Course syllabus

Introduktion till förbränningsmotorer
Introduction to Combustion Engines

MVKN50, 7,5 credits, A (Second Cycle)

Valid for: 2020/21
Decided by: PLED M
Date of Decision: 2020-03-26

General Information

Elective for: M4-en, M4-tt, W4
Language of instruction: The course will be given in English on demand


The objectives of the course are

1) to provide a thorough understanding of the processes that occur in an internal combustion engine and the reason why it is designed as it is; and

2) provide an overview of the usage of renewable fuels and alternative propulsion systems.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
For a passing grade the student must

be able to give an overview of the functions of the main components of a modern combustion engine and how they interact

be able to explain the basic combustion processes in spark ignition and compression ignition engines and how they are influenced by various operating and design parameters at a conceptual level

be able to explain the challenges for combustion engines and fuels in a society that needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality

be able to explain the benefits and challenges with renewable fuels, alternative powertrains and other promising technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality

Competences and skills
For a passing grade the student must

be able to use characteristic engine parameters to analyse combustion engine performance

be able to select an engine type and design the engine (in terms of displacement volume, number of cylinders, cylinder bore and engine speed) for a given simple application

be able to calculate the air/fuel ratio given a measured exhaust composition as well as the air requirement for complete combustion of any type of fuel

be able to, groupwise with supervision, disassemble and reassemble a modern combustion engine as well as conduct performance and emission measurements on it



The course deals with internal combustion engines, renewable fuels and alternative powertrains. First a general description of the most common engine types is given. The working principles of the combustion engine are explained and the difference between two and four stroke engines is discussed. The most important engine parameters used for engine design and evaluating engine performance are explained. The coupling between the power requirement of a normal vehicle and the power produced by an engine is explained. The general conversion of fuel to CO2, H2O and heat is discussed and stoichiometry is explained. Also, exhaust gas analysis is discussed as well as pollutant formation mechanisms. Ideal thermodynamic cycles are presented and used to explain the effects of compression ratio and gas properties on fuel efficiency. The combustion process in the spark ignition engine is presented. Cycle to cycle variations in the combustion process are explained and abnormal combustion is discussed. Ways to reduce pollutant emissions are explained. The combustion process in the diesel engine is presented The emissions from the diesel engine and how to reduce them are also discussed. The engine mechanical systems and gas exchange processes, for instance boosting, are presented. Renewable fuels will be discussed in terms of potential and challenges. Finally, challenges to the combustion engine are discussed with an outlook on solutions and alternatives, showing how the engine can still be part of future transportation.

The course contains lectures, seminars, exercises and two laboratory exercises. In the first an engine is disassembled and assembled and in the second an engine is run and emissions are measured. Normally an industry representative will give an invited lecture.

Examination details

Grading scale: TH - (U,3,4,5) - (Fail, Three, Four, Five)
Assessment: Written examination. The final grade is either Fail or one of the passing grades 3, 4 or 5 which normally correspond to 50, 65 and 80% of the maximum number of points respectively. Additionally, approved reports of the mandatory laboratory exercises are necessary to pass the course.

The examiner, in consultation with Disability Support Services, may deviate from the regular form of examination in order to provide a permanently disabled student with a form of examination equivalent to that of a student without a disability.


Assumed prior knowledge: MMVF01 Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics or equivalent.
The number of participants is limited to: No
The course overlaps following course/s: MVK093

Reading list

Contact and other information

Course coordinator: Marcus Lundgren,
Examinator: Marcus Lundgren,
Course coordinator: Per Tunestål,
Course homepage: