GM Develops Flameless Combustion for Future Car Power Options

Jan. 1, 2020
MILFORD, MI (Aug. 28, 2007) - General Motors' efforts to develop Homogenous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) gasoline engine technology, alternatively called Controlled Auto Ignition (CAI), was a key focus at the automaker's recent Powertrain Techn
TECHNOLOGY FOCUS
GM Develops Flameless Combustion for Future Car Power Options

MILFORD, MI (Aug. 28, 2007) - General Motors' efforts to develop Homogenous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) gasoline engine technology, alternatively called Controlled Auto Ignition (CAI), was a key focus at the automaker's recent Powertrain Technology Show for the media. 

"I can remember debating the limits of combustion capability when I was in college," shares Tom Stephens, group vice president, GM Powertrain and Quality. "HCCI was just a dream then, but today, using math-based predictive analysis and other tools, we are beginning to see how we can make this technology real. By combining HCCI with other advanced gasoline engine and control technologies we can deliver a good fuel savings value for consumers."

Matthias Alt, GM global HCCI program manager, says that HCCI/CAI has been the object of development efforts by internal combustion engine experts for nearly two decades because of its low emissions and high efficiency potential - benefits that are now emerging as a practical automotive propulsion technology. 

"At the heart of the technology is 'flameless combustion,' which is the simultaneous combustion of the fuel/air mixture throughout an engine's combustion chamber," says Alt, "Unlike a conventional gasoline (Otto) engine, in which a fuel burn ignited by a spark at one point results in a flame front that travels throughout the chamber. 

HCCI Benefits:
  • Diesel-like engine efficiency with substantially reduced after-treatment cost.
  • Builds off proven gasoline direct-injection and variable valve actuation technologies
  • Adaptable to conventional gasoline engine architectures.
  • Requires only conventional automotive exhaust after-treatment.
  • Compatible with all commercially available gasoline and E85 ethanol fuels.
The HCCI system results in faster pressure rise at an optimum position of the piston in its travels, yet with up to 600

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