Reduced NOx/Hydrocarbon Emissions via Oxygen Enriched Lean Burn Engines

EPA Contract Number: 68D98154
Title: Reduced NOx/Hydrocarbon Emissions via Oxygen Enriched Lean Burn Engines
Investigators: Nemser, Stuart
Small Business: Compact Membrane Systems Inc.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Phase: II
Project Period: September 1, 1999 through September 1, 2000
Project Amount: $225,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (1999) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , SBIR - Air Pollution , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


Lean burn engines are a promising technique to reduce emissions while simultaneously increasing fuel efficiency. Lean air to fuel ratios (AFR) improve HC/CO oxidation while cooler temperatures reduce NOx formation. Compact Membrane Systems, Inc. (CMS) has shown that the use of oxygen enriched air (OEA) supplied by membrane modules is an excellent method to extend the lean burn limit in spark ignition engines. Successes in Phase I included:

    1. Fabricated 2.5-inch diameter by 9-inch length membrane modules which supplied 10 cfm of OEA.
    2. Extended the lean burn limit of test engine from 18:1 AFR to 22:1 with OEA.
    3. Successfully used engine vacuum to drive the membrane modules to supply an engine with sufficient OEA at idle and cruise speed.
    4. Demonstrated dual use technology with lean burn system for cold start and particulate emission reduction (with OEA) and EGR replacement (with nitrogen enriched air).
    5. Verified test data with engine modeling simulations.

In Phase II, CMS will customize and improve membrane fabrication for lean burn applications; test and analyze membrane system on a lean burn engine; test durability on membrane modules; and design a prototype for commercialization at the conclusion of the Phase II program.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, air emissions, engineering, chemistry, EPA., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, Toxics, Sustainable Industry/Business, Environmental Chemistry, air toxics, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Sustainable Environment, Chemistry, HAPS, Technology for Sustainable Environment, tropospheric ozone, New/Innovative technologies, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, Nitrogen Oxides, Nox, hydrocarbon, oxidation, oxidation of volitale organic hydrocarbons, nitrogren oxides (NOx), membrane technology , membranes, ambient air, carbon monoxide (CO), emissions, membrane modules, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, lean burn engine, carbon monoxide , nitrogen oxides (Nox), pollution prevention, oxygen enriched air, membrane technology, lean burn engines

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report

  • SBIR Phase I:

    Reduced NOx/Hydrocarbon Emissions via Oxygen Enriched Lean Burn Engines  | 1998 Progress Report