Natural gas (methane) as a fuel for internal combustion engines holds the potential to be both cleaner than diesel and have substantially lower greenhouse gas emissions. That potential has not yet been realised. Burning 100% methane requires a spark ignition engine with lower efficiency than a compression ignition diesel, negating much of the benefit of methane. Burning a mixture of gas and diesel allows the gas to be burned at diesel efficiency, and has been demonstrated in relatively low-cost dual-fuel conversions of Euro V and VI trucks, but with significant amounts of methane passing through the engine unburned, so called ‘methane slip’, which also negates the greenhouse gas benefits.
This project will combine two approaches to almost eliminate methane slip in dual fuel conversions, demonstrating vehicles that fully comply with Euro VI emissions regulations. Dual fuel company G-volution will build upon and combine earlier research into engine combustion control and novel after-treatment technology to first reduce unburned methane and then eliminate the remainder effectively from the exhaust. In a consortium with truck operator ContainerShips UK and data solutions provider Microlise, they will develop and demonstrate 15 dual fuel diesel-methane trucks in real world operation that meet Euro VI emissions limits and offer significant greenhouse gas savings over diesel.
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