Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Gasoline-Diesel Cocktail

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Gasoline-Diesel Cocktail

Article excerpt

Diesel and gasoline fuel sources both bring unique assets and liabilities to powering internal combustion engines. But what if an engine could be programmed to harvest the best properties of both fuel sources at once, on the fly, by blending the fuels within the combustion chamber itself? The answer--based on tests by the University of Wisconsin-Madison engine research group headed by Rolf Reitz--might be a diesel engine that produces significantly lower pollutant emissions than conventional engines, with an average of 20% greater fuel efficiency.

These dramatic results came from a novel technique Reitz describes as "fast-response fuel blending," in which an engine's fuel injection is programmed to produce the optimal gasoline-diesel mix based on real-time operating conditions. Under heavy-load operating conditions for a diesel truck, the fuel mix in Reitz's fueling strategy might be as high as 85% gasoline to 15% diesel; under lighter loads, the percentage of diesel would increase to a roughly 50-50 mix. Normally this type of blend would not ignite in a diesel engine because gasoline is less reactive than diesel and burns less easily. But in Reitz's strategy, just the right amount of diesel fuel injections provide the kick-start for ignition.

"You can think of the diesel spray as a collection of liquid spark plugs, essentially, that ignite the gasoline," says Reitz, the Wisconsin distinguished professor of mechanical engineering. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.