It wouldn’t be until 1860 that a reliable, working internal combustion engine would be invented. A Belgian fellow by the name of Jean Joseph Etienne Lenoir patented an engine that injected natural gas into a cylinder, which was subsequently ignited by a permanent flame near the cylinder. It worked similarly to the gunpowder atmospheric engine, but not too efficiently.
Stability and control have been major roadblocks to the implementation of many advanced combustion modes. Many low-temperature combustion modes such as GCI and RCCI operate on the edge of stability—in other words, at conditions under which very small variations in engine boundary conditions (such as intake temperature) may result in unintended excursions that result in undesirable emissions, reduced efficiency, and the potential to destroy the engine or emissions control system. One can imagine the challenge of these types of combustion modes under ever-changing conditions of a real-world drive cycle where a single unintended excursion could be catastrophic. Meeting that challenge requires a control system which is predictive for avoidance rather than reactive after the occurrence of a potentially damaging event.
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