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Mazda Researchers to Receive Engineering Award

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HIROSHIMA, Japan--May 17, 2011: Two researchers from Mazda Motor Corporation will be honored for their research achievements at the 61st annual Society of Automotive Engineers of Japan (JSAE) awards presentation. Both researchers will receive the Outstanding Technical Paper Award.

The Outstanding Technical Paper Award Awarded for: "A Study on the Relationship between Fuel Characteristics and Auto-ignition in Gasoline HCCI Engines" Recipients: Takashi Youso, Powertrain Development Div., Mazda Motor Corporation Masahisa Yamakawa, Powertrain Development Div., Mazda Motor Corporation

Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) is a form of internal combustion in which fuel and air are well mixed and then compressed to the point of auto-ignition. Using this method instead of a spark plug means that the fuel-air mixture burns at a lower temperature than in a conventional spark-ignition (SI) gasoline engine. Therefore, the exhaust gases from an HCCI engine contain only trace amounts of harmful compounds such as nitrogen oxide and soot. As a result, the HCCI engine offers high thermal efficiency, excellent fuel economy, and a considerable reduction in CO2 emissions. It has high potential to become the ultimate form of internal combustion.

The technical paper analyses the effects of different fuel components on ignition performance in a high-compression gasoline HCCI engine, and develops a theoretical model that predicts auto-ignition timing for the various grades of gasoline used in different markets. The paper also shows that, when the engine is operated with a standard spark ignition, the extra heat generated as the piston approaches top-dead-center does not increase the likelihood of knocking (abnormal combustion), enabling increased power output. Mazda's breakthrough SKYACTIV-G gasoline engine, which significantly improves fuel economy and torque thanks to the world's highest compression ratio of 14.0:1, utilizes the results of this analysis.

The Outstanding Technical Paper Award is presented to individual JSAE members and their co-authors who have published an outstanding research paper in the field of automotive technology. The following two researchers outside Mazda will share the award as co-authors. Co-authors: Shigeyuki Tanaka, Cosmo Oil Co., Ltd. Jin Kusaka, Waseda University

The award ceremony will take place on May 19, 2011 at the Pacifico Yokohama Convention Center.