Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Engineers Work To Clean And Improve Engine Performance

Date:
September 23, 2008
Source:
Iowa State University
Summary:
Iowa State University's Song-Charng Kong and his students are working to reduce emissions in diesel engines, develop a computer model of a gasoline engine and optimize new engine technologies. The results could be cleaner, more efficient engines in our cars and trucks.

Song-Charng Kong, an Iowa State University assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and his students are studying engines in an effort to reduce emissions and improve efficiency.
Credit: Photo by Bob Elbert

The five engines in Song-Charng Kong's Iowa State University laboratory have come a long way since Karl Benz patented a two-stroke internal combustion engine in 1879.

There are fuel injectors and turbochargers and electrical controls. There's more horsepower, better efficiency, cleaner burning and greater reliability.

But Kong -- with the help of 15 graduate students and all kinds of sensors recording engine cylinder pressure, energy release and exhaust emissions -- is looking for even more.

Kong, an Iowa State assistant professor of mechanical engineering who keeps a piston by his office computer, is studying engines with the goal of reducing emissions and improving efficiency.

"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."

And those small improvements can add up when you consider there are more than 250 million registered vehicles on U.S. highways, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Kong and his students are working on a lot of combustion projects in the lab: They're studying diesel engines with the goal of reducing emissions. They're developing a computer model of a gasoline engine that will make it much easier and faster to research and develop new engine technologies. They're figuring out how to optimize new technologies such as multiple fuel injections per combustion cycle.

They're 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.

They're 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.

And they're studying the combustion of ammonia in engines. Ammonia is relatively easy to store, is fairly dense with hydrogen and doesn't produce greenhouse gases when it burns. So burning ammonia in engines could be an early step to developing a hydrogen economy.

Kong's work is supported by grants from Deere & Co., the Ford Motor Co., the U.S. Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Ames-based Renewable Energy Group Inc. and the Iowa Energy Center based at Iowa State.

As he showed a visitor around his engine lab recently, pointing out a new turbocharger here or an experimental one-cylinder engine there, Kong said there's good reason to keep studying engines.

"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."

And yes, he said, "There is a future for internal combustion engines."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Iowa State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Iowa State University. "Engineers Work To Clean And Improve Engine Performance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080917175046.htm>.
Iowa State University. (2008, September 23). Engineers Work To Clean And Improve Engine Performance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080917175046.htm
Iowa State University. "Engineers Work To Clean And Improve Engine Performance." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080917175046.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 20, 2014) Forget rolling on rubber, could car drivers soon be traveling on tires made from dandelions? Teams of scientists are racing to breed a type of the yellow flower whose taproot has a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. As Joanna Partridge reports, global tire makers are investing millions in research into a new tire source. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) A solar cell that resembles a flower is offering a new take on green energy in Japan, where one scientist is searching for renewables that look good. Duration: 01:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins