Scientists Probe the Source of Stochastic Occurrence of Super-Knock in Engines Running on Hydrogen/Methane Fuels

Blends of hydrogen and methane are a promising alternative vehicle fuel that could help reduce carbon dioxide emissions. To make these fuels viable, researchers need to understand how they burn, especially in small, turbocharged internal combustion engines. In this study, researchers examined the impact of non-thermal chemical kinetics on “super-knock,” a combustion mechanism that can cause severe engine damage.

Real-Time Diagnostics for Better Engines

Researchers used neutrons to see how a new aluminum-cerium alloy behaves under high temperatures and pressures inside an operating internal combustion engine. Researchers fitted an AlCe cylinder head to a commercial engine, then used neutron scattering to see inside the AlCe head and the original material engine block in real time before, during, and after the operation of the engine. This method could aid research on advanced alloys for future engines and other systems.