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Gas Engine
Emissions Technology
Fourth Edition

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FORM 536
Copyright 2004
Waukesha Engine
Dresser, Inc.
Waukesha, Wisconsin 53188
All rights reserved. Printed in U.S.A. 3/04

Waukesha Engine. It is not to be regarded as providing opinion or advice for any individual case. .IMPORTANT NOTICE This publication is designed to present information to professionals as an aid to independent research. Inc. Dresser. User accepts all responsibility and risk for the use and application of the information contained herein. assumes no responsibility for use and application of the information contained herein.

Landfill Gas: A gas suitable for fuelling an engine formed by the decomposition of landfill refuse. AFR. Carbon Monoxide (CO): A pollutant having the formula CO. In addition exhaust treatment companies have developed processes which reduce pollutants by converting them into safe. and butane (C4H10). Natural Gas: A naturally occurring mixture of hydrocarbon and other gasses found beneath the earth’s surface. Also known as a “three-way catalyst”. It is equivalent to the actual air/fuel ratio. Natural gas engine manufacturers continue to develop products which help to meet these requirements. carbon dioxide (CO2). naturally occurring compounds that are not damaging to the atmosphere. and hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Dry Basis: A system for reporting engine exhaust emission values based on the removal of all water vapor present in the exhaust. Low (Lower) Heating Value (LHV): The energy released from a standard volume – usually one cubic foot – of a fuel gas when the products of combustion are cooled to the same pressure and temperature as the original air and fuel mixture. 1 . in a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system.62 MJ/m3). Lambda is greater than 1. Minor constituents are heavier hydrocarbons such as ethane (C2H6). FORM 536 Fourth Edition Excess Air Ratio (Lambda or “λ”): A ratio of the amount of air provided to a combustion process to the chemically correct (stoichiometric) amount of air. argon (Ar). expressed as NO2.0. AFRS. propane (C3H8). The saturated lower heating value normally ranges from 400 – 550 Btu/ft3 (15. The AFR must be held within a very narrow band near stoichiometry to permit all the reactions to occur at a high efficiency. It is commonly expressed two ways – on a mass basis or on a volume basis. NO.= --------------stoichiometric air flow AFR s Formaldehyde: A hazardous air pollutant with the chemical formula HCHO. burning of the fuel provided. Nitrogen Oxides (NOx): A pollutant. helium (He).73 – 21. High (Higher) Heating Value (HHV): The total energy released from a standard volume – usually one cubic foot – of a fuel gas when the products of combustion are cooled to the same pressure and temperature as the original air and fuel mixture. The combination of nitrogen oxide. The principle constituent is methane (CH4).GAS ENGINE EMISSIONS TECHNOLOGY Deterioration of the atmosphere caused by gaseous pollutants is an important environmental issue. DEFINITIONS Air/Fuel Ratio (AFR): The ratio between the amount of air and the amount of fuel flowing into an engine. mass flow rate of air AFR mass = ------------------------------------------------------------mass flow rate of fuel volume flow rate of air AFR volume = --------------------------------------------------------------------volume flow rate of fuel Ammonia: A chemical compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with the formula NH3. The saturated lower heating value normally ranges from 500 – 600 Btu/ft3 (19. This is done either with suitable instrumentation or mathematically. and nitrogen dioxide. state. and other gasses such as nitrogen (N2). Lean Operation: Operation of an engine with more air than is necessary for complete combustion of the fuel supplied to the cylinders. Technology for reducing emissions is also discussed. This includes the heat of vaporization of the water formed during combustion since the cooling causes the water vapor to become liquid. It is composed primarily of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2). A precious metal catalyst is required for this process. NO2. divided by the stoichiometric air/fuel ratio. Excess Air: The amount of air provided to a combustion process over and above the amount needed for complete. It is composed primarily of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Ammonia is environmentally hazardous and toxic. Some of the current emissions regulations are presented and how they apply to gas engines is addressed. This legislation often affects natural gas engine installations by limiting the horsepower allowed or requiring very low emissions levels out of the engine. Digester Gas: A gas suitable for fuelling an engine formed by the anaerobic decomposition of organic matter in a digester. Local.66 – 23. actual air flow AFR λ = -------------------------------------------------------------. NOx. often in connection with oil. and national governments continue to enact stricter exhaust emissions legislation to reduce and possibly reverse the atmospheric deterioration. chemically correct. This does not include the heat of vaporization of the water formed during combustion since this water is assumed to remain gaseous. oxygen (O2). Non-Selective Catalytic Reduction (NSCR): A catalytic process allowing the simultaneous reduction of NOx and oxidation of CO and unburned hydrocarbons.59 MJ/m3). It is used as a reducing agent for nitrogen oxides. This paper discusses how air pollutants are formed in natural gas engines along with the health risks and atmospheric deterioration which result from these pollutants.

