In a significant scientific and environmental achievement, a combined team of engineers and technicians from Ad Astra Rocket Company and Cummins Power Generation, a business unit of global power leader Cummins Inc., (NYSE: CMI) have successfully powered a Cummins-built electrical generator using mixtures of hydrogen and biogas.
The team's success goes hand-in-hand with a parallel and ongoing technology development to store hydrogen affordably -- previous methods have been costly. The teams also designed a reliable process to mix and control hydrogen and biogas, and use together as an efficient energy source. These achievements could have long-term positive impacts especially in the developing world where energy resources are scarcer and less affordable.
A typical car in America has something around a 120-horsepower engine. A big SUV might have a 200-horsepower engine, and a tiny car might have only 70 horsepower. A moped, on the other hand has only a 1- or 2- horsepower engine, and it gets great gas mileage -- 70 or 80 miles per gallon. So why not put a little engine in a car to give its mileage a boost?
The internal combustion engine in most cars burns gasoline. To do the burning, an engine needs oxygen, and the oxygen comes from the air all around us. But what if cars carried their own and pumped pure oxygen into the engine instead?
The air around us is about 21 percent oxygen. Almost all the rest is nitrogen, which is inert when it runs through the engine. The oxygen controls how much gasoline an engine can burn. The ratio of gas to oxygen is about 1:14 -- for each gram of gasoline that burns, the engine needs about 14 grams of oxygen. The engine can burn no more gas than the amount of oxygen allows. Any extra fuel would come out of the exhaust pipe unburned.
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