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Tuesday, 31 May 2011



A car powered by liquid nitrogen may be seen cruising the streets. Cylinder injection of a heat transfer fluid followed by liquefied gas has raised efficiency to a point where fuel costs are comparable with petrol, but, more importantly, without the pollution. As well as solving a problem, which has long plagued all Rankine cycle engines, it leads to pollution-free vehicles without the associated cost and weight penalties incurred by batteries.

An automotive propulsion concept is presented which utilizes liquid nitrogen as the working fluid for an open Rankine cycle. Ambient heat exchangers are used to power an engine that is configured to maximize heat transfer during the expansion stroke. If sufficient heat input during the expansion process can be realized then this cryogenic propulsive system would provide greater automotive ranges and lower operating costs than those of electric vehicles currently, being considered for practical use.

Nitrogen gas formed in the heat exchanger expands to about 700 times the volume of its liquid form. This highly pressurized gas is then fed to the expander, where the force of the nitrogen gas is converted into mechanical power by pushing on the engine's pistons. The only exhaust is nitrogen, and since nitrogen is a major part of the atmosphere, the car gives off zero pollution.
An engine propelled by liquid nitrogen is a remarkable step in the development of environment friendly concept cars, which can surely be the next generation technology to be used for mass production.

This paper describes the fundamental concepts of cryogenic automotive propulsion. This includes the thermodynamic theory, which gives the basis of how nitrogen can be used to power engines.


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