Thirty-seven globally prominent scientists representing the International Journal of Engine Research have published an open-access editorial addressing the future of the Internal Combustion Engine, and stressing the importance for continued development of more efficient and even lower-emitting technologies.
The article provides an assessment of the state of power generation in the world today, and provides analyses of productive directions for the future, says Green Car Congress.
The editorial addresses important issues in the current politically charged discussions of global warming and climate-change alarm.
… the ICE, and IC engine research have a bright future, in contrast with some widely distributed media reports… The power generation and the vehicle and fuel industries are huge, representing trillions of dollars (US) per year in turnover, with a massive infrastructure.
We are certainly in revolutionary times, but it is clear that power generation sources will not become fully renewable and transport will not become fully electric for several decades, if ever. However, research to improve efficiency and methods to reduce dependence on fossil fuels are exciting directions for future IC engine research.
It is very likely that highly efficient “fully flexible” engines with hybridized solutions will be a big part of sought-after efficiency improvements, as well as emission/GHG reductions. Finally, it must be acknowledged that, in practice, people select their choice of powertrain based on numerous factors, including cost.
Consumer preference is not decided by politicians, nor by car-makers, nor academia. Policy unilaterally favoring one technology solution may be deeply inefficient and perhaps even the wrong eventual solution. A better approach is to use real-world data to allow competing technologies to flourish; if they evidence efficiency improvements and emission reductions, and they then need to be delivered as soon as possible.
Continued progress requires that we recruit the brightest young minds to engage in this effort to deliver a vibrant and sustainable future for the ICE.
—Reitz et al.
In terms of criteria pollutants, the goal to achieve “zero impact emission vehicles” is very close, thanks to advanced combustion modes and innovative after-treatment systems, including extensive use of catalysts and high-filtration-efficiency diesel and gasoline particulate filters (D/GPF) in the after-treatment system, while the use of urea injections and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) is leading to extremely low NOx emissions (e.g. 0.02 g/bhp-h or 15–20 mg/km).
… the pollutant emissions discharged at the tailpipe outlet will be so low as to be hardly measurable, and their practical impact on air quality will be negligible. In terms of particulate matter emission, the impact of tire and brake wearing is already much higher than that due to the IC engine (tire wear produces around 50 mg/km of particulates), reaching values around 10 times the emission from the engine (5 mg/km).
This implies that today’s conventional IC engine-powered-car is equivalent to fully electric and hybrid cars with regard to particulate emissions, when tire and brake and other contributions (e.g. road dust) are accounted for.
—Reitz et al.
In the editorial, the researchers note that internal combustion engines operating on fossil fuel oil provide about 25% of the world’s power (about 3,000 out of 13,000 million tons oil equivalent per year), and in doing so, they produce about 10% of the world’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The authors assert that “zero emissions” BEVs will not replace IC engines in commercial transport to any significant degree because of the weight, size and cost of the batteries required.
Short of a major breakthrough in battery technologies, for the foreseeable future combustion engines, running on petroleum-based liquid fuels, will largely continue to power transport of the world’s goods and services, they write.
Full report here.
via Tallbloke’s Talkshop
October 10, 2019 at 09:00AM