Ashida, K., Maeda, H., Araki, T., Hoshino, M. et al., "Study of an On-board Fuel Reformer and Hydrogen-Added EGR Combustion in a Gasoline Engine," SAE Int. J. Fuels Lubr. 8(2):358-366, 2015, doi:10.4271/2015-01-0902.
To improve the fuel economy via high EGR, combustion stability is enhanced through the addition of hydrogen, with its high flame-speed in air-fuel mixture. So, in order to realize on-board hydrogen production we developed a fuel reformer which produces hydrogen rich gas. One of the main issues of the reformer engine is the effects of reformate gas components on combustion performance. To clarify the effect of reformate gas contents on combustion stability, chemical kinetic simulations and single-cylinder engine test, in which hydrogen, CO, methane and simulated gas were added to intake air, were executed. And it is confirmed that hydrogen additive rate is dominant on high EGR combustion. The other issue to realize the fuel reformer was the catalyst deterioration. Catalyst reforming and exposure test were carried out to understand the influence of actual exhaust gas on the catalyst performance. Fresh catalyst showed good performance in generating hydrogen, but an aged catalyst generated only half as compared to a fresh catalyst. So we considered measures to improve catalyst performance. According to EGR reforming performance test with single-cylinder engine using conventional catalyst and an improved catalyst, the improved catalyst showed good performance. Finally, in order to confirm the performance of hydrogen generation and the effects of real reformate gas on EGR combustion, a single-cylinder engine with the fuel reformer was developed. It is confirmed that hydrogen is generated from gasoline and EGR gas by the fuel reformer, and combustion stability under high EGR rate is enhanced by reformate hydrogen.