Engines and nanoparticles
Our well-established expertise in nanoparticle characterization and mitigation is world renowned. Current areas of focus include improving understanding of semi-volatile nanoparticles from advanced combustion modes and alternative fuels, examining solid particles from gasoline direct injection engines, and characterizing ash nanoparticles that originate from engine lubricating oil.
Advanced combustion strategies in engines, like premixed low temperature combustion (LTC), have the potential to yield simultaneously low emissions of soot and oxides of nitrogen as well as greatly increase thermal efficiency.
Our group is examining ways to expand the use of LTC in engines though altering fuel chemistry and improving ignition in lean and highly dilute mixtures. We also are seeking ways to mitigate and characterize heavy hydrocarbon and CO emissions that generally accompany the use of LTC in engines.
Engines in practice often have different emissions and fuel economy than those tested in the laboratory. We are examining how engines in vehicles behave under real-world conditions. One current project examines the effect of climate, drive cycle, accessory electrification, and bus hybridization on vehicle fuel economy and engine emissions of transit buses.
Alternative fuels can help reduce our dependency on gasoline and diesel and some can play a major role in reducing the carbon impact of engines in practice. Our programs in alternative fuels include quantifying and improving the emissions of renewable fuels like dimethyl ether, forming a better understanding of hydrogen and synthesis gas combustion in engines, and developing dual-fueling strategies to enable high efficiency engine operation.
Vehicle Powertrain and Routing Co-Optimization
Vehicle powertrain electrification has led to significant improvements in fuel economy by recovering braking energy, limiting engine operation, and allowing the external addition of energy through external re-charging (plug-in). Routing optimization has also led to improved fuel efficiency. Our Co-Optimized Delivery Vehicles project is developing technology to improve the fuel efficiency of delivery vehicles through real-time powertrain optimization using two-way vehicle-to-cloud connectivity. For more information, click here.