Page last updated at 15:19 GMT, Friday, 22 January 2010

Inventor in cleaner engine claim

HCCI engine being built
The engine could be fitted in cars as early as 2013, the inventor says

A Dundee inventor has designed an engine which he says would make cars cleaner, more efficient - and possibly cheaper to make.

Mechanical engineer David Tonery said the new engine, made by his company Oxy-Gen, could reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 30%.

The design has already won two industry awards and several leading car manufacturers have expressed interest.

The engine achieves extra efficiency by running at a cooler temperature.

Mr Tonery, 28, said that particulate emissions from the engine were also "close to zero".

"If you think about a conventional engine, it relies on a spark, so you need a high temperature and a catalytic converter," he said.

"We've reduced the temperature inside the combustion chamber. When you do that, you reduce the nitrous emissions which means you don't need the catalytic converter.

"It makes a petrol engine as efficient as a diesel engine, and will also boost the fuel economy of a diesel."

'Cheap technology'

The University of Dundee graduate said the new technology - called homogenous charge compression injection, or HCCI - could deliver the efficiency of a hybrid, but without the "extra bits of engine".

He added: "Because we are not changing the architecture of the engine or the vehicle you don't have that extra cost.

"It's ideally suited to emerging economies. They can't afford hybrid technology, but this is a cheap technology."

Mr Tonery estimates that vehicles could be fitted with the new engines within the next three to five years.

The design won the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership Challenge in December and the Shell Springboard Award in 2007.

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