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In internal combustion engines, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) is a nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions reduction technique used in petrol/gasoline and diesel engines. EGR works by recirculating a portion of an engine's exhaust gas back to the engine cylinders. This dilutes the O2 in the incoming air stream and provides gases inert to combustion to act as absorbents of combustion heat to reduce peak in-cylinder temperatures. NOx is produced in a narrow band of high cylinder temperatures and pressures.

In a gasoline engine, this inert exhaust displaces the amount of combustible matter in the cylinder. In a diesel engine, the exhaust gas replaces some of the excess oxygen in the pre-combustion mixture.Because NOx forms primarily when a mixture of nitrogen and oxygen is subjected to high temperature, the lower combustion chamber temperatures caused by EGR reduces the amount of NOx the combustion generates (though at some loss of engine efficiency). Gasses re-introduced from EGR systems will also contain near equilibrium concentrations of NOx and CO; the small fraction initially within the combustion chamber inhibits the total net production of these and other pollutants when sampled on a time average. Most modern engines now require exhaust gas recirculation to meet emissions standards.

Uses of Exhaust Gas Recirculation

First, exhaust gas recirculation reduces the concentration of oxygen in the fuel-air mixture. By replacing some of the oxygen-rich inlet air with relatively oxygen-poor exhaust gas, there is less oxygen available for the combustion reaction to proceed. Since the rate of a reaction is always dependent to some degree on the concentration of its reactants in the pre- reaction mix, the NOx-producing reactions proceed more slowly, which means that less NOx is formed. 

          In addition, since there is less oxygen available, the engine must be adjusted to inject less fuel before each power stroke. Since we are now burning less fuel, there is less heat available to heat the fluids taking place in the reaction. The combustion reaction therefore occurs at lower temperature. Since the temperature is lower, and since the rate of the NOx-forming reaction is lower at lower temperatures, less NOx is formed.

Basic Parts Of EGR

There are 3 basic parts of EGR
EGR Valve
EGR Cooler
EGR Transfer Pipe

Typical Four Stroke Diesel Engine with Basic Parts of EGR 

When EGR is required engine electronic controls open the EGR valve. The exhaust gas then flows through the pipe to the cooler. The exhaust gases are cooled by water from the truck cooling system. The cooled exhaust gas then flow through the EGR transfer pipe to the intake manifold.

Exhaust Gas Recirculation Operation:

 A properly operating EGR can theoretically increase the efficiency of gasoline engines via several mechanisms:

Reduced throttling losses. The addition of inert exhaust gas into the intake system means that for a given power output, the throttle plate must be opened further, resulting in increased inlet manifold pressure and reduced throttling losses.

Reduced heat rejection. Lowered peak combustion temperatures not only reduces NOx formation, it also reduces the loss of thermal energy to combustion chamber surfaces, leaving more available for conversion to mechanical work during the expansion stroke.

Reduced chemical dissociation. The lower peak temperatures result in more of the released energy remaining as sensible energy near TDC (Top Dead-Center), rather than being bound up (early in the expansion stroke) in the dissociation of combustion products. This effect is minor compared to the first two.

          Thus, as seen that using Exhaust Gas Recirculation Technique in engines, the emissions are vary much controlled due to lesser amounts of NOx entering the atmosphere. Thus the emission levels to be maintained are attained by the engines. As seen, Exhaust Gas Recirculation is a very simple method. It has proven to be very useful and it is being modified further to attain better standards. This method is very reliable in terms of fuel consumption and highly reliable. Thus EGR is the most effective method for reducing the nitrous oxide emissions from the engine exhaust. Many of the four wheeler manufacturers used this technique like Ford Company, Benz Motors etc to improve the engine performance and reduce the amount of pollutants in the exhaust of the engine.


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