Anonymous
Anonymous asked in EnvironmentAlternative Fuel Vehicles · 9 years ago

Could the internal combustion engine run on compressed air as well as fuel?

It seems that all the engine needs is some force to press the pistons down? maybe a combination of the engine exhaust a holding tank and air compressor and some fuel in the mix. Two pistons firing on fuel and two being forced by compressed air.

Update:

would it make a difference if the exhaust where used as the source of the compressed air?

13 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    nothing!.

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  • 9 years ago

    It's been done. They have put fuel-fired pistons in the same engine block with air compressor heads. Just takes a different cam and different manifolds. The purpose was to make a fuel-powered air compressor in one block. I suppose you could modify that to let you drive some pistons via compressed air.

    The efficiency would be absolutely terrible, though. You'd need a special circumstance, like you're on a ship or industrial plant, and you have plenty of air and not much electricity to do whatever you're doing.

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  • ?
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Engine That Runs On Air

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  • 9 years ago

    The valve timing would be different, so it couldn't use the same cylinder for both internal combustion and compressed air. If each cylinder is dedicated to one job or the other, it could work.

    Or a separate system can be used, with a small motor/compressor and an air tank. It could compress air during braking and use it later on making it a hybrid. Or the compressed air could be used to temporarily boost the intake pressure, giving you a short burst of power, but it wouldn't increase efficiency.

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  • Difdi
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    There is a car company in France right now that produces a car that runs entirely on compressed air. They use ultra-light materials and a solid aluminum engine block, with two cylinders. The cylinder heads are moved by focused jets of compressed air. The car can do about 70 miles per hour for about 120 miles on a full charge of compressed air (three large 5,000 psi tanks in the undercarriage). Refueling is accomplished overnight with a quiet electric compressor, for about $2 worth of electricity.

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  • 9 years ago

    You can't run the same internal combustion engine on air, no, but there is a small auto company in India that makes a compressed air version of the piston / crankshaft style engine. Obviously, these cars are small, light weight and limited to the country since they would never pass America's safety standards

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  • 9 years ago

    Yes,

    Several engines have been designed and / or built using compressed air PLUS a fuel. The goal has been to make a more efficient engine or to use air compressed by braking to start the vehicle from the stopped position. This second is a form of regenerative braking.

    see:

    http://www.starrotor.com/Engines

    http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/01/scuderi-engine-co...

    http://www.futurepundit.com/archives/001552.html

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  • paul h
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Some compressed air engine models have been built in India but they are generally for short trips and less efficent than other designs when you factor in the energy sources and losses.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compressed-air_car

    Some related articles on compressed air designs...

    http://www.greenoptimistic.com/category/air-powere...

    Another idea is to inject water into the combustion chambers and create steam power in 2 more cycles...the six-stroke engine. It requires no cooling sytem and has less weight, better fuel economy. An inventor named Bruce Crower and others have designed and built such engines.

    " Crower claims a 40% reduction in fuel consumption and reduced exhaust emissions per a given power range.[1]"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crower_six_stroke

    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20060227/free/3022...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-stroke_engine

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    At higher speeds, it runs on a fuel, such as gasoline, diesel or natural gas. NEW ENGINE DESIGN: Guy Negre's engine is, in fact, a radically new internal combustion engine. ... Within the next two years, you could see the first air-powered vehicle motoring ... You need to provide a login for this account as well. ...

    Source(s): www.scribd.com › Research › Science -
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  • 9 years ago

    exploding fuel pushes the pistons much faster than expanding air could. Its a neat concept, but if two pistons were being pushed by exploding gas, the other two with the compressed air wouldn't be in proper sync for an even close to efficient work cycle.

    Source(s): im a mechanical engineer, dude
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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    New generation car already discovered, that engine is work compressed air from cylinder .

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