Argonne achieves dramatic improvement in low-temperature engine combustion

By Angela HardinJune 1, 2010

Argonne engineers in the Center for Transportation Research are developing an advanced combustion system that achieves high efficiency (diesel-like) and current level power density while producing ultra-low emissions. This advanced combustion system utilizes low-cetane fuels (derived gasoline and naptha blends) that are easier for the energy companies to produce than pump gasoline or diesel. The benefit to this system is the retention of very high efficiency while drastically reducing/eliminating the exhaust after-treatment demand of current diesel engine systems. The challenge is to make this combustion system robust enough for vehicular application. 

As a result, this new combustion strategy requires detailed knowledge of fundamental mechanisms, including fuel spray and mixture preparation, detailed ignition chemistry mechanisms and concurrent numerical approaches to turbulence modeling and simultaneous reaction chemistry modeling.  Argonne engineers are currently working with scientists at the Advanced Photon Source (fuel-spray project), Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division (combustion chemistry) and are developing collaboration with researchers in the Leadership Computing Facility to optimize this combustion approach for practical engines.