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Amphiphilic surfactants as model additives for engine friction reduction and Michael Sargent - Battery Thermal Management Fluids and Systems

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Beatrice Boggio Robutti – Amphiphilic surfactants as model additives for engine friction reduction

Metal-metal contacts within engines experience high levels of friction and wear, which contribute to the production of harmful vehicle emissions; the annual global cost of friction and wear is estimated to be €2.5 trillion and represents a significant energy loss. Organic friction modifiers (OFMs) are amphiphilic surfactants often utilised to minimise engine losses with the ultimate aim of enhancing vehicle fuel economy. Over the past century, a conventional OFM mode of action has been established, where OFM adsorption at metallic surfaces is thought to form compact monolayer surface films. These films are believed to form planes of low shear resistance between contacting metallic surfaces, reducing friction. It is challenging to reproduce the conditions found within a combustion engine and probe the interfacial structure of adsorbed OFMs in-situ; hence, much of the research has been conducted under static or mild conditions.

In this work, the relationship between molecular structure, surface structure, and friction lowering-ability of OFMs is investigated in regimes that are relevant to the operational conditions of engines. An experimental study is carried out through a combination of conventional techniques and neutron scattering, and is focussed on the aminic surfactant Ethomeen 18/12 in the presence/absence of dopants.

Michael Sargent – Battery Thermal Management Fluids and Systems

Advances in electric vehicle battery technology have allowed for higher capacity batteries and longer range journeys, however a bottleneck to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles remains in the significant increase in the time required to recharge, when compared to refuelling a petroleum vehicle. This ICAM project seeks to address this problem by investigating methods and materials to directly manage the temperature withing battery cells to facilitate rapid charging and discharging, without compromising the integrity or lifespan of the batteries.

This talk is part of the Seminars for the Institute for Energy and Environmental Flows (formerly BP Institute) series.

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