OZONE Ozone forms when NOx and hydrocarbons combine and chemically react in the presence of sunlight. 2 CO (carbon monoxide) HC (hydrocarbons) SOx (oxides of sulfur) CHO (aldehydes. Ozone in the lower atmosphere damages plants and synthetics. Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR): A catalytic process allowing the reduction of NOx in the presence of high oxygen concentrations. which is a yellowish-brown color. carbon. typically ammonia or urea. Photochemical smog contains NO2. It is also harmful to vegetation. primarily SO2. The process requires the use of a nitrogen bearing reducing agent. there is 10. The ratio may be calculated on a volume (ppmv) or weight (ppmw) basis. reduces breathing capacity. Pollutants which can be produced in natural gas engines are classified in six different categories: NOx (oxides of nitrogen) Parts-Per-Million (ppmv or ppmw): A ratio calculated on the basis of the whole being divided into one million equal parts. Rich Operation: Operation of an engine with less air than is necessary for complete combustion of the fuel supplied to the cylinders. wheezing. Lambda is less than 1. Ozone can also reduce the respiratory system’s ability to fight infections. Percent (%v or %w): A ratio calculated on the basis of the whole being divided into a hundred equal parts. For example. soot. CO Carbon monoxide is formed by incomplete combustion of the fuel. and causes coughing. Lambda is equal to 1.000 ppmv of carbon dioxide in the mixture. if 1 ft3 of carbon dioxide is mixed with 99 ft3 of nitrogen. in a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system. react with each other. In the form of an aqueous solution it can be used as a reducing agent for nitrogen oxides. For example. act as precursors in the formation of O3 (ozone). and oils. When injected into the exhaust stream of an engine the hot gasses over a catalyst cause the decomposition of urea into ammonia that then reacts to reduce the NOx.000 ppm equals 1%. Note that 1% equals 10. the mixture contains 1 %w salt. In the lower atmosphere NO2 and NO. and may trigger asthma attacks. from the air.0. This reaction requires a high combustion temperature and the presence of nitrogen and oxygen in the combustion chamber as the fuel is burned. if 1 pound of salt is mixed with 99 pounds of sugar. Waukesha Knock Index™ (WKI™): Waukesha’s proprietary fuel knock resistance scale for gaseous fuels determined from a basis of methane = 100 and hydrogen = 0. coughing. This is done with suitable instrumentation.1 These gasses give smog its brownish color and irritate the lungs and can weaken the respiratory system leading to increased susceptibility to infections such as the flu. More sensitive people – such as the elderly and children – can experience other symptoms including chest pains. and nausea. Ozone irritates the eyes. Urea: A chemical compound produced commercially from ammonia and carbon dioxide with the formula NH2 – CO – NH2. Complete combustion of a methane molecule is represented by the formula below: CH 4 + 2O 2 ⇒ CO 2 + 2H 2 O FORM 536 Fourth Edition . Wet Basis: A system for reporting engine exhaust emission values based on inclusion of all water vapor present in the exhaust. bronchitis. labored breathing.0. choking and headaches in humans. Stoichiometric Mixture: The chemically correct mixture of fuel and air that enables the complete burning of the combustible portion of the fuel present with zero remaining oxygen. Note that 10. NO2 harms humans and animals by reducing breathing capacity and limiting the blood’s ability to carry O2. Formaldehyde is CH2O) PM10 (particulate matter 10 microns and smaller) NOX Oxides of nitrogen consist of NO (nitrogen oxide) molecules and NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) molecules which are formed when N2 (nitrogen) and O2 (oxygen).000 ppm. and pneumonia. Sulfur Oxides (SOx):A pollutant. NOx. when exposed to sunlight. It includes the knock resistance effects of certain inert gases and is extended to values greater than 100 through the use of a nine gas mixture matrix. and ozone. Urea does not have the environmental concerns associated with ammonia. The ratio may be calculated on a volume (%v) or weight (%w) basis. causes inflammation of the lungs. ATMOSPHERIC POLLUTANTS Particulate Matter: A pollutant composed of very small natural and man-made solid or liquid particles such as dust.GAS ENGINE EMISSIONS TECHNOLOGY Ozone: A pollutant having the formula O3.

