It is more than a year ago since we first introduced the concept of liquid nitrogen to be used in a motor, however there were still some limitations and doubts to whether this idea will ever be realized commercially.
Now, a large team of UK engineers and scientists managed to develop a real and working nitrogen-fueled engine, which is about to enter its testing period this summer. If it all goes according to plan, the developers expect to deploy it by 2025 in refrigerated trucks, which currently contribute quite substantially to the country’s carbon emissions and air pollution.
The invention, partially funded by the British government, was developed by Dearman Engine Company, in collaboration with a number of leading universities, including the ones in Leeds, Birmingham, Loughborough and Brighton, as well as the engineering consultancy Ricardo. The Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA), Air Products and Loughbotough University, are the partners, who will conduct the three-months testing programme at a facility located in the Imperial Collage, London.
The makers are extremely excited and proud of what their development has turned out to be. It is essentially a technology, which, as the guys from Dearman engine state, uses a diesel-hybrid that can harness low grade waste heat from the internal combustion engine cooling loop. Considering the enormous pressure that has been put on the transport sector to lower carbon emissions, liquid air engines might well be the key to a complete transformation. The country has already quite a large industrial plant network, which can easily accommodate a mass production of liquid nitrogen, if needed, making the project very easily realized in a space of around two years.
What the developers refer to as a zero-emission engine has the potential to save millions of pounds on fuel currently consumed by nearly 370,00 refrigeration diesel trucks, while reducing the emissions of particulates by as much as 180 tonnes per year.
The technology is truly revolutionary, and brings huge hopes to the industry. Let’s hope it all works out.
Image (c) Wim van de Graf