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
It Takes Two: Structuring Metal Surfaces Efficiently with Lasers
15.03.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT
FOSA LabX 330 Glass – Coating Flexible Glass in a Roll-to-Roll Process
07.03.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik FEP
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences