ENGINES | Planning Group 3 »Combustion CI«

Due to its very good efficiency, the compression-ignition engine has again become the “workhorse” of energy converters and has earned a leading role in many commercial applications that require the highest efficiency, robustness and economy while also subjecting the engine to high and continuous stress. Thanks to new technologies such as artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing and new combustion processes, engines with auto-ignition can meet higher requirements in terms of pollutant and CO2 emissions. FVV researchers and developers establish the scientific basis for this and transform the knowledge gained into practical applications.

» On the move towards zero-impact emission and climate-neutral powertrains we need a highly committed and application-oriented research platform such as that provided by the FVV. «

Dr. Christian Weiskirch (MAN Truck & Bus)

In the process, the research focuses are shifting away from gaining a basic understanding of technical matters – such as combustion process design – and towards optimising the overall powertrain system with regard to fuel consumption and emissions. Of key importance here is the question regarding suitable ways of achieving the CO2 targets set by legislators and, in the future, even complete climate neutrality. When using combustion engines, this can only be achieved by moving away from fossil fuels; as such, the interaction between powertrain and energy carrier and the coordination of combustion processes and fuel properties are gaining great importance as a research topic.

PG3 »Combustion CI« is dedicated to the following topics:

  • Ultimate system efficiency
  • Alternative fuels, hydrogen combustion
  • Gas / dual-fuel engines
  • Artificial intelligence in development, big data and digitalisation

And tackles the following lines of research / focuses:

  • Combustion modelling / simulation
  • New combustion processes, coatings, additive manufacturing
  • Fuel distribution and preparation, high-pressure injection
  • Spray diagnostics
  • Air path / variable valve control
  • Dual combustion processes
Synthetic fuels
Development tools
Digitalisation and AI

People & Technology

Patiently creating space for something new


Since earning his doctorate with an FVV project, Dr Christian Weiskirch has enjoyed a successful career. Today he coordinates the powertrain development of a large commercial vehicle group – and continues to work for the research association.

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MTZ worldwide 05/2020

Advanced and future-oriented research on compression-ignition engines

Due to its outstanding efficiency, the diesel engine is the leader in many commercial applications. New technologies such as artificial intelligence or additive manufacturing can help to meet more stringent requirements for pollutant and CO2 emissions. The scientific basis is being worked out in projects of the Research Association for Combustion Engines (FVV) and can be transferred into practice by the member companies.

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Climate / Air Emissions / Efficiency

Potentials of airpath variabilities for HD gas engines

Owing to the lower carbon content in the fuel, gas engines can make an important contribution to meeting the future CO2 emission goals for commercial vehicle fleets. In order to prevent uncontrolled auto-ignition, however, these engines must be operated with later ignition crank angles at high loads, while throttling is also necessary at low loads. Both interventions reduce the efficiency of the engine. In the FVV project “Potentials of Airpath Variabilities for HD Gas Engines”, systematic analyses are being conducted for the first time with the aim of determining the degree to which engine efficiency and emissions levels can be improved by closing the inlet valves early (“Miller control times”). Furthermore, the interactions with exhaust gas recirculation, water injection and a possible increase of the geometric compression ratio are also being investigated. The project builds on findings from previous projects on variable valve timings in commercial diesel engines.

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Next Generation Technologies

XME: Alternative fuels for the diesel combustion process

What is the potential of oxygenated methyl ether-based synthetic fuels for replacing fossil-based diesel in an compression-ignition combustion process? In the “XME Diesel” research project supported by FVV, funded as part of the “Neue Fahrzeug- und Systemtechnologien” [New Vehicle and System Technologies] specialist programme of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), research institutes at RWTH Aachen University and the Technical University of Munich investigated the suitability of DME (dimethyl ether) and OME-1 (mono-oxymethylene ether) in collaboration with Denso, Ford and IAV. The main goal of the project was to adapt the combustion process to the physical and chemical properties of the new fuels in such a way that raw pollutant emissions are reduced significantly while the efficiency of the engine improves.

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Potentials of Airpath Variabilities for HD Gas Engines

Potentials of airpath variabilities for future commercial vehicle gas engines to increase efficiency and reduce emissions


Gas-Diesel Combustion

Improvement of understanding of penetration and ignition behaviour of high-pressure gas jets in Gas-Diesel combustion systems


NH3 Combustion Process for Large Engines

Experimental and numerical analysis of combustion processes for ammonia as carbon-neutral fuel


Innovative HD Combustion System Design

3D Printing for innovative heavy-duty diesel combustion system design

PG3 »Combustion CI«

Dr. Christian Weiskirch
MAN Truck & Bus

Project Management

Ralf Thee

+49 (0) 69 6603 1349
+49 (0) 69 6603 2349

Project & Team Assistance

Sabrina Waldstein

+49 (0) 69 6603 1681
+49 (0) 69 6603 2681

Research Association for Combustion Engines eV

Lyoner Strasse 18
60528 Frankfurt am Main
T +49 69 6603 1345