Gasoline compression ignition combustion is an advanced combustion mode that has received considerable attention in recent years. While GCI combustion is not a new concept, it has evolved over the past several decades as technologies improve. Earlier GCI research was focused primarily on homogeneous charge compression ignition combustion, but in recent years, we have seen increasing interest in a continuous range of GCI combustion modes spanning fully homogeneous HCCI to partial fuel stratification modes to full stratification modes which are diesel-like in execution. These technologies have also led to a strong interest in reactivity controlled compression ignition combustion (RCCI), which makes use of the differences in reactivity of two fuels to manage the combustion process for maximum efficiency with lowest possible emissions.
Even the most efficient and robust engine technologies will never make it to market without the vehicle system meeting emissions regulations. But this is not the first instance where significant emissions control advances were needed to transition a combustion technology to market. Advances in catalyst technologies more than 40 years ago were critical to meeting emerging emissions regulations; the effectiveness of catalysts for conventional spark-ignition engines has since improved by a factor of 100 while achieving a substantial reduction in expensive platinum group metals. Meeting the new challenges is a very active area of research at ORNL and other U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories, as well as in industry.
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