Remote communities in Canada heavily rely on reciprocating diesel generators for heat and power generation. These engines utilize diesel fuel that is imported at great expense and generate green-house gas (GHG) and pollutant emissions. Replacing diesel fuel in these engines by syngas derived from a thermo-chemical treatment of local renewable biomass can not only lower the fuel cost but also reduce GHG and pollutant emissions for remote communities. Besides, syngas-diesel dual fuel combustion can maintain the ability to revert back to diesel operation and therefore ensure reliable heat and power supply when syngas is not available.

In this study, the combustion and emissions performance of a syngas-diesel dual fuel engine was investigated at low and medium loads. A single cylinder direct injection diesel engine was modified to operate using a dual fuel strategy. The diesel fuel was directly injected to the cylinder, while syngas was injected into the intake port. The effects of syngas fraction and composition on energy efficiency, cylinder pressure, exhaust temperature, and combustion stability were recorded and analyzed. The emissions data, including PM, NOx, CO, and unburned hydrocarbon, were also analyzed and reported in the paper.

The results suggest that the substitution of diesel by a syngas caused a slight decrease in brake thermal efficiency and an increase in CO emissions. The effect of a syngas on soot emissions depended on the composition and/or quality. The inert component content of a syngas significantly affected NOx emissions in a syngas-diesel dual fuel internal combustion engine.

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