Low-temperature combustion processes are of significant interest due to very high thermal efficiencies with significant reductions in many criteria pollutants. As mentioned above, LTC has been a challenge due to the state of technology: unlike conventional spark-ignition and compression-ignition combustion modes, most LTC modes are kinetically controlled and hence much more sensitive to environmental conditions and ever-changing speed/load demands. Recent advances in enabling technologies such as fuel injection systems, turbomachinery, valve actuation, sensors, and onboard computers have led to new real-time control opportunities which are enabling the potential of LTC engines with production-viable hardware.
Building on that work, in 1864 two German engineers named Nicolaus August Otto and Eugen Langen founded a company that made engines similar to Lenoir’s model. Otto gave up managing the company and started working on an engine design that he had been toying with since 1861. His design led to what we now know as the four-stroke engine, and the basic design is still used in cars today.
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