Optimizing combustion and emissions in natural gas/diesel dual-fuel engine with pilot injection strategy

Junheng Liu*, Wenyao Zhao, Xuchao Zhang, Qian Ji, Hongjie Ma, Ping Sun, Pan Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For the clean and efficient operation of agricultural power, a non-road common-rail engine was modified to achieve natural gas/diesel dual-fuel (NDDF) combustion mode. Under low load conditions, NDDF combustion deteriorates and fuel economy decreases due to lower pressure and temperature inside the cylinder. Therefore, effects of injection pressure, pilot injection timing (SOIpilot) and pilot injection quantity (Qpilot) on in-cylinder combustion, emission characteristics and fuel economy of NDDF engine with pilot injection strategy were investigated at low load. Results show that with the increment of injection pressure, the diesel fuel beam penetration distance increased, prompting the diesel more quickly and fully mixed with fresh charge. The maximum in-cylinder pressure increased, the combustion center (CA50) moved forward, the ignition delay period was shortened, and soot, HC, C2H4 and C3H6 emissions were reduced, while BTE was improved. When SOIpilot moved forward, the pilot injected diesel and natural gas were more fully mixed, which promoted the generation of activation radicals and combustion intensity of main injected diesel. Pmax first increased and then decreased, the peak value of first heat release rate (HRRP1) gradually decreased, the peak value of second heat release rate (HRRP2) continuously increased, the combustion duration decreased, and the soot, CO and HC emissions decreased. At SOIpilot = −30 °CA ATDC, unregulated emissions reached the lowest level, while BTE was 35.55 %. With the increment of Qpilot, both Pmax and HRRP1 increased, CA05 and CA50 moved forward, combustion duration was extended, COV decreased significantly, and all emissions except NOx decreased, especially aldehyde emissions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102418
Number of pages15
JournalThermal Science and Engineering Progress
Early online date31 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024


  • Dual-fuel mode
  • Low carbon combustion
  • Natural gas
  • Thermal efficiency
  • Unregulated emission

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