Song-Charng Kong, Mechanical Engineering, (515) 294-3244, firstname.lastname@example.org
The five engines in Song-Charng Kong’s Iowa State University laboratory have come a long way since Karl Benz patented a two-stroke internal combustion engine in 1879.
There are fuel injectors and turbochargers and electrical controls. There’s more horsepower, better efficiency, cleaner burning and greater reliability.
But Kong – with the help of 15 graduate students and all kinds of sensors recording engine cylinder pressure, energy release and exhaust emissions – is looking for even more.
Kong, an Iowa State assistant professor of mechanical engineering who keeps a piston by his office computer, is studying engines with the goal of reducing emissions and improving efficiency.
“There is still a lot of work to be done to improve engine performance,” Kong said. “All of this work will lead to incremental improvements.”
And those small improvements can add up when you consider there are more than 250 million registered vehicles on U.S. highways, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Kong and his students are working on a lot of combustion projects in the lab: They’re studying diesel engines with the goal of reducing emissions. They’re developing a computer model of a gasoline engine that will make it much easier and faster to research and develop new engine technologies. They’re figuring out how to optimize new technologies such as multiple fuel injections per combustion cycle.
They’re working with Terry Meyer, an Iowa State assistant professor of mechanical engineering, to use high-speed, laser-based sensors that can record images of injection sprays and combustion inside a cylinder. That can give researchers insights into combustion characteristics and ideas for improvements.
They’re also studying how plastics dissolved in biodiesel affect engine performance. Biodiesel acts as a solvent on certain plastics and that has Kong checking to see if some waste plastic could be recycled by mixing it into fuel.
And they’re studying the combustion of ammonia in engines. Ammonia is relatively easy to store, is fairly dense with hydrogen and doesn’t produce greenhouse gases when it burns. So burning ammonia in engines could be an early step to developing a hydrogen economy.
Kong’s work is supported by grants from Deere & Co., the Ford Motor Co., the U.S. Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Ames-based Renewable Energy Group Inc. and the Iowa Energy Center based at Iowa State.
As he showed a visitor around his engine lab recently, pointing out a new turbocharger here or an experimental one-cylinder engine there, Kong said there’s good reason to keep studying engines.
“We want to make these engines better,” Kong said. “In my mind, the internal combustion engine may be the most important combustion system in daily life. Just by improving combustion efficiency by a fraction, we can save a lot of energy for the country and the world.”
And yes, he said, “There is a future for internal combustion engines.”
Mike Krapfl | Newswise Science News
Scientists from Hannover develop a novel lightweight production process
27.09.2017 | IPH - Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover gGmbH
PRESTO – Highly Dynamic Powerhouses
15.05.2017 | JULABO GmbH
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
18.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy