Fuel Spray Formation for Internal Combustion (IC) Engines

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Mechanical Engineering


The structure and evaporation of fuel sprays in Direct-Injection Spark-Ignition (DISI) engines has a profound impact on combustion efficiency and emissions. If the spray atomisation and air mixing process leads to pockets of rich fuel/air mixture, the effect can be increased particulate emissions and lower engine efficiency. In a fully warmed-up engine, the presence of light ends in gasoline can assist with spray breakup via flash boiling.

In this PhD project, the main focus is on spray breakup at cold conditions where the flash boiling mechanism does not typically apply and the penetration length of the fuel spray can be longer. Nowadays there is much more focus on emissions using Real World Driving, hence it is important to understand the effect of cold conditions on the structure of the fuel spray and the potential impact on emissions and performance of DISI engines.

The project uses advanced experimental techniques with emphasis on optical diagnostics to explain the behaviour of cold fuel spray formation and atomisation in the controlled environment of a constant volume injection chamber where thermodynamics conditions relevant to modern DISI engines will be reproduced. The potential impact of various factors such as in-nozzle cavitation and additives on spray formation under such conditions are also going to be explored.

The project is in close collaboration with Shell Global Solutions (UK) within Shell's University Technology Centre (UTC) for Fuels and Lubricants in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R512540/1 01/10/2017 31/03/2022
2010198 Studentship EP/R512540/1 07/01/2018 06/07/2021 Stavros Bontitsopoulos