Modern Combustion Technologies in Automobiles


Changes in Engines from BS-IV to  BS-VI


1. Introduction to Combustion in Automobile 

  • Internal combustion (IC) engines are widely used in automobiles  and machines for power generation
  • The power is generated by combustion of air and fuel in the engine cylinder. The high pressure and temperature gas pushes the cylinder and the power is transferred to wheel through a transmission system. 
  • Combustion of a fuel occurs with air (oxygen) in a small combustion chamber 
  • The combustion energy is used to drive vehicles using the power transmission systems
  • Four stroke engines are used due to low fuel consumption
    • Intake (Suction) Stroke: Air and fuel mixture is inducted inside the cylinder
    • Compression stroke: air and fuel mixture is compressed in the cylinder
    • Expansion (Power) stroke:  after ignition the combustion produces high pressure gases to push the piston
    • Exhaust stroke: Flue gases are exhausted from the cylinder

  • For, petrol engine, air and fuel are mixed before combustion and the type of combustion is premixed.  A spark plug is used to ignite the mixture.
  • However, for diesel engine, the type of combustion is non-premixed. The temperature of air inside the cylinder  is enough high due to compression  and fuel injected fuel burns without any external ignition source
  • For homogenized charge compression ignition (HCCI) the type of combustion is partially premixed. The temperature of air and fuel mixture  increases due to compression and mixture burns without any external ignition source.
Subsystems Required to Control Low Temperature Combustion Engines ...

1.1  Conventional Petrol (Spark Ignition) Engines

a) Air and Fuel Mixing Mechanism in SI:

  • In a traditional petrol engine, carburetor has been widely used for mixing of petrol and air
  • With the help of Floating valve, the petrol is injected in the venturi (smallest cross section) of air dict 
  • The premixed mixture of air and fuel can be controlled by throttle valve

b) Combustion in Petrol Engine:

  • In petrol engines, air and fuel are mixed prior to combustion. It can be treated as premixed combustion 
  • Spark plug provides the ignition energy to burn the air and fuel mixture
  • Flue gases from  the combustion are exhausted 
  • These flue gases are passed through different post-combustion treatment in order to reduce the emissions such as NOx, SOx etc.
1.3  Conventional Diesel (Compression Ignition) Engines
  • For diesel engine, fuel is injected over  the heated air inside the cylinder
  •  Fuel injected fuel burns without any addition ignition source

2. Issues in Conventional Combustion 

  • Pollution, noise and discomfort  are major issues observed in conventional combustion in IC engines
  • Lack of filter to collect the particulate matters 
  • Major reasons are incomplete mixing of fuel, lack of sufficient time of combustion and high temperature of flue gases 
Sweden to Investigate Phasing Out Fossil Fuels and Banning Sales ...
  • Due to collection of unburned (hydrocarbon) particles in the exhaust pipe mixes with surrounding air. This can lead to back fires in bikes

Royal Enfield Swagman silencer - King Indian - YouTube


Emissions from IC Engines

  • There are various types of emissions from petrol and diesel engines such unburnt hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide, NOx and SOX
  • These emissions can results in the formation of smog in atmosphere
  • It is essential to control or minimize the unwanted emissions by adapting fuel efficient and eco-friendly combustion technologies
  • Emission levels are defined in the Pollution Emission Norms by government of India 
  • With an increase in environmental adverse effect, the emission level of all harmful gases have been reduced  
  • To reduce the emissions,combustion and exhaust systems of IC engine have been modified as per type of  combustion (SI or CI) and fuels
  • As per the following table, the emission levels are decreased from BS4 to BS6 engines.
  • For both petrol and diesel engines, the NOx level is drastically reduced
  • Particulate matter and unburnt hydrocarbon emissions are reduced in BS6 engines

3. Emission Controls in Automobile

  • Noways, various mechanisms have been deployed with combustion chamber in order to reduce emissions such as programmer controlled fuel injector, exhaust emission reduction using selective catalytic converter and particulate traps 
  • The NOx formed in IC engine is allowed to pass through selective catalytic reduction )
  • The SCR unit is placed in exhaust duct before the silencer. This is commonly used in most BS-VI bikes 
  • The amount of ammonia or urea injection into the SCR unit depends on the level of NOx formation 
  • For four wheelar, the SCR unit and muffler are also placed in exhaust duct before the silencer to reduce particulate matters and emissions.
  • To provide the accurate air fuel mixture ratio, many modern combustion controlling techniques have been implemented in many cars and truck such as  MPFI, CRDI, CRDI VCR, GDI, etc. These methods ensure fuel efficient combustion.

  • Exhaust systems are significantly modified with EGR (exhaust gas re-circulation), Advanced catalytic converters,  SCR( selective catalyst reduction),  Urea after treatment devices and  particulate filters

  • Catalytic Converter for four wheelar
What are the benefits or drawbacks of the BS6 vehicles or engine ...

Common Modifications in BS-VI Engines 

The following parts have been improved or added for complete combustion of hydrocarbon, reduction of NOx and particulate matters
    • Programmable Fuel Injection System
    • Catalytic converter
    • Exhaust Gas Re-circulation (EGR)
    • Misfire detection unit
    • Oxygen sensor at exhaust
    • PM capture unit

Petrol Engine

  • Improved the combustion process  (by fuel injection or twin spark plug ) 
  • Better combustion fuel efficiency 
  •  Introduction of EFI instead of carburetor
  • Better fuel quality  (higher octane number).

Diesel Engines

  • Modification in exhaust system 
  •  Introduction of DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter)  in order to reduce the soot emitted from diesel engines.
  • Reduction the Sulfur content in the exhaust which makes more cleaner
  • SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction)  in exhaust system to reduce NOx level