Identification and Characterization of Complex Dynamic Structure in Spark Ignition Engines

EPA Grant Number: U914951
Title: Identification and Characterization of Complex Dynamic Structure in Spark Ignition Engines
Investigators: Wagner, Robert M.
Institution: University of Missouri - Rolla
EPA Project Officer: Lee, Sonja
Project Period: January 1, 1996 through January 1, 1999
Project Amount: $102,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1996) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Mechanical Engineering , Academic Fellowships , Engineering and Environmental Chemistry


The objective of this research project is to identify and characterize complex dynamic structure in spark ignition engines under lean conditions. The results of this investigation are expected to be instrumental in developing new approaches for engine diagnostics and control for improved emissions and fuel efficiency.


The first and most important step in improving lean engine operation is understanding the development of lean combustion instability in an actual engine. Therefore, an experimental investigation must be conducted to determine the physical mechanisms whichthat are responsible for the development of lean combustion instability, and whether these mechanisms are common to all engine designs. The development of new control algorithms will be greatly simplified if the mechanisms are the same for many different engines. The next step is to determine the effect of key engine parameters on the development of lean combustion instability. An understanding of the effects of these parameters is important for developing control strategies and determining feasible control parameters. The knowledge gained from the experimental investigation will be used to develop or modify an existing low-order model to be used for engine control. A simple, low-order model is necessary for real-time diagnostics and control, where the luxury of high computational overhead is simply not available or cost effective. The experimental and model results from this investigation will be analyzed using tools from nonlinear dynamics and chaos theory.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, engine diagnostics, emissions, fuel efficiency, lean engine operation, lean combustion instability., RFA, Scientific Discipline, TREATMENT/CONTROL, Sustainable Industry/Business, POLLUTION PREVENTION, Environmental Chemistry, Sustainable Environment, Energy, Technology, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Engineering, clean technologies, air pollution control, energy efficiency, emission reduction, fuel efficiency, spark ignition engine diagnostics

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1996
  • 1997
  • Final