HCCI update: Prototype in 2008

A couple months ago, Bruno pointed AutoblogGreen readers to a New York Times article summarizing the current status of Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engines, technology that attempts to take the best of both diesels and gasoline-fueled internal combustion engines. This Engineer Online article introduces us to Dr. Zhijun Peng, a professor in the engineering department at Sussex University, who is also working on bringing HCCI to the real world.
Peng's project was awarded £200,000 (about $377,350) for 27 months of research on HCCI technology. Both Caterpillar and BP are backing the project while additional funding will be provided by the U.K.'s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Peng expects to have a working prototype by the end of 2008, however, he summarizes HCCI's current obstacles as three-fold:
  • Providing the right temperature and pressure for combustion
  • Achieving a high load while avoiding knocking
  • Determining the best way to start the engine, especially from cold.
[Source: The Engineer Online]

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