Page 23 - European Energy Innovation - autumn 2017 publication
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Autumn 2017 European Energy Innovation  23


GasON project: future CNG

engines as smart integration of

innovative technologies

Transport at present consumes one third of all energy               GasOn – Dedicated CNG Direct Injection Engine
            used within the EU and generates one quarter of the
            greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Also the demand         efficiency. The measurement of the methane number and the
            to reduce air pollution due to transportation vehicles  caloric value allow adjusting the ignition timing to operate
in urban areas becomes stronger, especially taking into             the engine close to the knock line and to optimise injection
account that the GHG emissions from transport are expected          strategy and boost pressure.
to constitute a larger share of the overall EU GHG emissions,       5) The driving range of at least 600 km achievable thanks to
up to over 40% in 2050, thereby also becoming the dominant          the development of advanced solution for the compressed
sector in terms of GHG emissions. In this context, a strong         gas storage system.
de-carbonisation process has been launched to drive the
European transport sector to the 2050 target and the use
of Low Carbon Alternative fuels, like Natural Gas, will play
a fundamental role to accelerate this process. Today, for
customers, Natural Gas (NG) vehicles are attractive mainly
because of the low fuel costs. On the other hand, the high
acquisition costs, reduced driving range, and the insufficient
filling station infrastructure are regarded as obstacles. In this
context, the “GasOn” project, funded by the Horizon 2020
EU Research and Innovation programme, aims to develop
advanced CNG only, mono-fuel engines able to comply with
the 2025-2030 CO2 emission targets, claiming the 20% CO2
emission reduction with regard to current best in class CNG
vehicle segment by segment, and to guarantee a low fuel
consumption even in real driving conditions.

Focusing on the engine, in order to exploit the main
environmental benefits of CNG and biomethane (Natural
Gas from renewable sources) enabled by low carbon content
and the high knocking resistance enabled by high octane
number, the way has to go over Gas-Only powered engines
through the following steps, carried out in the GasOn project:

1) The implementation of CNG Direct Injection (DI) as first         The consortium of the EU GasOn project strongly believes
important step to much more efficient gas vehicles. The Direct      that Natural Gas / BioMethane has the potential to play a
Injection is a key step to CNG performance equivalent to            major role as an automotive transportation fuel for future
gasoline,moving to a full integration of advanced technologies.     passenger cars, trucks and buses, since methane is an
                                                                    environmentally friendly energy carrier which can easily be
2) The development of a new lean burn concept, a new step           produced by different sustainable pathways. l
to producing highly efficient gas-only engines. Non-DI CNG
Lean Burn combustion process, based on a Diesel engine,
will fundamentally gain additional benefits related to the
further development of DI CNG engines.

3) The development of Advanced Boosting system to
optimize the engine combustion.

4) The development of a sensor to detect gas quality and
composition, a helpful tool for all gas vehicles to improve

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