On Saturday, Feb. 16, CRF researchers Ahren Jasper and Nils Hansen organized a panel, Predictive Model of the Internal Combustion Engine, at the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting. The panel brought together world leaders from new and ongoing multi-institutional programs designed to address the challenges of creating a fully predictive, first principles computational model of an internal combustion engine.

“We all use the combustion engine, but we still don’t understand many of the details of what’s going on inside of it,” says Nils Hansen. “Once we have a detailed understanding of what’s going on, you can start to preclude things from happening like soot formation and other pollutant emissions.”

“We can now realistically conceive of having a fully predictive model of the internal combustion engine on the computer,” adds Ahren Jasper. Such a model, he says, could be a “golden egg’’ for industry, as it would significantly reduce the development time and cost of new engines optimized for future fuel streams, including renewables such as biomass-derived fuels.

Nils gave a talk on Exploring Combustion Chemistry in Laboratory-Based Flames. In his presentation, he summarized recent experimental combustion chemistry studies that have been focused on the formation of soot as a byproduct of incomplete combustion of petroleum-derived fuels and then described research on the combustion chemistry of oxygenated, alternative fuels, specifically alcohols and esters.

Other speakers at the Predictive Model of the Internal Combustion Engine session (with links to their areas of combustion expertise) included:

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