2010 | Achievement and Award
Development and Practical Application of "Micro Flowreactor," a fuel characterization device, in collaboration with IHI - Easier measurement of knocking characteristics of fuels for automotive engines -
A research group led by Professor Kaoru Maruta at Institute of Fluid Science, Tohoku University has developed “Micro Flowreactor” in collaboration with IHI. It is a device to evaluate combustion characteristics such as gasoline by using micro combustion technologies which enables gas combustion within a narrow tube where flames can not be survived.
Micro Flowreactor helps measure octane ratings that show knocking characteristics. These measurements are essential for engine development. Micro combustion technologies jointly developed with IHI led to practical application of the new device. IHI Inspection and Instrumentation is responsible for commercialization including production and sales. The first order is received from Honda R&D.
The newly developed device consists of air-fuel mixture generating system, a small- inside-diameter glass tube, an external heater and imaging device with special optical filters. Temperature of air-fuel mixture within micro-diameter glass tube increases as it goes toward downstream where a temperature is maintained at high due to an external heater. The mixture is ignited at a position depending on fuel characteristics (an ignition temperature). Octane ratings of specific fuels can be measured by comparing an ignition position with those of reference fuels.
Octane ratings have previously been measured by using a dedicated engine that was designed for measurement. Pressure fluctuations in the combustion chamber were compared between a specific fuel and reference fuels. However, values changed due to stains in the chamber in this method, and complicated procedures were required for accurate octane ratings. The present Micro Flowreactor dose not need dedicated engines or adjustments, and makes octane rating measurement easier.
Micro Flowreactor is able to measure various fuel characteristics including town gas and light diesel oil as well as gasoline, and expected to be applied to the development of various combustion devices.
More Information (Japanese)
Professor Kaoru Maruta and Assistant Professor Hisashi Nakamura
Institute of Fluid Science, Tohoku University
Address: 2-1-1 Katahira Aoba-ku Sendai, Miyagi, 980-8577, Japan
TEL: +81-22-217-5319, +81-22-217-5296