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New Consortium Focuses on Tools for Designing More-Efficient Engines and Fuels

Reaction Design, a leader in computer-aided chemical-process simulation, has announced the launch of its Model Fuels Consortium (MFC). MFC’s goal is to accelerate the development of software tools and standardized databases to support the design of cleaner-burning, more-efficient engines and fuels.

Charter members include: Chevron, Dow Chemical Company, L’Institut Français du Pétrole (IFP), Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, PSA Peugeot Citroën, and Toyota. Additional member companies are expected to join the consortium over the next two calendar quarters.

Engine manufacturers worldwide are under regulatory and market pressures to simultaneously improve emissions and engine efficiency. Designers must address these issues simultaneously with the emergence of cleaner fuels, higher performing fuels, and new engine technology, such as homogeneous-charge compression-ignition (HCCI) engines.

To address these challenges while also keeping a handle on costs, engine and fuel design increasingly relies on the use of engine simulation.

To simulate performance of fuel combustion adequately in an engine cylinder, the chemical kinetics of the combustion process must be considered. Chemical kinetics are critical to simulating ignition behavior and engine knock, as well as the reduction of unwanted byproducts through engine control or catalytic after-treatment.

Fuels such as diesel, gasoline or kerosene consist of several thousands of chemical components. This makes direct simulation of real fuels intractable. However, recent research has shown that selected mixtures of a much smaller number of surrogate fuel compounds can adequately represent many fuel/engine characteristics.

The advantage of surrogate fuels is that they are well defined chemical species (molecules), for which detailed oxidation and pyrolysis chemistry mechanisms can be developed.

For example, a surrogate fuel mixture can be selected to match characteristics of a corresponding real fuel, including heat release rates, auto-ignition timing, NOx emission, and sooting propensity.

Engine simulations require chemical mechanisms (reaction paths and rates) that describe ignition, performance, and pollutant-formation under engine-combustion conditions. Currently, there is no established source for verification, storage, and retrieval of the required chemical kinetic data and there is consequently high uncertainty about data quality.

In addition, important surrogate components are not well characterized and systematic validation studies under engine-relevant conditions are scarce. Furthermore, available detailed mechanisms are often too large to be handled in realistic engine-design simulations. This raises the need not only for mechanism development, but also for targeted mechanism reduction.

To address these issues, the Model Fuels Consortium (MFC) plans to deliver the following:

  • Implementation of a roadmap on industry-defined goals for Model Fuels over the next 3 years

  • Coordination with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and other government research laboratories, as well as academic groups, in establishing an accessible data storage site for chemical kinetics of hydrocarbon surrogates for real fuels; the initial focus will be on gasoline, diesel, and kerosene

  • Population of the database with currently available chemistry mechanisms, including related thermodynamic and transport properties

  • Assembly of kinetic data for missing components and component mixtures, using advanced mechanism-generation approaches where appropriate

  • Development of documented validation cases for targeted experimental data, including enhancement of current tools for simulating in-cylinder reacting flows

  • Extension and development of software tools to compare, analyze, and automatically reduce mechanisms, and to integrate data from different sources

  • Reduction of detailed mechanisms, using the tools developed, for use in multidimensional engine-design tools, such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD), for targeted sets of operating conditions defined by industry

Simulation is an increasingly important part of engine development to maximize Enviro-Friendly performance, and the work we are doing with Reaction Design will help us advance our capabilities in this area.

—Shigeo Furuno, General Manager of Toyota Power Train Engineering

Reaction Design is the developer and distributor of the CHEMKIN software package for modeling gas-phase and surface chemistry.



You may have all of these ideas and suggestions as a Gift from me. I will make no claim or attempt to patent any of these ideas. I suspect that others have already patented some of this, but since I have no plans to produce any of these devices commercially, I haven’t bothered to check.

I started sharing this with everyone I could several years ago. It looks like a few are beginning to catch up. Mitsubishi has produced the wheel drive system. Their design uses only LI batteries. It is strictly plug in. When you open the engine compartment, there is just a big open space.

I really think this is the way to go. With a strong commitment by the feds, we could grow and process all the biodiesel we need from algae grown around the Salton Sea.

For about the past year I have offered anyone who would listen the following info: One of the American automobile companies has responded. I have had some positive response from several educational institutions but - as far as I know - none have done any experimental work to verify my claims.

Here is what I have been proposing:

In one scale or another every one of these systems have been proven.

Like to produce a vehicle that can burn rubber on takeoff on all four wheels and get 90+ mpg?

What I would like to see the automakers working on would have:

1. A turbocharged, two cylinder opposed, 2-cycle, air-cooled diesel directly driving a generator. (It would not be running most of the time.)

2. A 111 volt Lithium-Ion Polymer battery pack.

3. Nothing but wires going from the controller to every wheel, except for the necessary additional friction brakes (of course).

4. An added advantage of this would be the ability to recharge from the electrical grid while at home, saving even more on fuel.

Each wheel, depending on the feedback to the controller from wheel speed sensors would drive with just the right power depending on the accelerator position. You would get recharging from deceleration just as you do in today's hybrids. You would also use this feedback to stop the wheel from skidding.

Each wheel would have a stationary stator and a series of fixed magnets closely adjacent all around the inside of the wheel. In a sense it would operate each wheel in a very similar fashion that the maglev trains use, except the motion would be circular, of course. Something very different about this type of motor is that the stators are fixed to the axles and the magnets are driven around them. This gives a significant increase in mechanical advantage. That's like turning an ordinary electric motor inside out.

There would be no need for ordinary electric motor brushes. In fact, many electric motors operating today are brushless.

Such motors already exist in the model airplane field and their efficiently is amazing - approaching 90%. I've got a couple and doubt that I would ever buy any other type.

It's possible to hang the model on the prop right out in front of you and accelerate straight up, like a rocket, with this type motor.

In the vehicle the motor/generator would not turn on to recharge the batteries until they needed it. There is already experimental Lithium-Ion driven cars that can get in excess of 200 miles before they have to be recharged by plugging them in. You would top off your batteries overnight by plugging them in. Some cutting edge research by Toshiba -employing nano-technology - indicates that recharging can be done so fast that you could top off while eating lunch.

Lithium -Ion battery technology is so new that I doubt that very many automotive engineers have even heard of them, much less thought to use them in this manner. Their energy density exceeds that of any other form of rechargeable energy storage.

The Lithium Ion battery is the most efficient battery available right now. So is the outer rotor electric motor the most efficient motor.

Build an Automobile right and it will weight less and have simpler, easier to repair/replace modules.

Lets see what we can eliminate while improving performance and efficiency.

Transmission - None

Ignition system - None

Liquid cooling - None

Valves and valve train - None

Use bio-oil/fuels for both fuel and lubrication.

Feel free to pass this along to anyone you know in the Transportation business.

I bought a Honda Civic Hybrid last summer. I enjoy it more than any vehicle I've ever owned. I will Never buy another vehicle that isn't a Hybrid and doesn't get at least 50 mpg.

As far as I can tell, Detroit isn't even thinking the same way I and the vast majority of its potential customers are.

Mitsubishi has produced the wheel motor/drive I mentioned above. You can see an illustration at: Scroll down and click on illustration. You can get it to fill the page by a second click.

Good Luck!

William Lucas Jones
490 Mauldin Rd.
Sautee, GA 30571-3159

(706) 219-3333

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