With stricter emission requirements and the rise of electrical powertrains, it would look like the internal-combustion engine’s days are numbered. However Engineering Defined host Jason Fenske believes inner combustion will stay on—due to new applied sciences.

Fenske is pretty optimistic concerning the longevity of the internal-combustion engine, each due to the inherent energy-density benefit of gasoline over batteries, and due to efficiency-boosting applied sciences. On this video, he takes a better take a look at a few of these applied sciences.

One possibility is homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI). An HCCI engine burns gasoline, however makes use of compression ignition—like a diesel engine—relatively than a spark plug. In concept, that gives the effectivity of a diesel, with out the soot and excessive ranges of nitrogen-oxide (NOx) emissions. Nevertheless, it requires a lot finer management of the consumption temperature, in addition to the timing of ignition.

Ferrari 488 GT Modificata

Ferrari 488 GT Modificata

The following possibility is pre-mix cost compression ignition (PCCI). Fenske described it as a “center floor” between diesel-engine compression ignition and HCCI, as a result of it injects some gasoline early to let it combine with air within the combustion chamber, after which injecting extra gasoline later. That gives extra management over ignition timing than HCCI, however may also create pockets of unburned hydrocarbon byproducts, which is dangerous for emissions. PCCI engines even have a reasonably slim working vary, with excessive potential for knock beneath full throttle, Fenske mentioned.

Lastly, we now have reactivity-controlled compression ignition (RCCI). This makes use of two fuels: a low-reactivity gasoline (like gasoline) that’s port injected, and a high-reactivity gasoline (like diesel) that’s direct injected. “Reactivity” refers to a gasoline’s tendency to ignite beneath compression. This technique results in large effectivity features, however nonetheless with pretty excessive emissions, Fenske mentioned. The complexity of utilizing two fuels might additionally make it a non-starter commercially.

These various internal-combustion engine designs might not be prepared for prime time, however automakers need to squeeze each ounce of effectivity out of right now’s gasoline engines utilizing extra mature applied sciences like direct injection. Fenske additionally coated one other doable future internal-combustion expertise—entry ignition—in one other video, which can also be value trying out.