The combustion engine will continue to be the most commonly used powertrain in vehicles for many years to come. That’s why it’s imperative to continue to improve the efficiency of combustion engines. There are innovative impulses from Japan and synthetic fuels could also play an increasingly important role in the future.

The 7th International Engine Congress 2020 on Feb. 18-19, 2020, in Baden-Baden, Germany will consider current developments in car and truck engines as well as innovative fuels.

According to experts, despite the electrification of vehicles, the majority will still be equipped with a combustion engine by the year 2040. As a result, the efficiency of combustion engines must be improved to reduce global CO2 emissions. That’s why it’s necessary to develop new combustion concepts, which minimize energy losses in the engine.

Japan is a pioneer in internal combustion engine development

Professor Norimasa Iida has been an expert in high heat efficiency and low-emission combustion engines. His work is based on experimental combustion diagnostics with optical and conventional methods as well as detailed digital simulation and on-board emission measurement. This has led Iida to develop strategies and practices that could substantially reduce air pollution in cities. He has been commissioned by the Japanese government to design a more efficient combustion engine. The cabinet office has organized a pilot project for innovative combustion technology as part of a cross-ministry program for the advancement of strategic innovation (SIP). SIP is a national project from the council for the advancement of science, technology and innovation in Japan. Iida will speak about his highly efficient combustion technology for engines with a thermal coefficient at the 7th International Engine Congress 2020 on the 18th and 19th of February in Baden-Baden, Germany.

Synthetic Fuels/PtX

One further beacon of hope for combustion engines are synthetic fuels. They can make both gasoline and diesel engines cleaner. However, their industrial production is still causing experts problems. Electricity is needed to produce these fuels. According to a recent study by the Öko Institute, that’s why they can only really be climate neutral if at least 75 percent of the electricity used comes from renewable sources. The amount of renewable energy needed for the production of synthetic fuels must be covered by the expansion of renewables regardless of where the production sites are situated.

Dr. Hermann Pengg-Bührlen from Audi will present cost-efficient and sustainable automobiles at the International Engine Congress 2020. His research objects are vehicles with various powertrain technologies and energy sources. He values national potential for synthetic fuels and rates renewable energy sources based on their costs and emission factors.

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