An experiment was conducted to evaluate the potential for reduced exhaust emissions and improved efficiency, by way of lean-burn engine fuelling with hydrogen supplemented natural gas (Hythane). The emissions and efficiency of the Hythane fuel (15 percent hydrogen, 85 percent natural gas by volume), were compared to the emissions and efficiency of pure natural gas using a turbocharged, spark ignition, 3.1 L, V-6 engine. The feasibility of heavy duty engine fueling with Hythane was assessed through testing conducted at engine speed and load combinations typical of heavy-duty engine operation. Comparison of the efficiency and emissions at MBT spark timing revealed that Hythane fueling of the test engine resulted in consistently lower brake specific energy consumption and emissions of total hydrocarbons (THC), carbon monoxide (CO), and carbon dioxide (CO2), at a given equivalence ratio. There was no clear trend with respect to MBT oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions. It was also discovered that an improved NOx-THC tradeoff resulted when Hythane was used to fuel the test engine. Consequently, Hythane engine operating parameters can be adjusted to achieve a concurrent reduction in NOx and THC emissions relative to natural gas fueling.

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