Argonne’s low-temperature combustion research focuses on improving engine efficiency and reducing toxic emissions by using compression ignition like an efficient diesel, while taking advantage of gasoline’s characteristics, which include long ignition delay, high volatility, and low viscosity. The goals of this research are to provide diesel engine efficiency (or better) while chasing super ultra-low-emission vehicle emissions with minimal aftertreatment. Preliminary results have shown potential for a “best of both worlds” performance signature.
The primary application of this work is automotive engines, although certain portions of the heavy-duty truck market may exhibit interest in the future. The benefits are that the efficiency of the engine—and subsequently the vehicle—will increase significantly (20−30% according to preliminary simulations), while representing an almost seamless transition for the consumer at the pump.
Argonne provides a great combination of fundamental science tools and expertise (such as Advanced Photon Source fuel spray studies, supercomputer engine simulations, chemical kinetics studies of combustion using rapid compression machines, and particulate matter characterization) directly coupled with high-technology engine test cells equipped for high-speed combustion imaging via endoscopic access and advanced, fully flexible engine controller software.