Redesign brings petrol engines into 21st century



Much like how power supplies take in huge amounts of electricity and then wastefully lathe them into the small voltages actually needed, car engines have inefficiencies innate to their design which cost you every day at the petrol pump. However, a new petrol engine design from Purdue University streamlines and eliminates mechanisms between pistons and valves, allowing the valves to, via a process called variable valve actuation, be fine-tuned to vastly improve how efficiently petrol is combusted. The second part of the redesign is called homogeneous charge compression ignition, which is also exciting and technical and the upshot is it’ll let us get a lot more bang (quiet, elegant, low-emission, fuel-efficient bang) out of the fossil fuels we’ve got left. The petrol engine hasn’t changed much since its initial creation, so it’s about time it, like the incandescent bulb, got a high-tech makeover. [GT]

Radical engine redesign would reduce pollution, oil consumption

Gabrielle Taylor