Morgan HeikalUK – The grant will go towards the establishment of a 55,000 sq.ft Central Research Laboratory (CRL) at the University of Brighton, boosting research into low-emission internal combustion engines (ICE), supporting high-tech and design-led manufacturing and commercialising the institution’s work.

Since the 1990s, the university has worked on research projects with technical and environmental consultancy Ricardo, which specialises in the development of low-carbon vehicle technology. In 2006, the partners opened new laboratories at the Moulsecoomb campus where the CRL will be located.

ICE research at the university’s Centre for Automotive Engineering (CAE) is focused on the development of novel combustion systems to produce near-zero emissions and meet strict global regulations as well as improving fuel economy. The work encompasses all engine types and sizes.

“Investigation of very high injection pressures and multiple injections on the heavy-duty single cylinder engine at Brighton [has] contributed to the technical approach adopted by large truck-makers,” commented Morgan Heikal, professor of Thermofluids at Brighton’s School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics. “This has resulted in a new generation of diesels with much improved emission levels that retain the high efficiency of previous generations.”

The University is currently investigating a new ICE aimed at achieving a 20-40% reduction in fuel consumption at near zero emissions. Unlike conventional Otto or Diesel cycles, the concept places compression and combustion processes in separate cylinders, minimising compressor work and maximising heat recovery.