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Optical diagnostics for industrial applications in combustion



To make further strides in emissions control of engines, more detailed understanding of the key phenomena is required. This project aims to generate improved diagnostics for probing such phenomena, building upon the findings of a previous EU collaboration, but with a strong emphasis on industrial applicability of the findings.

This project has as its theme the development of optical diagnostics for probing the key phenomena responsible for emissions from automotive engines. It focuses on the development of techniques to investigate dense diesel sprays, the composition and spatial distribution of gasoline vapour, temperature maps of burnt and unburned gases, NOx concentration maps and diesel soot volume fraction and size.

Technical Approach

Diesel sprays play a crucial role in determining particulate and NOx emissions, amongst other things. Three promising techniques namely, Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF), Raman and a combination of LIF with Mie scattering, will be evaluated in spray bombs and a DI diesel engine.
In gasoline engines the homogeneity of the charge can be crucial to the emissions performance. Two techniques will be further developed to investigate this, particularly in order to study fuel effects. One of the techniques is based upon Near Infra-Red Absorption, the other on LIF.
Whilst techniques such as CARS have been established for obtaining point measurements of temperatures, complementary work will be undertaken to provide quantitative maps of NO distribution in burnt gas, again based upon LIF techniques.

Soot and particulate material remain key issues for the diesel engine. An approach based on Laser Induced Incandescence (LII) combined with Mie scattering will be further developed and its utility to the diesel engine environment assessed.

Expected Achievements and Exploitation

The project will deliver tested and documented techniques and methodologies for measurements of sprays, vapour, burnt and unburned gas temperature, NO concentrations and soot in internal combustion engines. In so doing it is expected that there will be an additional output in the form of increased understanding of the engine processes being targeted.

Exploitation of the results by the industrial partners will be by adoption of the techniques in their own in-house R&D programmes aimed at gaining greater understanding of the impact of engine and fuel design parameters on emissions. Exploitation by the academic partners will be via the enhanced fundamental knowledge and will not be restricted to the automotive field of the present industrial partners.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Shell Research Ltd
Thornton Research Centre
CH1 3SH Chester
United Kingdom

Participants (7)

United Kingdom
Wharley End, Cranfield
MK43 0AL Cranfield - Bedfordshire
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.
Pfaffenwaldring 38-40
70503 Stuttgart
GIE PSA Peugeot Citroën
Chemin De La Malmaison
78140 Velizy-villacoublay
Professorsgatan 1
221 00 Lund
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Im Neuenheimer Feld 253
69120 Heidelberg
Université de Rouen - Haute Normandie
Place Emile Blondel
76821 Mont-saint-aignan
9,Dept.6000, Pvh31
405 08 Goeteborg