Fossil fuel consumption is expected to increase by 20% over the next 3 decades in order to meet the increasing demand for infrastructure, trade and transportation (according to projections by ExxonMobil and BP). Development of engines complying with the forthcoming 2020 emission legislations, relies on the effective design of advanced high-pressure fuel injection systems and represents a key industrial priority.

Such advanced injection systems can improve internal combustion engine performance in the following ways:

– Formation of high velocity fuel jets that lead to finer atomization and better air/fuel mixing.

– Increase of engine efficiency.

– Reduction of soot and CO2 emissions.

The objectives of the present project involve the study of high pressure fuel systems injecting fuel at high temperature and pressure conditions, well above the fuel’s critical point; the prevailing supercritical fluid conditions result to disappearance of the liquid-gas interface, which in turn, reduces vaporisation time and enhances significantly air-fuel mixing. The project will involve experiments (outgoing phase at Sandia National Laboratories) and simulations (return phase) to study the phenomena occurring during fuel injection and how they can be exploited to improve engine design.

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