2[6]. However. NOx comprise of nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO 2) and both are considered to be deleterious to humans as well as environmental health. It affects human health directly and is precursor to ozone formation. it is still unresolved which concept will succeed considering production and economic feasibility[3].1. ease of maintenance and robustness. but NO gets quickly oxidized in the environment. and particulate matter (PM) are present in smaller but environmentally significant quantities. oxides of nitrogen (NOx). Although. NO 2 is considered to be more toxic than NO. The ratio of NO 2 and NO in diesel engine exhaust is quite small. first four species normally consist of more than 99% exhaust. Diesel engines are assumed as a good alternative to gasoline engines because they produce lower amount of emissions [4]. The principal reactions at near stoichiometric fuel–air mixture governing the formation of NO from molecular nitrogen are: O+N2=NO+N Turn MathJaxon N+O2=NO+O Turn MathJaxon N+OH=NO+H Turn MathJaxon . and to generate electricity more economically than any other device in this size range. On the other hand. Diesel emissions are categorized as carcinogenic [2]. The stringent emission legislations are compelling engine manufacturers to develop technologies to combat exhaust emissions. In modern diesel engines. hydrocarbons (HC). The NO formation and decomposition inside the combustion chamber can be described by extended Zeldovich Mechanism [8]. which is mainly responsible for smog formation. while last four (the harmful pollutants) account for less than 1% exhaust [5]. Since diesel engine mainly emits NO hence attention has been given to reduce the NO formation [7]. To meet these emission regulations with competitive fuel economy. exhaust gas after-treatment and optimized combustion are necessary. NOx formation mechanism NO is formed inside the combustion chamber in post-flame combustion process in the high temperature region. carbon monoxide (CO).

This effective reduction in air–fuel ratio affects exhaust emissions substantially. In addition. Turn MathJaxon Desantes et al. and the mixture has higher specific heat compared to atmospheric air. Even though. The EGR (%) is defined as the mass percent of the recirculated exhaust (MEGR) in the total intake mixture (Mi). increased HC emissions and smoke. etc. Re-circulated exhaust gas displaces fresh air entering the combustion chamber with carbon dioxide and water vapor present in engine exhaust. It is also difficult to retain water at a desired temperature during cold climate [9]. The exhaust gases mainly consist of carbon dioxide. Thus combination of lower oxygen quantity in the intake air and reduced flame temperature reduces rate of NOx formation reactions [10] and [11]. Retarded injection is an effective method employed in diesel engines for NOx control. . most of these additives are expensive. Reduced oxygen available for combustion lowers the effective air–fuel ratio. lower amount of oxygen in the intake mixture is available for combustion.2. As a consequence of this air displacement. In the expression.The initial rate controlled NO formation (i. Exhaust Gas Recirculation Exhaust Gas Recirculation is an effective method for NOx control. the temperature and oxygen concentration in the combustion chamber need to be reduced. used Non-Dispersive Infrared Detector (NDIR)-based CO 2 concentration measurement at the intake ([CO2]int) and exhaust manifold ([CO2]exh) for the determination of EGR rate [12]. which results in the reduction of flame temperature. Hence in order to reduce the NOx formation inside the combustion chamber. 1. (1). However. Water injection is another method for NOx control however this method enhances corrosion of vital engine components. when [NO]/[NO 2]e_1) can be described by Eq. In addition. Turn MathJaxon The sensitivity of NO formation rate to temperature and oxygen concentration is evident from this equation. mixing of exhaust gases with intake air increases specific heat of intake mixture. it adds to the weight of the engine system because of requirement of a water storage tank. this method leads to increased fuel consumption. Moreover. the amount of reduction is reported to be inadequate. nitrogen.e. certain cetane improving additives are capable of reducing NOx. reduced power. [NO] denotes the molar concentration of the species and [O 2]e and [N2]e denotes the equilibrium concentration [7].

