Internal Combustion Engine with No Harmful Gas (NOx) or CO2 Emissions

Universitat Politècnica de València Background
One of the sectors with the highest amount of polluting gas emissions is the transport sector, representing 25% of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe and 10% worldwide. Therefore, it is one of the strategic areas in terms of environmental policies that focus, among other aspects, on the creation of vehicles with low or zero emissions.
Carbon oxides (CO, CO2) are generated due to the nature of the hydrocarbon combustion processes, the main components of the fuels used in internal combustion engines, while nitrogen oxides (NOx) are generated due to the high concentration of nitrogen in the air used for combustion and the high temperatures reached that facilitate their oxidation. In this field, Oxycombustion is one of the most promising for the significant reduction of NOx emissions, but also of CO, HxCy and particles coming from the MCIA. Oxycombustion requires high-purity oxygen, the acquisition of which externally may not be cost-effective. For this reason, on-site production is shown to be an option to be implemented in different applications in the automotive, aeronautical and marine sectors, as well as industrial applications where static internal combustion engines or any turbomachine are used for power generation.
Technology Overview
An internal combustion engine, with high specific power and high efficiency, which uses two Brayton cycles: a first cycle that incorporates an MIEC membrane to separate O2 from the air so that the suctioned oxidizing stream has not any N2; a second cycle combined in a binary way with the first cycle and nested with a cycle selected from an Otto cycle and a Diesel cycle using oxycombustion. The first cycle delivers compressed O2 from the MIEC membrane to the second cycle. The second cycle transmits mechanical and thermal energy from the exhaust gases to the first cycle.
This technological integration prevents the emission of harmful gases (NOx) to the atmosphere by separating N2 in the MIEC membrane. It can be used in various ways, including but not limited to by way examples:
Premixed or diffusion oxycombustion engine, with:

Either Zero (or low positive) tail pipe CO2 emissions.
or Negative tail pipe CO2 emissions: with a polymeric membrane or a molten carbonate-based membrane to separate CO2 from the air.

Stage of Development
The technological proposal is presented with: the modeled and calculated solution, prototypes of the components (TRL4), and proposals for projects to obtain a prototype in a real environment (TRL7) within around two years, or less, depending on the amount of public and / or private financing raised.
Benefits
Compliance, in the short term, with European emissions regulations planned for 2040.
Engine efficiency means running costs are equivalent to current costs for users.
Liquefied CO2 can be used to generate electrofuel by combining it with hydrogen from the electrolysis process assisted by renewable energy sources. Therefore, being a fundamental break in CO2 circular economy capturing it without tailpipe emission to the atmosphere.
Applications

Manufacturers of engines and their components (own or external). Engines for manufacturers of vehicles for transporting passengers and goods by land and sea and for aviation up to a certain power level.
Retrofitting current diesel engines.
Oil companies, as prescribers, as they would be able to reclassify their products as non-polluting for use with these engines.
Processes in which local O2 generation and oxy-combustion mean that CO2 can be liquefied without generating emissions.
Circular economy projects for CO2.
Processes requiring the compression of H2, O2, CO2 gases.

Opportunity
An operational prototype of the system has been developed, tested, and validated in the laboratory. Seeking partners for further testing to evaluate/improve its performance in real-world scenarios, as well as companies interested in establishing patent license agreements for its use, manufacture or sale. TRL can be considered to be TRL4.

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