The effect of oxygen-enriched air on the performance and exhaust emissions of internal combustion engines
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Automobiles and trucks consume a major portion of the energy used for transportation in the US. They generate a significant amount of the emissions that contribute to air pollution. During the past few years, research on cleaner burning alternate fuels has been aimed at improving engine efficiencies and decreasing emissions that pollute the environment. Methanol, LPG, and natural gas have emerged as the leading alternative fuels; however, several problems must be solved before these fuels can be considered as true replacements for gasoline. This research was devoted to the study of the performance of I. C. engines with enriched oxygen air fueled by gasoline and natural gas and to study the feasibility of gas separator to supply oxygen enriched air for vehicle applications. A single cylinder, 4-stroke, spark-ignition engine was used in the program to evaluate the effect of enriched oxygen air on engine performance and exhaust emissions. The oxygen content in the intake air was varied between 21% and 25%. The effects of oxygen enrichment are reviewed in terms of volumetric efficiency, power output, specific fuel consumption, fuel conversion efficiency, exhaust gas temperature, and exhaust emissions (carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons). Test results indicate that the use of oxygen enriched air results essentially in a significant increase in power output, improved thermal conversion efficiency, a substantial reduction in carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons and a decrease in volumetric efficiency.