Clean Combustion Engines

This research theme focuses on improvement of internal combustion (IC) engine efficiency and minimization of emissions via basic research on the fundamentals that control combustion in engine cylinders.

New high-efficiency combustion modes, together with downsized engines for lower vehicle fuel consumption (and for electric vehicles), present many fundamental challenges to the motor industry. Urgent demands on this sector require accurate observation of the physics and chemistry occurring within these next-generation combustion systems, together with support for development of more predictive models. This is the focus of IC engine research at the University of Edinburgh.

Our work involves the adaptation and development of new laser diagnostic techniques aimed at fundamental processes occurring at high pressures and temperatures. Experimental investigations are performed in optically accessible engines and in spray research chambers. Because new combustion modes rely upon direct-injection of fuel into the cylinder, much of our work focuses on transient fuel sprays and their interaction with the in-cylinder change motion. These investigations support the development of predictive models for spray breakup with fuel and load flexibility. Other areas of concentration include the study of heat and mass transfer in downsized engine geometries, identifying the nature of cycle-to-cycle flow variations, adapting the flow-field to the needs of a combustion mode, and studying the mutual sub-processes of turbulent combustion. The work of this group will encompass both experimental and theoretical development, which will include logical collaborations (worldwide) to form strong teams that jointly address the challenges in combustion science.

Theme leader: Mark Linne

Research areas within this research theme:

  • Fuel spray breakup, mixing, and combustion

  • Spray/flow-field interactions, especially the development and dissipation of turbulence

  • Mutual coupling of mass and heat transfer in downsized engine geometries

  • Turbulent flow and chemistry at high temperatures and pressures

  • Effects of alternative fuel properties


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