the total quantity of emission of toxic substances reduce for the same volumetric concentration. EGR was also used in a direct injection spark ignition engine as an effective way for improving fuel economy [17] and [18]. as load increases. more soot is formed during combustion and it remains un-oxidized and eventually appears in the exhaust [10]. the oxygen in exhaust gas becomes scarce and the inert constituents start dominating along with increased exhaust temperature. application of EGR also leads to penalties. operated the diesel engine in dual fuel mode with natural gas and found inferior performance and emissions at low loads because lean mixtures formed at low loads were hard to ignite and had slow burning characteristics. [26] and [27]. in EGR system. diesel engines tend to generate more smoke because of reduced availability of oxygen [5]. Das et al. The rise in smoke (soot) level of engine exhaust due to EGR affects the engine performance in various ways. [24]. these penalties include higher specific fuel consumption and particulate matter emissions. In case of diesel engines. Turn MathJaxon The engines using EGR emit lower quantity of exhaust gases compared to non-EGR engines because part of the exhaust gas is re-circulated [13]. As a result. used EGR to reduce NOx emissions in hydrogen – supplemented SI engine without any undesirable combustion phenomena [19]. Sasaki et al. which improved the flame propagation in the relatively lean region of the air–fuel mixture. [25]. performed experiments using methanol in direct injection compression ignition engine and found that combustion performance becomes inferior under light load conditions because temperature in combustion chamber fell due to very high latent heat of methanol. However at higher loads. conducted experiments using EGR on direct injection gasoline engine and reported that an appropriate volume of EGR improves fuel economy and HC emissions. which is non-uniformly distributed [15]. piston rings. thus hampering formation of combustible air–fuel mixture [20]. Kusaka et al. This phenomenon was presumably due to the intake temperature increase by EGR. Thus. Sato et al. Effectively. tried to achieve lower emission of NOx and soot using highly diluted intake mixture. However. Increased soot level causes considerable increase in the carbon deposits and wear of the various vital engine parts such as cylinder liner. Wagner et al. also found that at low loads. valve train and bearings. Wear of the materials also increase due to chemical . Thus even if the concentration of toxic substances in the exhaust gas remains unchanged. Diesel engines operating at low loads and generally tolerate a higher EGR ratio because re-circulating exhaust gases contain high concentration of oxygen and low concentration of carbon dioxide and water vapors. The reduction in flame temperature reduces the rate of soot oxidation/re-burning. At very high EGR rate (around 44%). a tradeoff between NOx and soot is observed with the use of EGR [22]. EGR was found to be a method of improving engine performance and emissions of such engines [21]. EGR combined with intake heating can favorably reduce THC emission with improvement in thermal efficiency [16]. PM emission decreased sharply with a continuous drop in NOx emission but this high EGR rate significantly affect the fuel economy [14]. Selim et al. [23].

The engine is . 2 Aspiration Natural Speed 1500 Compression ratio 17:1 Table options Table 2. it provides additional benefits by lowering NOx emissions to a greater extent. 3. However.reactions taking place on the surface (adsorption and corrosion) or due to abrasion of material or rupture of anti-wear film by soot. Cooling of EGR increases the charge density therefore improves volumetric efficiency of the engine.8 Table options 2.8 Å Voltage 380/415 V RPM/frequency 1500/50 Hz No of phases 3 Power factor 0. Make kirloskar Engine Model HA 394 No of cylinders 3 No of strokes 4 Bore and stroke 100 mm × 120 mm BHP/BP 32. reported that major influence on NOx emission is due to change in temperature rather than oxygen availability [29] investigated.5/20 KW Rated power 25 KVA Displacement 2826 cc Type of cooling Air cooled Fuel consumption @90% load 5 L/h Firing order 1. condensation of moisture present in the exhaust increases corrosion in combustion chamber. Also. then it is called cooled EGR. If the exhaust gas is cooled before recirculation to combustion chamber. Table 1. 2. The specifications of engine are given in Section 2. Plee et al. An increase in inlet charge temperature always results in shorter ignition delay and may improve thermal efficiency [28]. Model Genset Rating 215 KVA Current 34. and wear of diesel engine components.1. Experimental setup and methodology A three-cylinder constant speed direct injection diesel engine generator set was chosen to study the effect of EGR on the performance and emissions. Specification of the alternator. Specification The engine and coupled alternator specifications were tabulated in Tables 1 and 2. Specification of the Engine. carbon deposits.

