Next Generation Biofuels for Sustainable Transportation

Specialised Imaging reports that the Institute of Heat and Mass Transfer at RWTH Aachen University (Germany) has invested in a Kirana Ultra High-Speed camera to undertake fluid-mechanical fundamental research underpinning development of bio-hybrid fuels for the next generation of sustainable transportation.

Groundbreaking research at the University of Aachen Fuel Science Center (FSC) aims to integrate renewable electricity with the joint utilization of bio-based carbon feedstocks and CO2 to provide high-density liquid energy carriers (“bio-hybrid fuels”), which enable innovative engine concepts for highly efficient and clean combustion. The FSC aims to generate fundamental knowledge as well as novel scientific methodologies to replace today’s fossil fuel-based static scenario by adaptive production and propulsion systems that are based on renewable energy and carbon resources under dynamic system boundaries. The FSC is also investigating the fundamental processes behind the electro-catalytic production of renewable fuels for automotive engines as this technology is viewed as an important enabler for flexible and economic development of these next generation feedstocks.

The researchers intend to use the Kirana Ultra High-Speed camera to visualize and better understand the transient processes behind the electro-catalytic injection, mixture formation and combustion of bio-hybrid fuels as a function of their thermophysical properties.”

Conventional high-speed imaging techniques are already well-established in automotive fuel combustion research, but are not able to resolve very fast processes such as spray fluctuations or the injector opening in high spatial resolution, as the fuel leaving the nozzle can travel at many hundreds of metres per second.

The Kirana Ultra High-Speed camera from Specialised Imaging sets a new standard for what is possible, being able to take 180 consecutive high quality images at frame rates of up to 5 MHz. The full resolution of the Kirana camera is maintained independently of its frame rate, enabling it to achieve high spatial and temporal resolution at the same time.

The compact Kirana ultra high speed video camera can deliver high resolution and high speed (up to 5 million frames per second) in a no-compromise design. The full resolution of this video camera is maintained at all speeds. Comprehensive triggering facilities, highly accurate timing control and a wide range of output signals, coupled with a software package, simplifies image capture and analysis. Full remote operation using Ethernet connectivity comes standard enabling the Kirana to be easily integrated into almost any environment. The Kirana offers the performance, ease-of-use and operational flexibility that enables users to record and deliver impressive slow-motion video images in just about any material scientific research application.

For further information on the Kirana ultra high speed camera please visit or contact Specialised Imaging on +44-1442-827728 (UK) / +1-951-296-6406 (USA) / +49-8141-666-8950 (Germany) / +86-1068-651-769 (China) /

For further information on the work of the FSC at RWTH Aachen University please visit

Bio-hybrid fuel combustion cell (courtesy: RWTH Aachen University)