Argonne National Laboratory

Upcoming Events

Thermodynamics of Internal Combustion Engines

David E. Foster, University of Wisconsin – Madison
March 10, 2014 3:00PM to 4:00PM
Building 362
The seminar will start with a fundamental discussion of the basic thermodynamic principles that govern the operation and ultimate efficiency of the internal combustion engine. The basis of the discussion is that the internal combustion engine achieves its power through internal chemical energy transformations, and that it is a thermochemical process and not a heat engine cycle.

It will be stated that understanding this distinction is important and directs one towards activities that are most beneficial for reducing fuel consumption and emissions. Because it is power that is important, we are interested in the time rate of change of the energy transformation, which carries with it inherent irreversibilities. These irreversibilities are identified and quantified. When this knowledge is coupled with the real behavior of thermodynamic properties, one can identify the significant challenges associated with any technical pathway being followed to improve engine performance. These ideas can then be used to explain the fundamental reasons behind the approaches currently being pursued to reduce fuel consumption.