It replaces oxygen in the body’s red blood cells. non-ethane hydrocarbons. which depletes the ozone layer of the upper atmosphere. 3. In gaseous fuels sulfur can be present in the form of H2S (hydrogen sulfide). HC NM-NEHC Natural gas is a fuel made up of several hydrocarbon gases including: CH4 (methane). THC (Total Hydrocarbons) or TOC (Total Organic Compounds) SOX Oxides of sulfur are formed when sulfur containing compounds. In the upper atmosphere CO reacts with O3 (ozone) producing CO2. ROG. Oxides of sulfur enter the atmosphere and combine with water in the air forming H2SO3 (sulfurous acid) and H2SO4 (sulfuric acid). These hydrocarbon emissions are commonly broken down into two categories and sometimes a third. acting as a precursor in the formation of photochemical smog. H2S can be removed from gaseous fuels with proper treatments which will decrease the SOx exhaust emission levels. Hydrocarbons) In addition. formaldehyde is the primary aldehyde emission to consider. Methane will not readily react in the lower atmosphere in the smog reactions. 2. ethane. Depleting the ozone layer allows more harmful rays to reach the surface.4 Formaldehyde is one of several aldehyde emissions. Incomplete combustion occurs when there is insufficient oxygen near the hydrocarbon (fuel) molecule for complete combustion or when combustion is quenched near a cold surface in the combustion chamber. Waukesha considers all of the emissions the same when reporting in technical publications. C2H6 (ethane). Consult area regulation agency to determine potential differences for area being considered. CO can even cause death.1 There are technical differences between NMHC.1 Non-methane hydrocarbons are singled out from methane because they can react with NOx in the lower atmosphere. and. headache and fatigue. and ROC. 1. In these areas the regulations are based on non-methane. SO2. formaldehyde emissions from many engines over 500 bhp will be regulated by the U. NM-NEHC (Non-Methane. sulfur dioxide. and other heavier compounds. However. These categories are: Ethane is also disregarded in some controlled areas because it has a much lower reactivity than the heavier hydrocarbons.GAS ENGINE EMISSIONS TECHNOLOGY Incomplete combustion of a methane molecule will produce CO instead of CO2 (carbon dioxide). in the fuel or lube oil. The non-methane portion of the THC is: 1350 PPMV THC -1000 PPMV Methane 350 PPMV NMHC Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless poisonous gas. These acids return to Earth as acid rain. This ozone layer screens harmful sun rays from reaching the Earth’s surface. NMHC (Non-Methane Hydrocarbons) or VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) or ROG (Reactive Organic Gases) or ROC (Reactive Organic Compounds). will be found in the exhaust). For gas engines. 3 . NMHC Non-methane hydrocarbons are the portion of the THC (total hydrocarbons) that does not include methane. It is also a part of the resulting smog from photochemical reactions between oxygen and hydrocarbons. C3H8 (propane). in heavy enough concentrations.S. Formaldehyde contributes to eye irritation. Starting in March 2004. Therefore these hydrocarbons will retain their form in the exhaust (ie. C4H10 (butane). and propane etc. are oxidized in the combustion chamber. can narrow airway passages and lead to difficult breathing – especially for people that have asthma. Non-Ethane THC Total hydrocarbon emissions include all of the hydrocarbon gases found in the exhaust stream. some methane. A small fraction of these hydrocarbons will pass through the combustion chamber without reacting. For example an exhaust gas contains: 1000 PPMV Methane 200 PPMV Ethane 100 PPMV Propane + 50 PPMV Butane 1350 PPMV THC FORM 536 Fourth Edition HCHO Formaldehyde is a product of incomplete combustion of hydrocarbon fuels and lube oil in an engine. VOC. Exposure to high CO levels can cause nausea. and polymerizes to form visibility-reducing aerosols. Environmental Protection Agency.

. in a Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) area. For this reason the local air quality board must be contacted to determine emission requirements when engines are considered for new projects or repowers. Being classified as a major source may necessitate additional permitting requirements including modeling. carbon. Particulate in the exhaust of an engine is formed by incomplete combustion of liquid fuels and lubricating oil. that are finer than the diameter of a human hair. is PM2. and 1. Then: 250 ton 907. pulmonary edema.× year ton 1 year hp-hr ------------------------------. coughing. In the United States. Also. These are: 1. 2. and the number of hours that the engine will operate in a year.65 g/bhp-hr CO.5 g/bhp-hr NOx. offsets. ppmvd* (parts per million on a volume. Even smaller particulate. dry basis) 4.g.GAS ENGINE EMISSIONS TECHNOLOGY Formaldehyde is a probable human carcinogen and can cause irritation of the eyes and throat.5. All suspended particulate is termed PM.5 Natural and man-made solid or liquid particles such as dust. must be used in this calculation. lb/MMBtu** (pounds per million Btu) * must be associated with a specific oxygen – dilution – level. e. Particulate matter in diesel exhaust has been labeled as a probable carcinogen (cancer causing agent) by some regulatory agencies. Long term low level exposure can cause skin rash and respiratory problems. EMISSIONS REGULATIONS Regulations governing the quantity of pollutants which a gas engine can discharge vary between different regions due to the air quality in these regions. PM2.. etc. For example – an engine’s emission rates are 1. there are four common methods of specifying the amount of pollutant discharged by an engine or limits in permits or regulations. decreased breathing ability. pneumonia. e..= 9770 HP 8760 hours 2. i. headache.g. the major source limit is 250 tons/year. e. very fine silicon particulate can be ingested with landfill gas fuel and pass through the engine to be emitted into the atmosphere. soot. monitoring. oils.g.× ----------------------------------------.5 microns or less. Engine out particulate levels from natural gas engines are low when compared to diesel engines..g. Note. in lb/day or g/bhp-hr.g. and even death due to respiratory failure. e.5 particles are so small that normal human lung clearing action is unable to remove them leading to increased risk of lung and throat cancer. PM/PM10/PM2.5 are associated with increased respiratory infections. Pollutant Per Period On a site that will use gas engines there can be a limit on how much mass of different pollutants can be discharged during a given time period. Pollutant per unit volume. or other requirements not needed for lower emitting. at 15% oxygen ** Need to specify if the energy is on a high or low heating value basis 1. non-major. and increased mortality rates. and potential to emit must be used. pounds/hour or tons/year 2. e. For example. the federal Clean Air Act defines certain “major emitting sources” as those having the potential to emit 250 tons/year or more of any listed air pollutant... Particulate is subdivided by effective aerodynamic diameter. control. Pollutant per grams/bhp-hr output energy. Fine particulate tends to remain suspended in the air for longer periods and reduce visibility. Prolonged or severe exposure has caused bronchitis. and heart palpitations. High levels of PM10 and PM2. the “potential to emit” principle requires that the number of hours in a full year. with an aerodynamic diameter of 2.0 g/bhp-hr NMHC.65 grams 4 FORM 536 Fourth Edition . tightening of the chest. sites. Pollutant per energy consumed.× ------------------------------. Pollutant per period. Particulate with an aerodynamic diameter of 10 microns (a micron is a millionth of a meter) or less is PM10. 3. 8760.e.. The amount of horsepower that can be installed at a site without exceeding the major source threshold can be determined from the engine exhaust emission levels.g.200 grams Horsepower = --------------------. unless there is an enforceable limit on the number of operating hours per year. In this case. asthma attacks. e. Regions with poor air quality have much tighter restrictions on exhaust emissions than areas where the air quality is good. the CO emission rate will govern since it is numerically the largest.

