We all know that automakers are feverishly developing hybrid vehicles in an attempt to reduce our dependency on gasoline. But as long as gasoline is available and petrol-based cars remain prolific, that gasoline is going to be used despite all our efforts to wean ourselves from it. So, why not devise a more efficient method of consuming it? Transonic Combustion, a fuel efficiency startup company located in Camarillo, CA, submits an answer to that logical inquiry in the form of a fuel injection system that the company claims will improve gasoline efficiency by 50 percent when it is implemented in production cars by 2014.
According to Technology Review, a test vehicle outfitted with the new system received 64 miles per gallon during highway driving, rendering it reportedly more efficient than many gas-electric hybrids such as the Prius, which only gets 48 mpg on highways. Mike Rocke, Transonic’s vice president of business development, says the key to greater gasoline efficiency is heating and pressurizing petrol before injecting it into a combustion chamber. “This puts it into a supercritical state that allows for very fast and clean combustion,” explains Technology Review, “which in turn decreases the amount of fuel needed to propel a vehicle.” Transonic’s system also treats the gasoline with a catalyst that partially oxidizes it to enhance combustion.
Once fuel has been injected into the piston, heat and pressure cause the fuel to combust without a spark, resulting in fast and uniform combustion. The ignition can also be timed to occur at an optimal point, allowing the maximum amount of gasoline energy to be converted into mechanical movement.
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