Argonne National Laboratory Transportation Technology R&D Center DOE Logo
Argonne Home >  Transportation Technology R & D Center >

Fuel Injection and Spray Research

Christopher Powell with specially designed x-ray high pressure chamber used in diesel spray research.
Christopher Powell fits a specially designed X-ray pressure window to a high-pressure chamber used in diesel spray research.

The fuel-injection process is critical to attaining high fuel efficiency and low emissions in modern engines. Accurate control of fuel injection parameters (timing, delivery, flow rate, pressure, spray geometry, etc.) is the most effective means to influence fuel and air mixing and to achieve both clean burning and high efficiency.

Final tuning of the engine is a trial-and-error procedure since the physics of spray atomization and its influence on combustion, pollutant formation and fuel efficiency are not well understood. A deeper understanding of the injection process and spray atomization are needed to enable new strategies for clean and efficient combustion.

Argonne scientists have developed several novel diagnostic techniques that use x-rays to study the detailed structure of fuel sprays. X-rays are not hindered by multiple scattering processes that are highly penetrative in materials with low atomic numbers; therefore, they do not encounter the multiple scattering problems typical of diagnostic methods that use visible light. By using highly time-resolved monochromatic x-rays generated at the Advanced Photon Source (APS), Argonne has developed a non-intrusive absorption technique that yields a highly quantitative characterization of the dynamic mass distribution in the spray from both diesel and gasoline engine injectors.

Research Highlights


This work is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Program under Gurpreet Singh.



Christopher Powell

UChicago Argonne LLC | U.S. DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Privacy & Security Notice | Contact Us | Site Map