etc. and/or may include revised procedures. In other parts of the world. It is the lowest emission limit that a source can meet by application of control technology that is reasonably available taking technological and economic feasibility into account. Common units for this are lb/MMBtu of fuel. or dilution. NAAQS – National Ambient Air Quality Standard. RACT – Reasonably Available Control Technology is applied to existing sources in non-attainment areas. steel mill. fuel switching.. A NESHAPS was enacted for reciprocating. It is applied to the six criteria pollutants. level. and existing sources. and any non-air quality health and environmental issues. Some states may use BACT generically to mean any. To be complete and unambiguous. etc. and nitrogen oxide.. volume based measurements must be associated with a specific oxygen. Europe. The state must have a SIP to bring this region into compliance with the NAAQS at the earliest possible date. 3. 5 . federal air pollution program of standards for 188 specific hazardous air pollutants governed by Title III of the Clean Air Act. Note that the distinction between RACT. These state plans may incorporate regulations more stringent than those spelled out in federal EPA regulations or NSPS. A major source of HAPs is defined as any source that emits 10 tons/year or more of any individual HAP or 25 tons/year or more of any combination of HAPs. e. oxidation catalyst. or all. Europe typically uses 5% oxygen while other parts of the world use different values. sulfur dioxide. EPA – The federal Environmental Protection Agency. Pollutant Per Energy Unit Generated Some regions limit pollution from a source based on the amount of useful energy it is producing. A uniform. It will apply to engines at major sources of HAPs (formaldehyde). MACT takes into consideration cost. regulation. A NSPS has not been issued for reciprocating. Pollutant Per Energy Unit Consumed This method involves regulating pollution based on the amount of fuel consumed. NSPS – New Source Performance Standard. This is an EPA approved state plan for the establishment. This is accounted for by the formula: Allowable Pollutant = Engine Efficiency Pollutant Limit × -----------------------------------------------------Baseline Efficiency Baseline efficiency is determined by the governing agency. NA – A Non-Attainment area is one in which the NAAQS standards for one or more of the criteria pollutants are not met. carbon monoxide. therefore the engines are regulated in grams/hp-hr. MACT may be a specified technology. e.GAS ENGINE EMISSIONS TECHNOLOGY 2. For natural gas engines the useful energy is horsepower-hours of mechanical energy. BACT – Best Available Control Technology is applied to major new or modified emissions sources in attainment areas and applies to each regulated criteria pollutant. 2003. 4. In the US this is commonly 15% oxygen. MACT – Maximum Achievable Control Technology is the maximum degree of reduction possible in HAP emissions. ozone. A more stringent. HAP – Hazardous Air Pollutant. federal air pollution standard. mass per volume of exhaust produced is commonly used. internal combustion engines in February. BACT. The typical units are mg/Nm3 (milligrams per normal cubic meter). acid plant. Efficiency Adjustment Factors Many regions will consider the efficiency of the engine in the calculation to allow more efficient engines a higher emissions limit. One type of nation-wide. and LAER is often blurred on a state and local level.g. and enforcement of air pollution standards and controls. Limits are set for the pollutants which are causing the air quality deterioration. national air standard set by the EPA for air emission from a specific type or class of source such as gas turbine. lead. energy requirements.. Acronyms The following definitions of emissions control technology follow federal EPA definitions. FORM 536 Fourth Edition LAER – Lowest Achievable Emission Rate is applied to new or modified sources in non-attainment areas. reconstructed. above the “floor”. total suspended particulate. for criteria pollutants. Catalytic oxidation of formaldehyde is the technology preferred by the EPA. In the United States this in commonly expressed as ppmvd (parts per million on a volume. The MACT “floor” level does not take cost or other factors into consideration. It applies to new. dry basis). of the three levels of control as defined in the Clean Air Act. NESHAPS – The National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air PollutantS is a nation-wide.g. SIP – A State Implementation Plan. operator training. Pollutant Per Unit Volume Of Exhaust This method of specifying exhaust emissions uses the amount of pollutant in a given volume of exhaust produced. internal combustion engines.

