Our research is driving the way to zero-emission engines

Ground breaking new engine technology, based on world-leading research at the University of Brighton, is opening the way to production of the worlds’ first near zero-emission heavy internal combustion engine.

The CryoPower Cool Combustion process enables recovery of otherwise wasted exhaust heat which is then cooled via the injection of a small amount of liquid nitrogen. The liquid nitrogen acts as both a coolant and an additional source of energy, reducing emissions and improving fuel efficiency.

Test results, carried out as part of the StepCO2 programme part funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, have shown CryoPower to offer a near-zero emissions capability, in some cases offering lower tailpipe NOx emissions than in the surrounding air and with potential to remove pollution in towns and cities.

CryoPower was originally conceived as a means of enabling otherwise unachievable improvements in fuel economy and reduced CO2, targeted at achieving at least 60 percent brake thermal efficiency.  The early development work carried out on the test rig installed at the University of Brighton has not only validated this potential but has also demonstrated the highly impressive low-NOx emissions credentials of the CryoPower combustion process.

Professor Rob Morgan of the University of Brighton’s Advanced Engineering Centre said: “Our research has taken a completely new approach to the design of the combustion system, focusing on achieving the conditions for ultra-low emissions. This enabled us to unpick the ‘normal’ way of designing an engine and to come up with a different set of answers.

“Our split-cycle engine combines the findings of our high efficiency research with our low emissions research ideas.  On the test bed, we are getting engine out emission much lower than a fully optimised modern truck.  With some after-treatment, you would get to very low level emissions that are actually cleaner than the air going into the engine.”

The technology is suitable for use with heavy duty engines running on diesel or a range of other liquid or gaseous conventional, bio- or synthetic fuels ranging from long-haul trucks, to stationary power, off-highway equipment, and self-powered and multi-mode railway traction.

The CryoPower project is being developed through a partnership with Brighton-based engineering firm Ricardo, HiFlux Ltd, and AMRC.

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