Combustion engines: Still an active field of research?

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A newly built single-cylinder research engine

Date: 18-19 September 2018
Location: Lund, Sweden

120 first – year engineering students visited the combustion engine laboratory in Lund University’s Engineering Faculty (LTH) and were guided by ESR 10, Mr Xinda Zhu (Lund University) and his colleagues. The visit was part of a process that aimed to help the first-year students determine their own research direction.

The students were curious to know why the University conducts research on combustion engines. “Currently there’s no scalable alternative solution (energy storage) for the transportation sector yet. Combustion engines are widely used all over the world. Most of the crude oil turns to different fuels for combustion engines. Considering the current consumption rate of oil, if you can increase 1% of fuel efficiency and reduce 1% of emissions for all the engines, there will be a save of millions of barrels of oil and thousands tons less pollution.”, explained Mr Zhu.

The students visited the lab with the multi-cylinder engines, the one with the single-cylinder engines and the optical engines lab. They saw research engines for the first time and they were impressed by the test cell set-up. The imaging results from the lab’s optical engines were also inspiring for them. They realized that there has been great development in the area of engine technologies during the past decades thanks to the new combustion concepts: better control, better material, alternative fuels, catalyst, etc. And they were motivated by the potential for further improvements in the future. Their own individual research pathway, perhaps.

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Post-processed high speed video imaging of one combustion