At increasingly lean air/fuel ratios. testing. therefore less NOx is formed at lower temperatures. To the rich side (left side on the graph) of stoichiometry. FORM 536 Fourth Edition . .0) there is more oxygen in the combustion chamber than is required for combustion which leaves a high concentration of oxygen in the exhaust. Most large and some smaller sources must now obtain a “Title V” permit to operate. Operating permits are legally enforceable documents issued by regulatory agencies to air pollution sources after the source has begun to operate.0 at the stoichiometric air/fuel ratio In recent years. The purpose of a Title V permit is to reduce air pollution violations and improve enforcement of air quality regulations. With a lean air/fuel ratio (λ > 1.GAS ENGINE EMISSIONS TECHNOLOGY THE 1990 CLEAN AIR ACT AMENDMENTS (CAAA) AND THE TITLE V OPERATING PERMIT PROGRAM The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments arguably form the most comprehensive and far-reaching federal environmental law. to assure that the source remains in compliance with its emission limits and other pollution control obligations. NATURAL GAS ENGINE EMISSIONS In the past natural gas engines were commonly operated at an air/fuel ratio which provided the most horsepower for the amount of air being consumed. These reports are public documents. Excess air ratio is determined with the following formula: Operating air/fuel ratio λ = ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Stoichiometric air/fuel ratio λ = 1. NOx formation requires the presence of oxygen and nitrogen in a high temperature environment. engines which operate at a much leaner air fuel ratio have been utilized because of their low emissions and low fuel consumption characteristics. On the lean side (right) of stoichiometry the NOx reaches a peak because combustion temperature remains high and there is an abundance of oxygen. . modified. if needed. the combustion temperature continues to fall and NOx levels fall even though excess oxygen exists in the cylinder. As stated earlier.recording in a single document all of the air pollution control requirements that apply to the source. 6 Figure 1. This gives everyone – including the public and the source’s management – a clear picture of what the source is required to do to comply with its legal limits. Stoichiometry is defined as: The chemically correct air/fuel ratio where all the fuel and all the oxygen in the mixture will be consumed. . and/or record keeping requirements.making the terms of the Title V permit federally enforceable. it now contains.adding monitoring. Figure 1 illustrates exhaust NOx output compared to the air/fuel ratio.requiring the source to certify each year that it has met the air pollution requirements in its Title V permit. A Title V permit does this by: .requiring the source to make regular reports on how it is measuring its emissions and the performance of the controls it is using to limit emissions. This air/fuel ratio is fuel rich of “Stoichiometry”. Another way in which air/fuel ratio is represented is with an excess air ratio referred to as “Lambda” (λ). NOx decreases significantly due to the lack of oxygen in the combustion chamber and lower combustion temperatures. This means that the EPA and the general public can bring suit to enforce the terms of the permit along with the issuing state agency. Fuel consumption in a lean combustion engine is typically 5-12% lower than in a similar stoichiometric combustion engine. As amended. . the framework of a national operating permit system that will be administered by the states for many new. The permits usually require self-reporting of any violations found by the source. and existing sources. in Title V. These certifications are also public information.

Open chamber and pre-chamber configurations are shown in Figure 5. At a point slightly lean of stoichiometry. NMHC emissions are also minimum at a point slightly lean of stoichiometry and increase at further lean air/fuel ratios. At leaner combustion air/fuel ratios.GAS ENGINE EMISSIONS TECHNOLOGY Carbon Monoxide levels are also lower in a lean combustion engine than in a stoichiometric engine because there is now plenty of oxygen for the fuel molecules to react with. Levels of NMHCs also vary with air/fuel ratio as shown in Figure 3. Overall (with the exception of NMHCs) we can see that a lean combustion engine provides much lower levels of pollutants than a stoichiometric engine. however. are still lower at this point than at stoichiometry. Figure 4. Ignition of the high air/fuel ratio in a lean combustion engine can be obtained fairly well with a high turbulence open chamber design. CO output hits a minimum because there is sufficient oxygen and high combustion temperatures. NMHC emissions also are higher at points rich of stoichiometry because of the lack of oxygen for combustion. Another method. FORM 536 Fourth Edition 7 . Like CO emissions. CO increases due to poorer combustion from low combustion temperatures and lower flammability of the fuel mixture. can produce better combustion at leaner air/fuel ratios. Figure 2. Lean combustion engines have demonstrated low emission levels consistently because these emissions are not affected by deterioration of a catalyst or failure of electronic oxygen sensing devices. Emissions of CO. The amount of NMHCs are higher at the lean combustion air/fuel ratio than at stoichiometry. Figure 2 illustrates CO levels compared to air/fuel ratio. Figure 4 sums up the emission levels for typical natural gas engines at various air/fuel ratios. The lean combustion engine does this without the aid of exhaust after-treatment (catalytic converter) and without the need for electronic air/fuel ratio control. Figure 3. Operating to the rich side of stoichiometry causes a significant increase in CO because of the lack of sufficient oxygen to complete combustion of the fuel molecules. also because of lower combustion temperatures. utilizing a pre-chamber with a stoichiometric mixture to ignite a lean main chamber.

