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Apparatus and method for operating internal combustion engines from variable mixtures of gaseous fuels

United States Patent

September 2, 2003
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
An apparatus and method for utilizing any arbitrary mixture ratio of multiple fuel gases having differing combustion characteristics, such as natural gas and hydrogen gas, within an internal combustion engine. The gaseous fuel composition ratio is first sensed, such as by thermal conductivity, infrared signature, sound propagation speed, or equivalent mixture differentiation mechanisms and combinations thereof which are utilized as input(s) to a "multiple map" engine control module which modulates selected operating parameters of the engine, such as fuel injection and ignition timing, in response to the proportions of fuel gases available so that the engine operates correctly and at high efficiency irrespective of the gas mixture ratio being utilized. As a result, an engine configured according to the teachings of the present invention may be fueled from at least two different fuel sources without admixing constraints.
Heffel; James W. (Lake Matthews, CA), Scott; Paul B. (Pasadena, CA)
The Regents of the University of California (Oakland, CA)
09/ 925,281
August 8, 2001
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-FC36-94G010039 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.