Fundamental Advancements in Pre-Chamber Spark Ignition and Emissions Control for Natural Gas Engines

Bradley Zigler, Doug Longman, Scott Curran, Mark Musculus

Research output: NRELPresentation


Argonne National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories collaborated on research to address barriers for natural gas engine efficiency. This research project focuses on early stage research focusing on pre-chamber spark-ignition (PCSI) to achieve diesel-like efficiency in medium- and heavy-duty natural gas engines by extending the lean dilution limit and/or exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) dilution limit, as well as shortening burn duration, with integrated aftertreatment. This project integrates experimental and simulation based tasks to address four key barriers to market penetration of PCSI for medium- and heavy-duty natural gas engines. These include Inadequate science base and simulation tools to describe/predict the fluid-mechanical and chemical-kinetic processes governing PCSI to enable engineers in industry to optimize designs for efficiency, noise, reliability, pollutant formation, emissions control integration, and drivability; limited ability to extend EGR and/or lean dilution limits at higher loads; increased propensity for PCSI hot-spot pre-ignition at high loads relative to spark ignition; and ineffective methane catalysts for the high engine-out unburned fuel concentrations coupled with low exhaust temperatures (<<400 degrees C) of high efficiency engines.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages25
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NamePresented at the 2019 Vehicle Technologies Office Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting, 10-13 June 2019, Arlington, Virginia

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5400-73864


  • catalyst
  • efficiency
  • emissions
  • engine
  • fuel
  • fuel economy
  • ignition
  • methane
  • natural gas
  • pre-chamber spark


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