97 1.00 1.) The pollutants in exhaust gas comprise only a small percentage of the total exhaust gas.1% 12.8% 10.9% 9. SUMMARY OF PRODUCTS OF COMBUSTION WITH NATURAL GAS FUEL* Excess Air Ratio Setting = λ GASES 0.25% 1.74 to 2.74 2. Figure 5.5% 75. Some VHP engines utilize a high turbulence open chamber design which operate at λ=1. are given in the chart below.8% 74.54 (Refer to the current WED Product Bulletins for emission levels on all models.1% 21% CO 0.15% 6. Some of these gases are formed in the combustion process while others are simply passing through the combustion chamber without chemically reacting. running at λ= 1.53 to 1.4% 9.5% Trace Trace Trace — HC Trace Trace Trace Trace Trace Trace — *Trace indicates less than 0.3% Trace Trace Trace Trace — NOx Trace 0. naturally occurring gases. EXHAUST EMISSIONS FOR ALTERNATE FUELS Gaseous fueled engines are often operated on fuels other than natural gas.00 AIR N2 69. The VHP and AT-GL engines utilize a pre-chamber combustion chamber for leaner operation at λ=1.9% 0.53 1.67. These fuels produce a noticeable difference in exhaust gas emissions when compared to natural gas.9% 19% 17.2% 9% 6.5% 71% 72.8% 10.2%.GAS ENGINE EMISSIONS TECHNOLOGY Waukesha VGF-GL models are open chamber.25% 0.5% Trace CO2 8.3% 79% H2O 20.52 to 1. lean burn engines.1% 73. The chart below summarizes typical gas concentrations in the fuel. and some typical compositions of exhaust gas. Before we discuss the emissions levels of these fuels we should have a better understanding of the fuels’ content. Propane and waste recovery fuels are the most popular of these: HD-5 propane as a standby fuel and waste recovery fuels. The remainder of the exhaust gas consists of harmless. The composition of air.4% 5. as primary fuels. such as 8 GAS NATURAL Methane Ethane digester gas and landfill gas. HD-5 PROPANE DIGESTER LANDFILL COAL SEAM 95% — 65% 55% 95% 3% 4% — — — Propane 1% 95% — — — Butane+ 1% 1% — — — Carbon Dioxide — — 35% 45% 3% Nitrogen — — — — 2% FORM 536 Fourth Edition .7% 4. NOTE: Summary based on a wet volume basis.9% Trace O2 Trace 0.06 1.8% 8.0.

Concentration of NMHCs also vary with the type of fuel an engine is operated with. Note that air/fuel ratio has been removed. Natural gas contains about 5% non-methane hydrocarbon in the fuel. HD-5 propane. naturally occurring compounds. digester gas. The general (not balanced) reducing reactions are shown below: NO x + CO ⇒ N 2 + CO 2 NO x + CH 4 ⇒ N 2 + CO 2 + H 2 O NO x + H 2 ⇒ N 2 + H 2 O These reactions are reducing the NOx to nitrogen and oxidizing the fuel and CO molecules. The NMHCs which do exist in landfill gas and digester gas exhaust are from combustion of lubricating oil in the engine. HD-5 propane NMHCs are the highest since HD-5 propane fuel is 100% non-methane hydrocarbon. NOx emissions for natural gas and propane are nearly the same while emissions for landfill gas are much lower.2 and above. λ= 1. The oxidizing reactions take place as shown here: CO + O 2 ⇒ CO 2 CH 4 + O 2 ⇒ CO 2 + H 2 O CnHm + O 2 ⇒ CO 2 + H 2 O H2 + O2 ⇒ H2 O Figure 7. The most common method for achieving this is through the use of a catalytic converter. therefore their NMHC emission levels are much lower. Figure 7 illustrates NMHC concentration for the three fuels. Landfill gas and digester gas contain no non-methane hydrocarbons in the fuel. CO concentration is higher at lean air/fuel ratios. and landfill gas. reducing NOx.GAS ENGINE EMISSIONS TECHNOLOGY Figure 6 illustrates NOx and CO output vs excess air ratio for natural gas. This is because of the high concentration of inert gas (CO2) in landfill gas which cools the peak combustion temperature. EXHAUST GAS AFTERTREATMENT The following discussion briefly covers commonly available aftertreatment technologies and is not meant to be all inclusive. however further conversion is accomplished with an oxidizing catalyst. and landfill gas are at different air/fuel ratios than for natural gas. Stoichiometry for propane. the catalyst will either oxidize (oxidation catalyst) a CO or fuel molecule or reduce (reduction catalyst) an NOx molecule. therefore it has a lower level in the exhaust. Emissions from an engine can be reduced by chemically converting the pollutants into harmless. Catalyst Figure 6. Therefore. In a catalytic converter. HD-5 propane combustion at lean air fuel ratios is not as complete as methane. FORM 536 Fourth Edition 9 . than with natural gas or landfill gas. These reactions oxidize some of the CO and NMHC molecules. therefore we only use the “excess air ratio” designation for this graph. A catalyst is a substance which promotes a chemical reaction without being chemically changed itself.

