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ISTF Project #08-1856 was developed in response to the 2008-2009 Internet Science and Technology Fair.




Task One

      Methods of fuel have been a problem in the past. For reasons such as money and pollution, most processes don't work out. In the late seventies, engine control started to worry the world. This was around the time of a great oil crisis and the world was starting to notice how their methods of fuel were destroying the world.
Around that time, engines that used signals that ignited air mixtures were becoming popular. Scientists quickly realized that this was harmful to the air.
      Then in the 90’s, new laws concerning engine control came into play. Board Diagnostics II laws require monitoring automotive systems that affect emissions. This means your cars engine control unit would have to watch what goes on and record troubles for service technicians as they are happening. OBD II rules also require the prediction of deterioration of the catalytic converter, fuel delivery and evaporative emissions systems, crankshaft and camshaft position sensors, oxygen sensors, and manifold air temperature sensor.
      Microcontrollers in engines have become more advanced, and now show much improvement. Position has improved and it is now easier to change spark plugs.
Engine control has changed over the years, due to efficiency and its harm to the air. Hopefully one day, there will be an engine that possesses a clean, cheap source of power.


Task Two

      In 2004, Ruihong Zhang of the University of California Davis tried to use water as an energy source for California. Funded by the California Energy Commission, Zhang built a prototypical anaerobic digester, which was to solve the problems the previous systems of conversion had. It uses two strains of bacteria to convert waste into bio-gas. Zhang uses the process of taking the two bacteria and separating them into two separate environments. This new and improved digester will turn three tons of food scraps into energy for 25 houses a day and will fuel power plants.

      In 2003, Bangalore Mahanagra Palike Company and V.P. Ikkerim funded by government organizations in Karnataka, crated a plant that generates six mega watts of power from 700 tons of garbage. Their study showed a cheaper way of power generation from garbage by burning it. According to the study, the smoke could be converted into energy. This is also useful to them because they said it would get rid of 50% of the daily garbage in the city.

      In 2005, the Patna Municipal Corporation worked on a proposal to set up a power generation plant that would solely run on garbage. The garbage will be burnt and electricity will be generated, much like thermal heating. “Several agencies have been identiried who are willing to invest in this plant. PMC will also pay for a part of the cost,” said the Principal Investigator K.P. Ramaiah.


Task Three

      The knowledge on advanced engine control can lead us to endless possibilities. It will be used in everyday vehicles, and the military. In the military, the implantation of advanced engine control in military vehicles results in an increase in their performance.
      Diesel powered cars will become more efficient. The application of advanced engine control will increase its flow range from 10 to 500 gpm and larger. EMP is currently working on advanced engine thermal management technology while maintaining core manufacturing expertise.
      Vehicles as seen in sci-fi movies will be possible. Advanced engine control will be combined with additional technologies as exhaust gas recirculation, variable geometry turbo charging, variable valve timing, multiple injection strategies and exhaust gas after treatment. It will be more complicated in control.