About this Research Topic
The automotive and commercial vehicle industry is currently facing the challenge of reducing the net green-house gas emissions from on-road and off-road vehicles to near zero in about three decades.
As an example, with respect to emission levels in 1990, the European Union is aiming to cut green-house gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030, and the transport sector counts for about 22% of the total. As a long-term goal (2050), the EU aims to cut its emissions by 80-95% compared to 1990 levels.
Nonetheless, the transport sector remains very dependent on oil, with oil-derived fuels accounting for about 95% of the total energy consumption in transport, while about 98% of the circulating cars are powered by internal combustion engines (ICEs) including hybrids. Therefore, it will be very difficult to fully decarbonize the transportation sector in two to three decades when almost all vehicles in circulation are powered by combustion engines that primarily use fossil fuels.
In order to achieve the CO₂ emissions targets, it is general accepted that there isn’t a silver bullet solution, but that multiple and simultaneous concepts of energy carriers and powertrain technologies are necessary.
In this context, positive-ignition ICEs fueled with gaseous low-carbon content fuels, like natural gas, bio-methane, hydro-methane and pure hydrogen, can provide a relevant contribution to the decarbonization of the vehicle fleets. However, progress toward the carbon neutrality of gas vehicles requires remarkable improvements to the supply chain efficiency of the energy carrier and new breakthroughs in powertrain systems. With respect this last topic, the automotive industry is aiming to develop new technologies to help lean-charge mono-fuel gas ICEs attain a brake thermal efficiency close to 50%, and pollutant emission below Euro 6 emissions standards. Such technologies currently under development include natural gas direct-injection systems, active and passive pre-chambers, advanced ignition systems, dedicated after-treatment systems for lean-charge gas engines and so on.
The present Research Topic aims to give an overview of the most recent advances on high-efficiency positive-ignition gas engine technology and related after-treatment systems, and high-quality papers on this topic are warmly welcomed.
Keywords: Internal Combustion Engines, Gas Fuels, Energy Efficiency, Spark-Ignition Combustion, Pollutant Emissions
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