IC Combustion Enhancement by Air Ionization for Engine Peripherals i.e. EGR Supply etc.
Numerous patents have been issued that treat the entering air stream in IC engines prior to combustion with a goal of ionizing air thereby enhancing combustion. The literature states that a successfully ionized air stream will be transformed into reactive oxygen species (ROS) that aid combustion in the cylinder by creating the first stage of combustion prior to the cylinder. None of the devices proposed for IC engine air treatment have been successful in becoming a main stream commercial reality.
A common manifestation of air ionization is the familiar lightning bolt that ionizes the air creating a static electrticity path from cloud to earth. The ionized air becomes a conductive path and is a very high temperature thermal plasma; a fourth state of matter.
The lightning bolt phenomenon has been reproduced in the arc metal plasma cutting torch. The purpose of the arc is to ionize a portion of the high velocity air stream supplied to the nozzle. The air stream becomes highly ionized and changed into a thermal plasma at 1400 degrees F. The super-hot ionized air is what melts and cuts the metal.
It has been demonstrated that an ionizing static electricity voltage can be obtained easily and economically by the use of the little know phenomenon of triboelctricity that requires no external source of electricity. Triboelectric surfaces can be charged by the air flowing over triboelectric surfaces such as polymers that can obtain positive or negative charge in the form of a non-thermal plasma. In an appropriate design configuration, surface static voltage levels can be obtained that are capable of ionizing flowing air and other gases. The EGR importantly contains distilled water vapor that can also be ionized to create combustion aiding hydroxides and hydrogen ( FIG 1).
An alternative to air flow dependent triboelectric surfaces is to have permanently charged triboelectric surfaces in the form of an electret that can supply a constant ionizing electric field independent of a flowing gas.
Superchargers and turbochargers supply more air and its oxygen. Another way to supply more oxygen is to add nitrous oxide that contains its own additional supply of bound oxygen that is released at combustion temperatures in the cylinder. By creating a reactive ionized air supply, a source of reactive oxygen like the addition of nitrous oxide will be obtained.
It has been demonstrated that a reduction of 50+% in fuel consumption can be obtained with ionized air prior to entering the cylinder. A similar level of emissions reduction will occur.
A very simple and inexpensive triboelectric insert device consisting of parallel plates of the same or opposite triboelectric polarity can be activated under air flow conditions when placed in existing IC engine conduits. i.e. superchargers.
The application of this technology to engine peripherals in universal OEM and aftermarket applications is a huge potential market that will result in very significant fuel savings and emissions reductions
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An important part of IC engine performance is drop-in technology such as fuel delivery components, superchargers, EGR systems etc. These areas have been neglected by the main stream engine development community who are concentrating on completely new total engine architecture design. The exception has been by Bosch with their -WaterBoost system that brings the field of water injection to the main stream IC engine application. The sole purpose of IC engine development is to significantly improve basic combustion and therefore should not neglect engine peripherals.