Washington: Two Indian scientists have broken new ground by conceptually designing a new, cleaner motorcycle engine which is powered by compressed air.
The engine uses compressed air to turn a small air turbine, generating enough power to run a motorcycle for up to 40 minutes.
Their design, described in a paper appearing in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, could be combined with a compressed air cylinder as a replacement for traditional internal combustion engines.
In areas where motorcycles are a major source of public transportation, such a technology could cut emissions substantially if widely implemented.
According to Bharat Raj Singh, one of the two authors on the paper and a researcher at the SMS Institute of Technology in Lucknow, India, some 50 to 60 percent of present emissions in some areas could be reduced with the new technology, though a number of technical challenges remain.
Designing a compact but high-capacity air tank to store sufficient "fuel" for long rides is a major hurdle.
Existing tanks would require someone to stop about every 30 km to swap tanks.