Bangalore: Two scientists in India have conceptually designed a new, cleaner motorcycle engine that uses compressed air to turn a small air turbine, generating enough power to run a motorcycle for up to 40 minutes. Their design could be combined with a compressed air cylinder as a replacement for traditional internal combustion engines. In areas where motorcycles are a major source of public transportation, such a technology could cut emissions substantially if widely implemented.
According to Bharat Raj Singh, one of the two authors on the paper published in Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy and a researcher at the SMS Institute of Technology in Lucknow, India, said that around 50 to 60 percent of present emissions in some areas could be reduced with the new technology, though a number of technical challenges remain.
Faster consumption of hydrocarbon fuel in the transport sector is posing global threat of depletion of fossil fuel reserves. Studies are being extensively done to search for an alternative energy source and to find out appropriate energy conversion system. Among various alternatives, the use of compressed atmospheric air in air turbine is an attractive option provided the atmospheric air is compressed by natural sources such as sun energy, wind energy, etc. It has the capability to produce shaft work with almost zero pollution in the environment.
Designing a compact but high-capacity air tank to store sufficient "fuel" for long rides is a major hurdle. Existing tanks would require someone to stop about every 30 km (19 mi) to swap tanks.