Complementary Research

The DERC projects are complementary (matching funds) to other projects which provides significant research leverage.

The goal of DERC’s technology development is to increase the efficiency of internal combustion engines while minimizing the energy penalty of meeting emissions regulations. These projects apply high-fidelity computing and high-resolution engine experiments synergistically to create new understandings of low-emission, fuel-efficient engine designs. The current project research themes are listed below and projects are conducted using representative single- and multi-cylinder automotive and truck diesel engines.

  • Theme 1: Understanding Control Parameters for Highly Efficient Low Temperature Combustion (Variations, Control strategies, etc.)
  • Theme 2: Alternative Fuels or additives as an enabler for fuel efficiency improvement (Natural Gas, DME, Alcohols, etc.).
  • Theme 3: Detailed understanding of Particulates and emissions from different combustion modes (GDI, LTC, etc.).
  • Theme 4: Transient and Steady-state System-level engine optimization (heat rejection, air, fuel, emissions, after-treatment).

Some of the highlights obtained to-date are simulation and engine experimental results that show what changes in fuel systems can improve fuel-air mixing and allow higher loads and more efficient combustion. In addition, the research is exploring interesting combustion trends via optical combustion experimentation.

All of these findings are vastly improving our understanding and modeling of engine combustion processes and the ways that fuel can be introduced into the combustion chamber to reduce pollutant emissions with low temperature combustion. These fuel and combustion system changes could significantly reduce the cost of engine and aftertreatment devices for future engines.