Engine study may lead to reduced emissions and improved efficiency

September 18th, 2008 - 4:20 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, September 18 (ANI): An engineer, at the Iowa State University in the US, along with his colleagues, is studying engines in an effort to reduce emissions and improve their efficiency.

The engineer in question is Song-Charng Kong, an Iowa State assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

With the help of 15 graduate students and all kinds of sensors recording engine cylinder pressure, energy release and exhaust emissions, is looking for cleaning and improving engine performance.

There is still a lot of work to be done to improve engine performance, Kong said. All of this work will lead to incremental improvements, he added.

Kong and his students are working on a lot of combustion projects in the lab.

Theyre studying diesel engines with the goal of reducing emissions. Theyre developing a computer model of a gasoline engine that will make it much easier and faster to research and develop new engine technologies.

Theyre figuring out how to optimize new technologies such as multiple fuel injections per combustion cycle.

Theyre working with Terry Meyer, an Iowa State assistant professor of mechanical engineering, to use high-speed, laser-based sensors that can record images of injection sprays and combustion inside a cylinder.

That can give researchers insights into combustion characteristics and ideas for improvements.

Theyre also studying how plastics dissolved in biodiesel affect engine performance.

Biodiesel acts as a solvent on certain plastics and that has Kong checking to see if some waste plastic could be recycled by mixing it into fuel.

Also, theyre studying the combustion of ammonia in engines.

Ammonia is relatively easy to store, is fairly dense with hydrogen and doesnt produce greenhouse gases when it burns. So, burning ammonia in engines could be an early step to developing a hydrogen economy.

We want to make these engines better, Kong said.

In my mind, the internal combustion engine may be the most important combustion system in daily life. Just by improving combustion efficiency by a fraction, we can save a lot of energy for the country and the world, he added. (ANI)

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