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Listen to: Breaking the Knock Barrier with Ethanol

Publication Date

November 2, 2006

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Audio Content Description

One of the primary factors limiting the power output of internal combustion engines is pre-ignition. Called "knock," pre-ignition happens when the fuel and air mixture ignites before the ideal time for power output due to heat created in the course of compression. A group of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology working with engineers at Ford believe they can tame knock with a cool idea involving ethanol and what happens when it evaporates.