ME PhD Dissertation - Optical study of isobaric and hydrogen combustion : an approach to high efficiency and cleaner engines - Niraj Panthi supervised by Prof. Magnotti


The road transportation sector is one of the key contributors to greenhouse gas emissions with main contributions from heavy-duty vehicles. Moreover, the demand for the heavy-duty truck market is rising continuously and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of over 4% between 2021 and 2027. Alternatively, battery electric trucks could be an option for the future, but there is still a need for the development of advanced battery technology that meets the requirements of heavy-duty vehicles at a competitive cost. Until that point is reached, a large portion of transportation particularly the heavy-duty sector relies on internal combustion engine propulsion. Motivated by this, there is the need for alternative powertrain technologies or alternative cleaner fuels for heavy-duty vehicles. This thesis work investigates two different pathways for future high efficiency and cleaner engine development using detailed thermodynamics analysis and in-cylinder combustion visualization in a heavy-duty optical engine. The first one is isobaric combustion, a potential pathway of achieving high engine efficiency reducing heat transfer losses, and in coupled with split-cycle concepts like double compression expansion engine (DCEE) exhaust losses can be recovered. The second pathway is spark-ignition methane/hydrogen combustion, which reduces the CO2 emissions present in counterpart diesel engines, making ultimately the cleaner engines. Both these studies contribute to a fundamental understanding of the in-cylinder combustion process of isobaric and methane/hydrogen combustion, ultimately helping in the better design of future efficient and cleaner engines. Furthermore, the combustion fundamentals obtained from optical/laser diagnostics provide a significant contribution to the development and validation of numerical models.


Niraj Panthi received his Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, India in 2019. He then joined KAUST in November, 2019 and is a PhD Candidate in the Mechanical Engineering Program, in PSE division under the supervision of Prof. Gaetano Magnotti. His PhD research is centered on high-efficiency and cleaner engine combustion using optical/laser diagnostics for heavy duty transportation sector.

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25 Apr, 2024
03:00 PM - 04:00 PM
KAUST- Building 5, Level 5, Room 5209