Many much more stringent emissions regulations currently – or soon to be – in force require NOx levels lower than the best that lean combustion can provide. GL. Selective Catalytic Reduction As discussed earlier.GAS ENGINE EMISSIONS TECHNOLOGY Three Way Catalyst A 3-way catalyst contains both reduction catalyst materials and oxidation catalyst materials and will convert NOx. Exhaust from the engine first travels through the reduction catalyst where the following reactions take place. and H2O. 10 FORM 536 Fourth Edition . Electronic air/fuel ratio controls are often necessary to maintain this range. however. Typical emission conversion efficiencies for a three-way catalyst operating on a near stoichiometric engine are: 90+% decrease in NOx 80+% decrease in CO 50+% decrease in NMHC The efficiency of a three way catalyst is highly dependent on the percentages of NOx.2 Dual bed catalysts are losing popularity. NO x + CO ⇒ CO 2 + N 2 NO x + H 2 ⇒ H 2 O + N 2 NO x + CH 4 ⇒ CO 2 + H 2 O + N 2 Air is added to the exhaust stream before it enters the oxidation catalyst where these next reactions take place. CO2. O2. and NMHCs to N2. A NSCR catalyst cannot be used with a lean burn engine because of the high levels of oxygen present in the exhaust stream. engines emit low NOx compared to similar stoichiometric engines without a catalyst. When GL engines were first introduced this low NOx level was acceptable virtually everywhere without any exhaust aftertreatment. and affecting power output and engine stability.2 Oxidation Catalyst An oxidation catalyst is often used on lean combustion engines to oxidize CO and hydrocarbon molecules in the exhaust. A dual bed catalyst utilizes separate reduction and oxidation sections with air introduced after the reduction catalyst and before the oxidation catalyst. CO. Figure 8. CO. because 3-way catalysts are now approaching the same efficiencies. and NMHCs in the reaction. Since an oxidation catalyst eliminates CO and HC emissions it is considered an NSCR. raising fuel consumption. the most common way to obtain this reduction is with a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system. If further NOx reduction is needed from a lean combustion engine. The lean combustion principle produces very low NOx emission so this pollutant usually does not require further reduction. These adjustments will compromise other engine performance areas such as raising other emission levels. SCR is selective in that it is effective only on NOx and it avoids the problem of excess oxygen in the exhaust stream by the injection of an outside “reducing agent”. A very narrow air/fuel ratio operating range is necessary to maintain these percentages. A catalyst process which causes reactions of several pollutant components is referred to as Non Selective Catalyst Reduction (NSCR). NOx from a lean combustion engine can sometimes be reduced a small additional amount with engine adjustments. lean combustion. Dual bed catalyst A less common method for treating stoichiometric engine exhaust emissions is with a dual bed catalyst. Figure 8 illustrates a Dual Bed Catalyst. CO + O 2 ⇒ CO2 H2 + O2 ⇒ H2 O CnHm + O 2 ⇒ CO 2 + H 2 O CH 4 + O 2 ⇒ CO 2 + H 2 O A “Dual Bed” catalyst can convert up to 98% of both NOx and CO and does not require the very narrow air/fuel ratio operating range required for the 3-way catalyst.

