Computational Assessment of Ammonia as a Fuel for Light-Duty SI Engines

Mickael Silva, Fahad Almatrafi, Kalim Uddeen, Emre Cenker, Jaeheon Sim, Mourad Younes, Aqil Jamal, Thibault Guiberti, James Turner, Hong Im

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


To understand key practical aspects of ammonia as a fuel for internal combustion engines, three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations were performed using CONVERGETM. A light-duty single-cylinder research engine with a geometrical compression ratio of 11.5 and a conventional pentroof combustion chamber was experimentally operated at stoichiometry. The fumigated ammonia was introduced at the intake plenum. Upon model validation, additional sensitivity analysis was performed. The combustion was modeled using a detailed chemistry solver (SAGE), and the ammonia oxidation was computed from a 38-specie and 262-reaction chemical reaction mechanism. Three different piston shapes were assessed, and it was found that the near-spark flow field associated with the piston design in combination with the tumble motion promotes faster combustion and yields enhanced engine performance. The simulation results suggest that operating an engine with ammonia requires substantial spark advancement because its combustion duration is significantly longer relative to conventional hydrocarbon fuels as a result of its low laminar burning velocity. Tradeoffs between combustion efficiency and NOx, and thermal and combustion efficiencies were observed. Moreover, as the engine speed was increased, further spark advancement was needed as the physical time for combustion development is shorter. Ultimately, it was demonstrated that simultaneous optimization of operating conditions and piston design can provide appreciable gains in combustion and thermal efficiencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2023
EventSAE 16th International Conference on Engines and Vehicles, ICE 2023 - Capri, Italy
Duration: Sep 10 2023Sep 14 2023


ConferenceSAE 16th International Conference on Engines and Vehicles, ICE 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Pollution
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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