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What is Lean Burn Engine | Working , Advantages and Disadvantages
Lean-burn means pretty much what it says. It is a lean amount of fuel supplied to and burned in an engine’s combustion chamber. Normal air-to-fuel ratio is on the order of 15:1 (15 parts air to 1 part fuel). True lean-burn can go as high as 23:1.
Lean-burn engines (both gasoline and diesel) enjoy higher fuel economy and cleaner emissions than conventionally tuned engines. By nature they use less fuel and emit fewer unburned hydrocarbons and greenhouse gases while producing equivalent power of a like-sized “normal” combustion engine. They achieve leanburn status by employing higher combustion chamber compression ratios (higher cylinder pressure), significant air intake swirl and precise lean-metered direct fuel injection.
- A lean burn mode is a way to reduce throttling losses.
- An engine in a typical vehicle is sized for providing the power desired for acceleration, but must operate well below that point in normal steady-speed operation. Ordinarily, the power is cut by partially closing a throttle.
- However, the extra work done in pumping air through the throttle reduces efficiency.
- If the fuel/air ratio is reduced, then lower power can be achieved with the throttle closer to fully open, and the efficiency during normal driving (below the maximum torque capability of the engine) can be higher.
- The engines designed for lean burning can employ higher compression ratios and thus provide better performance, efficient fuel use and low exhaust hydrocarbon emissions than those found in conventional petrol engines.
- Ultra lean mixtures with very high air-fuel ratios can only be achieved by direct injection engines.
- The main drawback of lean burning is that a complex catalytic converter system is required to reduce NOx emissions.
- Lean burn engines do not work well with modern 3-way catalytic converter which requires a pollutant balance at the exhaust port so they can carry out oxidation and reduction reactions so most modern engines run at or near the stoichiometric point.
- Alternatively, ultra-lean ratios can reduce NOx emissions
Advantages of lean burn engine
- Higher fuel economy
- Emit fewer unburned hydrocarbons and greenhouse gases
- A lean burn mode is a way to reduce throttling losses
Disadvantages of lean burn engine
- Lean burning is that a complex catalytic converter system is required to reduce NOx emissions.
- High relatively cost
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