From the article:
This paper uncovers some of the misconceptions associated with the usage of producer gas, a lower calorific gas as a reciprocating engine fuel. This paper particularly addresses the use of producer gas in reciprocating engines at high compression ratio (17 : 1), which hitherto had been restricted to lower compression ratio (up to 12 : 1). This restriction in compression ratio has been mainly attributed to the auto-ignition tendency of the fuel, which appears to be simply a matter of presumption rather than fact. The current work clearly indicates the breakdown of this compression ratio barrier and it is shown that the engine runs smoothly at compression ratio of 17 : 1 without any tendency of auto-ignition. Experiments have been conducted on multi-cylinder spark ignition engine modified from a production diesel engine at varying compression ratios from 11:5 : 1 to 17 : 1 by retaining the combustion chamber design. As expected, working at a higher compression ratio turned out to be more efficient and also yielded higher brake power. A maximum brake power of 17:5 kWe was obtained at an overall efficiency of 21% at the highest compression ratio. The maximum de-rating of power in gas mode was 16% as compared to the normal diesel mode of operation at comparable compression ratio, whereas, the overall efficiency declined by 32.5%. A careful analysis of energy balance revealed excess energy loss to the coolant due to the existing combustion chamber design. Addressing the combustion chamber design for producer gas fuel should form a part of future work in improving the overall efficiency.