Internal combustion engines create work by oxidisation of the hydrocarbon fuel. This oxidisation is initiated by a thermic reaction and in ideal circumstances would result in the liberation of energy as heat and expansion, transformed into mechanical work with some water and carbon dioxide rejected from the process. The problem is that the reaction provoked in the cylinder of any engine, diesel or petrol, is not an ideal process. It would be better for example if the oxidising agent were in fact pure oxygen, but for many reasons that is not possible. We use the next best thing, the air, which contains not just oxygen but nitrogen at 78%. Ideally this would pass straight through the system but heat in the reaction causes it to form oxides of nitrogen, most of which are harmful to human health.
In addition to nitrogenous pollutants the second major cause of pollution from ICM's is carbon or hydrocarbons which are both the result of improperly or unburnt fuel. The cause of these pollutants is threefold.
Generally speaking there is an inverse relationship between the criteria leading to the production of these two major pollutants. In an internal combustion engine the reaction time for the combustion to take place is less than a hundredth of a second. During this period the ﬂame front must be initiated and spread completely to the extremities of the cylinder. In a petrol engine this ﬂame is provoked by an electrically induced spark. The device used to produce the spark (known as the spark plug) has not changed much in design in the last hundred years... until now that is.
Of course the materials have changed and more durable plugs using materials such as platinum or iridium are available, but excluding racing and hybrid power engines, not much has changed. Plasma ignition modiﬁcations usually involve expensive zero resistance cables and complex ignition control systems to create a high voltage capacitance induced spark. PULSTAR plugs by ENERPULSE, USA change all that!