The quantity of EGR can be regulated by a control valve installed in the EGR loop. engine performance and emission patterns were compared. appropriate plumbing was done. Fuel consumption measurement was done using a gravitational manometer. The data for HC. Then. smoke opacity. Table 3. Engine test cycle for endurance test. thus in-turn loading the engine. and CO 2 were measured by manual Orsat apparatus. CO. and fuel consumption were recorded. Oxygen. armature current losses and friction and windage losses (unaccounted losses) are accounted for and taken into consideration while analyzing the data. engine was run under normal operating condition and at different EGR rates. CO. An EGR Mixer was provided in EGR loop to dampen the fluctuations of the pulsating exhaust. Figure options The exhaust gas opacity was measured by a smoke opacity meter (Make: AVL. NOx. No insulation on the pipe line was provided therefore allowing the re-circulated exhaust gases to partially cool down. Model: 437). 1. The schematic diagram of the engine setup. the engine was run with and without EGR and also with staged combustion for total 6 h in each phase separately using a fixed test cycle shown in Table 3. For recirculation of the exhaust gas. To achieve the objectives of the study. Load Duration (min) No load 20 100% Load 30 50% Load 120 . To measure the intake Exhaust flow rate orifice meter was installed. Suitable instrumentation for measurement of temperatures at several locations was done. The schematic diagram of the engine setup is shown in Fig. Then. Austria.coupled with an AC generator and the current generated is used by a resistive load bank. The generator is calibrated and all losses in the generator such as copper losses. Figure 1. exhaust gas temperature. An orifice was installed in the EGR loop to measure the flow rate of re-circulated exhaust gas. Optimum EGR rate was found on the basis of performance and emissions of the engine. NOx.

HC. In staged combustion excess of unburned hydrocarbons utilized with reduced fueling rates at higher engine loads. Results and discussion The engine was run on different loads at 1500 rpm with different EGR rates (from 0% to 25%) to investigate the effect of EGR on engine performance and emissions. BSFC. When this exhaust gas is re-circulated in the cylinder. Also. partly-cooled EGR acts like a pre-heater of the intake mixture. At higher loads. Engine performance analysis The trends of thermal efficiency are shown in Fig. exhaust gas temperature. air fuel ratio is changed and this increases the BSFC. exhaust gas has higher amount of CO2. Thus. Figure options Fig. The performance and emission data was analyzed and presented graphically for thermal efficiency. amount of fuel supplied to the cylinder is increased at higher rate and oxygen available for combustion gets reduced. BSFC with EGR is almost similar to that of without EGR. at higher engine loads. 3. However. exhaust gas has less CO2 and fairly high amount of O2. Thermal efficiency is found to have slightly increased with EGR at lower engine loads. At higher loads. CO. Load Duration (min) No Load 20 75% Load 60 No Load 20 100% Load 30 75% Load 60 Total 360 (6 h) Table options 3. and smoke opacity. the unburned HC in exhaust gas burns because of sufficient O 2available in combustion chamber and reasonably high intake temperatures. 3 represents comparison of BSFC for all datasets using EGR with baseline data. The possible reason may be re-burning of hydrocarbons that enter the combustion chamber with the re-circulated exhaust gas. At part loads.1. BSFC is lower at lower loads for engine operated with EGR compared to without EGR. Thermal efficiency for different EGR rates. the thermal efficiency remains unaffected by EGR. Figure 2. . 2. which reduces maximum temperature in combustion chamber along with oxygen availability therefore re-burning of HC is not significant. NOx emission.

this temperature at various EGR rates is close to atmospheric temperature. It has been observed that with increase in load. the exhaust temperature at the entry to the inlet manifold becomes higher than atmospheric temperature and therefore EGR acts as a pre-heater to fresh intake air. The reasons for temperature reduction are relatively lower availability of oxygen for combustion and higher specific heat of intake air mixture as explained earlier. Brake specific fuel consumption for different EGR rates. Figure options The exhaust gas temperatures are shown in Fig. At part loads. the temperature of exhaust gas is generally lower than temperature of exhaust gas at normal operating condition. exhaust gas temperature also increases. 4. Figure options Fig. when load and EGR rates are increased. . When the engine is operated with partly- cooled EGR. These graphs show that exhaust gas temperature at entry to inlet manifold is not very high because exhaust gases are partly cooled before mixing with fresh air at atmospheric temperature. Exhaust gas temperature decreases with increase in EGR rate. 5 represents the variation of exhaust gas temperature at the entry to the inlet manifold for different EGR flow rates. Figure 4. However. Exhaust gas temperatures for various EGR rates. Figure 3.

