86499 - Advanced Combustion Systems

Academic Year 2023/2024

Learning outcomes

Course will provide a deep knowledge on the thermo-fluid processes governing the reciprocating engine operations.

Topics will deal with advanced combustion concepts and actual design targets. The goal is to promote the knowledge and the capability to handle combustion physics and component operation fundamentals. The students will be capable to face the design of combustion system, accomplishing with emission regulations and fuel conversion efficiency goals.

Course contents

  1. Emission regulation scenario [0.5 ETCS] Effect to engine design trends. Scenario and forecast on new fuels: biofuel, 'hydrocarbon based biofuel' and e-fuels.
  2. Spark Ignited Combustion System [1.75 ETCS]. Laminar and turbulent flame speed, fuel ignition and main combustion process. The knock and pre-ignition events. The combustion cycle-to-cycle variation. Design criteria: injector selection and spray characterization. Intake port design. Overexpanded cycles. TJI systems. Brief overview on other relevant technologies
  3. Compression Ignition non-premixed combustion [1 ETCS ]. Spray dynamics and combustion chamber fluid dynamics characteristics, fuel auto-ignition, non-premixed combustion. Emission formation mechanisms.
  4. Advanced Combustion systems based on auto-ignition of fully- or partially-premixed charge (HCCI,GDCI, RCCI, SPCCI) [0.5 ETCS]: effect of fuel specifications and injection strategies. Rate of Heat release and pressure ripples. Fuel properties.
  5. Hydrogen for Automotive application [1.25 ETCS]. -Main physical and chemical properties of hydrogen for automotive applications. Fuel cell for Automotive Application: principle of operation, system overview (Coolant subsystem, Hydrogen subsystem, Air subsystem, High-voltage subsystem), hybridization strategy (soft or hard), FC components. Hydrogen application in modern S.I. internal combustion engines: injection, ignition and combustion, design of components.
  6. Project Work [1.0 ETCS]

A multimedia presentation is available at the Link placed at the bottom of the page.



Lecturer note and presentation provided during the course in advance by uploading on the University dedicated web site Moodle.


1. “Internal Combustion Engine Fundamentals”, J.B., Heywood, Mc Graw Hill.

2. SAE International Technical papers

Teaching methods

The course is given by teaching classes and students are encouraged to attend in order to improve the learning process and learning outcomes. Attending is not enforced and does not influence the final examination score.

The course includes: theoretical lectures made with the aid of multimedia systems. The didactic material is uploaded on the University website; training activities related to solve a practical combustion system design problem: students are grouped in teams of 4/6 people and asked to autonomously manage and develop a project to be presented and discussed during the exam.

Assessment methods

The exam includes oral test only.

The oral exam, for testing the understanding and application of the course content, consists of two questions and an oral speech of the project.

The examinations would check:

  1. Knowledge of thermofluid dynamic process

  2. Ability to cross correlate theory of physical processes and the final decision of the component and system specification in o order to accomplish a given combustion system target

  3. Ability to solve an actual design problem and deliver a technical report

The mimimum score is 18/30, the maximum is 30/30 with honours.

The minimum score is not achieved if large deficineces in learning outcomes are exhibited: i.e., missing main hypothesis, miss any knowledge of engine system, components and processes principles , etc.

Examinations schedule is available in advance on the University of Bologna web site AlmaEsami. Students willing to take the exam must join to the exam student list on the web site AlmaEsami.

Students are required to show their own ID before taking the exam.

In case of health restriction and depending on University of Bologna acts, the oral examination may be performed 'on-line' according to the University of Bologna guidelines and according to the guidelines made available by the professor on "Insegnamenti On Line" course web page.

Teaching tools

The Course will be held by the use of:

- Slides and video projection

- CFD Simulation tool and automated optimization tool provided during the Course. The students will use them during project goal accomplishment.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Gian Marco Bianchi


Affordable and clean energy Sustainable cities Climate Action

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.