Another engine paper translated by WPC
This year’s International Engine Congress took place in Baden-Baden, Germany on 27-28 February. Run jointly by ATZlive and the VDI Wissensforum and now in its fifth year, the IEC focuses on three interwoven topics – namely car engines, commercial vehicle engines and fuels. In light of the often emotional global debate on the place of the internal combustion engine in the future of mobility, the engineering-focused congress and exhibition seeks to deliver a more informed, objective perspective.
Experts from vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, universities and research institutes came together over the two days to discuss and debate the issues and the science. Among the papers presented in the session on the “Applications and Supply of Synthetic Fuels” was a paper entitled “e-fuels – a central module for future engine design?” by Lars Hentschel, Manager Advanced Gasoline Engines, Volkswagen AG.
The paper, translated from German into English by WPC, proposes the adaptation of engines to cope with lambda 1 across the entire map to make combustion more efficient and reduce pollutant emissions. For non-engineers, lambda 1 is the ideal proportion of fuel to air in the mixture burned by the engine. However, the problem with fossil fuels is the tendency for so-called “knocking” at high engine revs and loads. This knocking, or pre-ignition, can cause damage to engine components. The way to prevent it in fossil fuels is to enrich the fuel/air mixture. However, the downside of this is less efficient combustion and higher emissions.
The paper produced by Volkswagen examines how e-fuels, i.e. a range of liquid and gaseous synthetic fuels produced by sustainable means, can be used to achieve lambda 1 across a broader section of the engine map than is currently possible with fossil fuels. Experiments carried out using a number of Volkswagen AG’s spark-ignition engines lead the authors to conclude that “e-fuels can deliver significant reductions in fuel consumption as well as an expansion of the lambda 1 range in the engine map … These fuels offer an excellent enhancement to technical measures and the further development of engine components”.