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Supercritical Injector Doubles Efficiency March 18, 2010

Posted by OldGuy in Alternatives, energy conservation.
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Transonic Combustion company has a new injector that can double efficiency, improved energy efficiency and lower CO2 emissions using conventional fuels like gasoline.  In the lab, they have achieved 64mpg in a non-hybrid Prius-class vehicle (3400  pounds)

This innovative fuel injection systems uses “supercritical” fuel injection, where the fuel is modified with a catalyst for  ultra-high efficiency and lower emission levels.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s  Transportation Research Board, gasoline engines only use 15% of their energy for propulsion of the vehicle.  30% is waste heat out the radiator and another 30% goes out with the exhaust.

Transonic’s precision controlled fuel injection systems produce lean air-to-fuel ratios that minimize many of thermal efficiency losses from today’s engine technology.  This is done by changing the physical properties of hte gasoline into a supercritical state.

For non0chemists, the critical point is the intersection of liquid and gasseous state of a substance.  Above that – the supercritical area – the substance mixes very easily while remaining compositionally dense.  What Transonic has been able to do is push the gasoline into that supercritical area, mix it with oxygen and inject the mix into the chamber with no liquid droplets to lower the burning temperature.

In laboratory tests on modern engine architectures, this technology has successfully run on gasoline, diesel, biodiesel, heptane, ethanol, and vegetable oil, all in the same engine.

The company expects cost-parity with current high-end injection systems.  They are already working with 3 auto companies for conversion of their existing engines, with a target introduction to the commercial market in 2014

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