and carbon monoxide emissions. This heterogeneous mixture does not combust completely and results in higher hydrocarbons. The degree of reduction in NOx at higher loads is higher. It can be seen that as the EGR rate is increased. Ghazikhanietal et al. respectively. At the part . Lower excess oxygen concentration results in rich air–fuel mixtures at different locations inside the combustion chamber. Figure 6. 6 represents volumetric efficiency for different EGR rates. At part loads. Fig. lean mixtures are harder to ignite because of heterogeneous mixture and produce higher amount of HC and CO. also found that volumetric efficiency drops when EGR rate is increased [30]. Figure options Fig. volumetric efficiency decreases. Volumetric efficiency for different EGR rates. Figure options 3. Engine emission analysis Effect of EGR on unburned hydrocarbon (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO) are shown in Figure 7 and Figure 8. Exdhaust gas temperature at the entry of inlet manifold for various EGR rates.2. These graphs show that HC and CO emissions increase with increasing EGR. 9 shows the main benefit of EGR in reducing NOx emissions from diesel engine. The intake air mass flow reduces because of EGR implementation and this means the volumetric efficiency drops. Figure 5. The reasons for reduction in NOx emissions using EGR in diesel engines are reduced oxygen concentration and decreased flame temperatures in the combustible mixture.

Figure 7. The higher carbon deposits in . The smoke opacity is shown in Fig. which results in relatively incomplete combustion and increased formation of particulate matter. O 2 reduces drastically.load. O2 is available in sufficient quantity but at high loads. The variation in the smoke opacity level at high loads was higher compared to that at lower loads. Figure options The smoke opacity of the exhaust gas is measured to quantify the particulate matter present in the exhaust gas. EGR system is significantly more than that of engine operated without EGR. Hydro carbons for different EGR rates. NOx for different EGR rates. therefore NOx is reduced more at higher loads compared to part loads. Higher smoke opacity of the exhaust is observed when the engine is operated with EGR compared to without EGR. Figure options Figure 8. Carbon monoxide for different EGR rates. EGR reduces availability of oxygen for combustion of fuel. 10. Figure options Figure 9.

Acknowledgements We wish to express our appreciation to Pondicherry Engineering College for supporting the project under which the current investigation has been conducted. References . increased rate of EGR reduces NOx to a great extent but deteriorates performance and emissions. Thus. thermal efficiency and BSFC are almost similar with EGR than without EGR. The increase in CO. But at higher loads. such as diesel oxidation catalysts (DOCs) and soot traps. and PM emissions can be reduced by using exhaust after-treatment techniques. which results in lower flame temperatures. Figure 10. At lower loads. These pictures support the results obtained by smoke opacity (Fig. In the present research. it can be concluded that higher rate of EGR can be applied at lower loads. Reduced oxygen and lower flame temperatures affect performance and emissions of diesel engine in different ways. Figure options 4. Also we wish to express our gratitude to our guide for providing experimental data for this investigation and the guidelines during the coordination of the experiment. HC. experimental investigations were conducted to study the effect of EGR on performance and emissions of a diesel engine. Thermal efficiency is slightly increased and BSFC is decreased at lower loads with EGR compared to without EGR. Conclusions EGR is a very useful technique for reducing the NOx emission. and emissions. It can be observed that 15% EGR rate is found to be effective to reduce NOx emission substantially without deteriorating engine performance in terms of thermal efficiency. EGR reduces NOx without deteriorating performance and emissions. Exhaust gases lower the oxygen concentration in combustion chamber and increase the specific heat of the intake air mixture. Exhaust gas temperature is decreased with EGR. Smoke opacity for different EGR rates. EGR can be applied to diesel engine without sacrificing its efficiency and fuel economy and NOx reduction can thus be achieved. EGR displaces oxygen in the intake air by exhaust gas re- circulated to the combustion chamber.the EGR system seem to be because of higher soot formation. BSFC. but NOx emission decreases significantly. At higher loads. 10).

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