Autonomous Operation of Electronically Controlled Diesel Engines on a Multitude of Fuels Using Ion Current and Other Combustion Sensors

Case ID:

WSU researchers have developed a method to enable advanced diesel engines to operate properly on fuels of different chemical and physical properties.  This technology will allow conventional diesel engines to precisely adjust the operating parameters to meet the production goals in fuel economy and emissions at a relatively low cost.  With the increase in alternative types of fuel, including renewable fuels, the need for diesel engines to conveniently operate with all types of fuels is increasing.


This method allows the engine to adjust and optimize within a short period of time. Input from an ion current or other type of combustion sensor as a feedback signal to ECU (Engine Control Unit) enables calibration.  The engine operating parameters affected include fuel injection system and air delivery system parameters.


Commercial Applications:


  • Military engines

  • Passenger/Commercial Engines

  • Can be incorporated into OEM engine designs or retrofitted to existing engines as an aftermarket product

Competitive Advantages:


  • Electronically controlled diesel engines to self-adjust and optimize performance on multiple types of fuel

  • Reduction in diesel engine degradation for the military (therefore improved mission readiness, mobility and survivability in the field)

  • Assist OEM’s in meeting fuel economy and emission targets for commercial vehicles & passenger cars powered by diesel engines

Patent Status:

Patent pending

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Nic Wetzler
Wayne State University
Naiem Henein
Tamer Badawy