The innovative device submitted here is an air centrifugation system, allowing to separate oxygen molecules from nitrogen molecules contained in the air. This device is mainly dedicated to internal combustion engines, more specifically in the field of motor vehicles, and is intended to drastically reduce pollutants and CO2 emissions, while improving fuel efficiency.
Generally speaking, internal combustion engines are fitted with an air inlet system, comprising an air filter and possibly various components, as one or several air compressors or turbochargers, intended to compress the air admitted inside the combustion chamber of the engine.
The fresh air generally constitutes the main oxidizer admitted inside the combustion chamber and is composed, in normal temperature and pressure conditions, of a mixture comprising, in addition to water vapor, a dry extract made up of approximately 78,1% nitrogen and 20,9% oxygen in volume, plus approximately 1% of other gases, as argon and carbon dioxide. These proportions, when referring to masses, are respectively of 75,5% for the nitrogen and 23,1% for the oxygen.
Engine control systems are normally designed to optimize combustion efficiency and minimize the emission of pollutants, especially carbon and nitrogen oxides. However, depending on the combustion temperature, the presence of nitrogen inside the combustion chamber may allow NOx to be produced during the combustion, which are dangerous pollutants.
The present air centrifugation device offers a solution to overcome this problem by removing nitrogen from the combustion chamber intake and allowing only oxygen, plus EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation, mainly CO2), in a high proportion, adjusted to optimize the thermodynamic cycle. In this process, the nitrogen may simply be rejected outside the air centrifugation device, without causing any harm to the environment.
There are 3 main benefits resulting from this innovation:
- A drastic reduction in NOx emissions, whatever the test cycle (WLTP, RDE)
- A very significant improvement in cold start emissions, as it is possible to temporarily increase the combustion temperature without creating NOx. (Less particulate emissions)
- A substantial improvement in overall engine efficiency coming from a high EGR rate (No need to pump Nitrogen through the combustion chamber). This also leads to less CO2.
This innovation may be optimized for micro-hybrid vehicles as well as full-hybrid vehicles. (Electrical motor + combustion engine). It works with spark ignition as well as compression ignition. (Gasoline and diesel engines).
The prototypes of this air centrifugation device have been produced by simply modifying the compressor part of a turbocharger, i.e. replacing the volute of the compressor part by a specific part which separates the oxygen from the nitrogen, instead of producing a flow of compressed air as in ordinary turbochargers. The technology used to produce the specific part is compatible with state of the art manufacturing processes, which means that this device is easy to mass product.
Several International patents + patents pending