Study: Human-Generated Ozone Could Cut Global Crop Yields by Nearly 40% by 2100
UN Rights Expert Calls for Five-Year Freeze on Biofuel Production

Orbital Introduces FlexDI Injection Technology

Australia-based Orbital Corporation introduced its new FlexDI modular direct injection fuel system technology at the 5th International Clean Vehicle Exhibition and Forum in Beijing. Polaris Industries is the first customer to go into series production with FlexDI, applying it in the Patriot Engine. (Earlier post).

Orbital’s core technology—the Orbital Combustion Process (OCP)—uses air-assisted, low-pressure direct fuel injection rather than high-pressure injection to atomize the fuel charge. With OCP, fuel is first metered into an injector pre-chamber via a conventional automotive port injector (MPI), and then delivered into the combustion chamber with the assistance of air at pressure.

The air-assisted injector decouples the fuel metering and delivery events, thereby assisting the dynamic range of the injector, according to Orbital. The Orbital DI system creates a precisely-controlled, finely atomized fuel cloud allowing engines to run with greater fuel efficiently and with reduced emissions output.

The FlexDI system enables engine manufactures to develop one spark-ignited engine family capable of handling different fuel types through changes to the fuel system. This opens up the potential for manufacturers to offer customers gasoline, ethanol, CNG, hydrogen and SI heavy-fuelled engine variants utilizing the same base engine design. FlexDI can also be configured for Bi-Fuel or Tri-Fuel operation.

FlexDI offers a stratified lean combustion system for gasoline applications. Variable injection strategy and phasing enables many different combustion modes including ultra lean; homogeneous lambda=1; stratified lean; low NOx combustion and HCCI.

FlexDI also allows high EGR combustion for enhanced fuel consumption through reduced pumping losses and higher dynamic compression ratios. FlexDI can tolerate up to 45% EGR.

Orbital says that FlexDI is suited for boosted applications with lower knock and improved low speed torque capability making engine downsizing possible. Low speed driving is achieved with a unique lean-burn combustion mode improving city and stop/start driving fuel economy.

For hydrogen combustion, the FlexDI systems offers a unique solution. Current Hydrogen IC engines have issues with burn-rate control due to the very high speed of hydrogen combustion.  The control to date for combustion problems and NOx production is to operate engines at lean air fuel ratios—which reduce specific power.

FlexDI can use its dual injectors to direct inject both hydrogen and water in the same spray. This gives more control over burn-rates and NOx emissions and provides the ability to run lambda=1 at high load conditions. Hydrogen IC specific outputs can be the same as, or better than, gasoline (up to 117% of gasoline), according to Orbital.

Separately, Orbital announced it is in the final stages of delivering an engineering development program to improve the reliability and performance of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) dual fuel systems fitted to Caterpillar C-15 engines used by Australian line haul operators.


Harvey D

Our learned people at MIT must have fallen on their heads. Human activities cannot adversely affect crop productivity....says......

Any way, our chemical companies will soon develop new seeds (for agrofuels) that will trive and even grow much better on higher GHG and modified environment.

Agrofuel feedstock production must multiply (by 100+) to feed our gas/agrofuel guzzlers.

Harry B

yes, bio-fuels derived from foodstuffs aren't a silver bullet, will anyone argue with that?, move on...

there is no silver bullet for soon to be 1 billion+ vehicles on the road, but diversification in fuel types and increased fleet efficiency, so...

more LPG, CNG (fossil & biomass), biodiesel (preferably not from palm oil), ethanol derived from non food bio-mass, methanol & DME from coal or CNG, hydrogen preferably from renewables and hydrogen / CNG blends in the interim...and with some electric vehicles (+ carbon sequestration at source?)...

fuel cells may wait a while to handle the diversity in fuels, so the ICE is with us in volumes of 65 million a year and growing...

what are you going to do?


I think the issue brought up was in the context of slash and burn human activity to make way for say soya production farms that will in turn be converted to biodiesel production. i agree in this regard where the panacea for fossil fuel scurge seems to have become the scurge itself.but a human activity based on the consumption of fossil fuel against the comparative human activity based on the consumption of biodiesel in 10%, 20%..100% blends that will result in an added value of raising the standard of living of people in the under developed countries most specially, which one do i choose? the human activity undergoing the biodiesel technology.i will eventually die in both activities but i will relish on the idea that when i die, the air smells of frying french fries rather than the chocking smell of exhaust gas of a combusted fossil fuel.

Jimmy Quick

biofuels such as ethanol and biodeisel produced from farmers' crops have driven the cost of corn and soybeans through the roof. People in develeoping countries have suffered due to high food costs.

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