The Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) combustion has potential to radically reduce emissions, especially NOx, but is inherently difficult to achieve and control, especially when natural gas is used as fuel. Hydrogen addition, particularly from fuel reforming was successfully used as an aid. Methane reforming with exhaust gas and air in a monolith catalytic reactor is presented here as a source of hydrogen. An open-loop fuel exhaust gas reforming system has been developed and tested; experimental results are compared with two different models of basic thermodynamic equilibria calculations. The experimental results have shown that for low temperature of engine exhaust gas, typical for HCCI conditions, additional air is needed to produce the quantities of H2 required to enhance the feasibility and range of HCCI combustion. At the low reactor inlet temperatures needed for the HCCI application the simplified three-reaction thermodynamic model is in broad agreement with experimental results, while the high hydrogen yields predicted from the multi-component equilibrium model for medium temperature reforming are difficult to achieve in a practical reformer.

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