FORM 536 Fourth Edition The AFM system functions by monitoring oxygen levels in the exhaust gases with an oxygen sensor located in the engine’s exhaust stream (see Figure 10). actuator. Since urea is not considered a hazardous material. water vapor. Urea is a man-made compound produced commercially from ammonia and carbon dioxide with the formula NH2 – CO – NH2. 11 . and AFM module. Whether ammonia or urea is used. the AFM module directs the actuator to adjust the gas over air pressure of the fuel regulator. For urea SCR systems. detected by the sensor. as is ammonia. A more universal Custom Engine Control® Air/Fuel Module (AFM) is offered by Waukesha. the first part of the catalyst converts the urea and water vapor from combustion to ammonia and carbon dioxide. handling costs and problems are reduced.GAS ENGINE EMISSIONS TECHNOLOGY Early SCR technology involved injecting anhydrous ammonia as the reducing agent into the exhaust gas upstream from the catalyst. The system typically includes a NOx monitor upstream of the catalyst and a feedback loop mechanism to ensure that the proper quantity of ammonia is injected to eliminate as much NOx as possible without emitting unreacted ammonia. Ammonia is. Recently. is then fed to the AFM module through an electrical signal. The AFM system is designed to function with all types of gaseous fueled engines that Waukesha manufactureres including near stoichiometric and lean burn. it is a consumable that must be replaced. Many control devices are available for this and most use exhaust gas oxygen sensing to determine air/fuel ratio. as before. Theory of Operation The AFM system controls engine air/fuel ratio and consists of three basic components: an oxygen sensor. and a small amount of carbon monoxide. The basic chemical reactions governing the SCR process are: Urea to Ammonia: NH 2 – CO – NH 2 + H 2 O ⇒ 2NH 3 + CO 2 NOx destruction: 4NH 3 + 4NO + O 2 ⇒ 4N 2 + 6H 2 O or 6NH 3 + 2NO2 + O 2 ⇒ 4N 2 + 6H 2 O Ammonia destruction: 4NH 3 + 3O2 ⇒ 2N 2 + 6H 2 O This process can result in final stack emissions of NOx as low as 0. Figure 9 shows a basic ammonia SCR system. a hazardous compound requiring care in its use and storage and can cause harmful effects if emitted. As the hot exhaust gas passes over the catalyst the NOx and ammonia combine to form nitrogen gas and water vapor. The AFM system is a closed-loop process that looks at system outputs and adjusts system inputs according to preprogrammed instructions. SCR systems have been switching to an aqueous solution of urea as the reducing agent. Urea can be substituted for ammonia in this figure. Figure 9. If the oxygen level detected by the sensor is different than the programmed oxygen set-point. to form nitrogen gas and water vapor. A final oxidation stage can be added to the catalyst housing where any excess ammonia is oxidized to nitrogen gas and water vapor. Then the ammonia and NOx react. The amount of ammonia must be carefully controlled so that ammonia “slip” or “breakthrough” does not occur. The oxygen level.2 g/bhp-hr. itself. ELECTRONIC AIR/FUEL RATIO CONTROL Stoichiometric Combustion Engine Maintaining low emissions in a stoichiometric combustion engine using exhaust gas treatment often requires a very closely regulated air/fuel ratio. At the same time hydrocarbons react with the oxygen present to form carbon dioxide. naturally aspirated and turbocharged.

The design gives very accurate positioning capability. At stoichiometry it is apparent that a small change in air/fuel ratio can cause a large change in NOx and CO which. It’s apparent from the information presented in this paper that most of the extremely low emissions levels are obtained using some type of exhaust gas treatment. or from lube oil additives. The boxes around “Stoich” and “Lean Combustion” indicate the air/fuel ratio drift that might occur during operation of an engine without an air/fuel ratio control. because they rely on very strict maintenance of the treatment catalyst. Electronic controls for air/fuel ratio on lean combustion engines are often used for fuels which can have a wide 12 FORM 536 Fourth Edition . such as some landfill gas applications. when used with a 3-way catalyst. within programmed limits. Figure 11. Lean Combustion Engines Electronic control of air/fuel ratio is not required on many lean combustion engines because small changes in air/fuel ratio have very little effect on the exhaust emissions. Figure 11 again illustrates emissions levels vs. by increasing or decreasing the spring pressure acting on the regulator diaphragm. These levels can be misleading however. The oxygen sensor provides continuous feedback of oxygen levels to the AFM module.GAS ENGINE EMISSIONS TECHNOLOGY Figure 10. or poisoning from fuel contaminants or operating at an incorrect air/fuel ratio on stoichiometric engines. Efficiency of catalytic converters will decrease if they are coated with contaminants from the fuel. Using air/fuel ratio controls on lean combustion engines which operate on steady heating value fuels can add unnecessary complication and expense. A programmed minimum temperature must be achieved before “closed-loop” control is enabled. The actuator adjusts the fuel regulator setting. At the lean combustion air fuel ratio a small change in air fuel ratio causes very little effect on the emissions levels. variance in heating value. Air/fuel ratio. can cause low conversion efficiency. The AFM module makes the necessary actuator adjustments to correctly control the engine’s air/fuel ratio. The regulator adjustment richens or leans out the air/fuel ratio. A thermocouple is used to assure that temperatures are high enough for correct operation of the sensor. They can also be damaged by overheating. Efficiency of an oxidation catalyst operating on a lean combustion engine is unaffected by these small air/fuel ratio changes. A programmed maximum temperature is also incorporated as a safety to shut down operation on high exhaust temperature conditions.

5. FORM 536 Fourth Edition 13 . 1992. DeYoung. Edward F. Waukesha Engines Application Engineering.GAS ENGINE EMISSIONS TECHNOLOGY References 1. Richard. Robert. “AT-GL Sales & Application-Gas Engine Exhaust Emissions Overview”.. Charles. Radian Corporation. 1990. 4. 2. Stachowicz.. 3. Air & Waste Management Association. Harper & Row. Mayer. “Near Term Emission Reduction Technologies For Stationary. Waukesha Engines Service Training Center. Obert. “Internal Combustion Engines and Air Pollution”. 1973. Natural Gas Fuel Engines”. Austin. “GL and Emissions-Air Pollution”. TX. Publishers. Inc. SP-83.

GAS ENGINE EMISSIONS TECHNOLOGY 14 FORM 536 Fourth Edition .