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2001 Discover Award Finalist, Transportation: Using “X-Ray Vision” to Study Fuel Spray Processes Inside Engines

By using high-brilliance X-rays from Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source, researchers are able to obtain never-before-possible, time-resolved and quantitative information on the structure of gasoline and diesel fuel sprays at the very moment they enter the engine cylinder. Before the new “X-ray vision” technique, the portion of fuel sprays nearest the injector nozzle (the first one inch) had been too opaque for visible light to penetrate, leaving engine designers and manufacturers to guess at conditions inside the fuel spray. With such an innovation, we have paved the way to see directly inside an engine to study the complete range of fluid dynamics and chemistry of fuel sprays and fuel spray processes.

Argonne's research was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

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