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Technical Paper

On-Board Plasma Assisted Fuel Reforming

It is well known that the addition of gaseous fuels to the intake manifold of diesel engines can have significant benefits in terms of both reducing emissions of hazardous gases and soot and improving fuel economy. Particularly, the addition of LPG has been investigated in numerous studies. Drawbacks, however, of such dual fuel strategies can be found in storage complexity and end-user inconvenience. It is for this reason that on-board refining of a single fuel (for example, diesel) could be an interesting alternative. A second-generation fuel reformer has been engineered and successfully tested. The reformer can work with both gaseous and liquid fuels and by means of partial oxidation of a rich fuel-air mix, converts these into syngas: a mixture of H₂ and CO. The process occurs as partial oxidation takes place in an adiabatic ceramic reaction chamber. High efficiency is ensured by the high temperature inside the chamber due to heat release.
Technical Paper

Non-Equilibrium Plasma Ignition for Internal Combustion Engines

High-voltage nanosecond gas discharge has been shown to be an efficient way to ignite ultra-lean fuel air mixtures in a bulk volume, thanks to its ability to produce both high temperature and radical concentration in a large discharge zone. Recently, a feasibility study has been carried out to study plasma-assisted ignition under high-pressure high-temperature conditions similar to those inside an internal combustion engine. Ignition delay times were measured during the tests, and were shown to be decreasing under high-voltage plasma excitation. The discharge allowed instant control of ignition, and specific electrode geometry designs enabled volumetric ignition even at high-pressure conditions.