Hybrids aren’t the only way to increase fuel economy and reduce emissions. A startup company based in Camarillo, CA – Transonic Combustion, has developed a new type of fuel injection system that they say can improve a gasoline engine’s efficiency by more than 50%. A recent test vehicle fitted with the new engine got 64 miles per gallon (mpg) in highway driving.
The Transonic Combustion TSCi system heats and pressurizes the gasoline before injecting it into the combustion chamber. The heat and pressure puts the gasoline into a ‘supercritical state’ that enables the fuel to get very fast and clean combustion, which increase energy output and reduces the amount of fuel needed to move the car. Transonic also uses a catalyst as part of their process to treat the gas before its injected, which further enhances combustion. The Transonic method differs from other fuel injection system in that it uses supercritical fuel and doesn’t need a spark for ignition – the heat and pressure from the fuel mixed with air is enough to make the fuel combust without needing a spark, which is similar to what happens in diesel engines.
Transonic has said that their system allows for an engine to run on all different types of fuels – gasoline, diesel, biodiesel, heptane, ethanol, and vegetable oil. They recently setup a test engine and were able to achieve “seamless operation alternating between several different fuels on one of our customer’s engines in our Camarillo test facilities.” The best part of this is that the company feels that their system would only cost about as much as other fuel-injection systems currently on the market. If true, this could lead to hybrid type gas mileage at a much lower price point.