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Engine that runs on liquid air coming soon

Washington, Fri, 27 Jan 2012 ANI

Washington, Jan 27 (ANI): A London-based firm is developing an avant-garde engine that uses liquid air as main fuel.


The system created by Dearman Engine Company (DEC) cools the air to minus 256 degrees Fahrenheit, when it gets transformed into liquid state.


In place of petroleum, cryogenic air is injected into ambient heat inside the engine. It creates high-pressure gas that drives the pistons and only emits cold air as exhaust, the Discovery News reported.


"You inject a heat-exchange fluid, such as anti-freeze and water, into the head of the piston just before you inject liquid nitrogen. The result is that all the expansion takes place inside the cylinder," DEC founder Toby Peters told Transport Engineer.


"And because you've got this volume of heat exchange fluid, it is isothermal expansion - so it keeps the temperature the same, which is far more efficient."


The Dearman engine is similar to an internal combustion engine, only sans the spark plug.


When the cryogenic is injected, ambient temperatures quickly heat it and return it to its gaseous form. This builds up pressure and pushes the piston down.


As the exhaust valve opens at the bottom of the stroke, the returning piston thrusts the heat exchange fluid and air out of the engine as cold air.


DEC is working with Ricardo, a British engineering consulting agency, to make this engine a commercial reality.


A prototype engine turned out to be more efficient than earlier cryogenic engine designs and it powered a car at more than 30 miles per hour.


"The work to date has delivered and validated a proof of concept engine, which produces positive power, and confirmed that there are a number of suitable applications," Peters added. (ANI)


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