Improvement of thermal efficiency and reduction of NOx emissions by burning a controlled jet plume in high-pressure direct-injection hydrogen engines

Yasuo Takagi, Hiroki Mori, Yuji Mihara, Nobuyuki Kawahara, Eiji Tomita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


A new combustion process called the Plume Ignition Combustion Concept (PCC), in which the plume tail of the hydrogen jet is spark-ignited immediately after the completion of fuel injection to accomplish combustion of a rich mixture has been proposed by the authors. This PCC combustion process markedly reduces nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions in the high-output region while maintaining high levels of thermal efficiency and power. On the other hand, as burning lean mixture of fuel and air is the conventional way to improve thermal efficiency and reduce NOx, a high λ premixed mixture of hydrogen and air formed by injecting hydrogen in the early stage of the compression stroke has been used in direct-injection hydrogen engines. It was recently reported, however, that this mixture condition does not always offer expected improved thermal efficiency under even lean mixture conditions by increasing unburned hydrogen emissions caused by incomplete flame propagation in the non-uniform and extremely lean portion of the mixture. In this study, the effect of retarding the injection timing to late in the compression stroke but slightly advanced from original PCC was examined as a way of reducing unburned hydrogen emissions and improving thermal efficiency. These effects result from a centroidal axially stratified mixture that positions a fairly rich charge near the spark plug. This stratified mixture is presumably effective in reducing incomplete flame propagation thought to be the cause of unburned hydrogen emissions and also promoting increasing burning velocity of the mixture that improve thermal efficiency. Finally, this research is characterized by measuring the hydrogen fuel concentration at the point and the time of spark ignition quantitatively by spark-induced breakdown spectroscopy in order to identify the changes in mixture ratio mentioned above caused by the parameters involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26114-26122
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number41
Publication statusPublished - Oct 12 2017


  • Efficiency
  • Hydrogen direct injection
  • Hydrogen engine
  • Spark ignition engine
  • Spark plasma
  • Spark-induced breakdown spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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