Due to the fact that resources are becoming more and more scarce, as well as efforts to avoid anthropogenic CO2emissions, alternative fuels are gaining in popularity and importance.
As such, the FKFS relies on a tradition that goes as far back as the early seventies of the previous century.
Today, natural gas engines already show a great potential for minimizing CO2 emissions due to the positive H/C ratio of natural gas. The adaptation of mixture formation and combustion to natural gas as a fuel in order to obtain highest efficiency levels represents an important scope of work at the FKFS.
Additional improvements to today's natural gas engines are possible using new combustion processes adapted to the fuel. As a result, internal mixture formation used to avoid gas filling losses for intake manifold injection is one option. Furthermore, designing a jet-formed process provides the possibility for further increases in efficiency levels using an unrestricted partial load.
The following examples illustrate the implementation of measures to reduce metering errors for a DI CNG injector:
Hydrogen as an energy carrier for mobile applications has been discussed for many years. Other than its use in fuel cells, the use of hydrogen in internal combustion engines is also possible and can provide a contribution to low emissions during driving.
There are mobility segments which, even in the far future beyond 2040, cannot reasonably be brought into line with CO2-neutrality using electro-mobility approaches. Examples are long-distance commercial vehicles, heavy construction machinery and maritime transport. There is also the question of what should happen with excess regenerative electricity in the future. One vision is to use it to create partially or fully-synthetic fuels.
Polyoxymethylene dimethyl ethers (POMDME) have particularly interesting properties as a replacement for a diesel fuel. Expressed simply, they consist of an alternating carbon-oxygen atom chain. This means there are no carbon-carbon atomic bonds. The latter is the fundamental prerequisite for the formation of particulate emissions. This means, with POMDME, it is impossible to generate particulate emissions. This will lead to a completely new diesel engine design: EGR rates of more than 80% are possible, the injection pressure can be dramatically reduced; even a Lambda=1 concept is conceivable.
With our UserCylinder® and our experience with virtual engines, these kinds of future scenarios can be considered from the perspective of all kinds of components and requirements.
In the vision of a CO2-neutral society, the combustion engine can also continue to be significant for powering vehicles. If all required energy is generated regeneratively, high fluctuations must be dealt with. Excess energy can be used to synthesize liquid fuels. The use of solar energy in regions of the world with favorable conditions can also be intensified and this energy imported usefully as liquid fuel.