New engine to replace diesel

Year 2003
Project team Bill Green

A new type of engine

The $73 billion world market for diesel engines is a plum incentive for developing a less-polluting alternative engine. Diesel engines produce a large fraction of the air pollution in the developed world, including particulates strongly correlated with mortality. Regulators would likely prohibit them if a cost-effective alternative existed. This project proposes such an alternative. It explores a new type of engine, comparable to a diesel in cost and energy efficiency but with orders of magnitude lower emissions. The engine is based on an existing technology—the fuel-efficient, low-emission homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engine. It has a special design, however, that makes it more robust than current HCCI engines by eliminating the need for an expensive and technically challenging active control mechanism.