Fuel-injection System That Delivers 64 Miles Per Gallon

Mar 10, 2010 by John Messina weblog
The new fuel-injection system is placed into this sports car which weighs approximately the same as the Toyota Prius hybrid and has similar aerodynamics. The new fuel injection system gets better gas mileage than the Prius hybrid. Credit: Transonic Combustion

(PhysOrg.com) -- The best hybrid cars of today can only deliver about 48 miles per gallon. By using this newly developed fuel injection system a test vehicle was measured at achieving 64 miles per gallon in highway driving. This is approximately a 50% increase in fuel efficiency in a gasoline engine.

The fuel injection system was developed by a Transonic Combustion and their goal is to increase of existing gasoline engines. The cost for this ultra-efficient system would be as much as high-end fuel injection systems currently on the market today.

By heating and pressurizing gasoline before injecting it into the places it into a supercritical state that allows for very fast and clean combustion. This in turn decreases the amount of fuel needed to run the vehicle. The gasoline is also treated with a catalyst to further enhance combustion.

What makes Transonic's fuel injection system different from a direct injection is that it uses supercritical fluids and requires no spark to ignite the fuel. The supercritical fluid mixes quickly with air when it's injected into the cylinder. The heat and pressure, in the cylinder, alone is enough to cause the fuel to combust without a spark.

Ignition timing happens just when the piston reaches the optimal point, so that the maximum amount of energy is converted into mechanical movement of the engine.

Proprietary software has also been developed by Transonic Combustion that allows the system to adjust the fuel injection precisely depending on engine load.

Transonic Combustion is currently testing their new system with three automakers. One key concern is the life of the engine when it’s subject to high pressures and temperatures. The company plans to manufacture the system themselves and not license the technology. Transonic Combustion plans to build its first factory in 2013, and place the technology into production cars by 2014.

Explore further: Japan gov't calls on citizens to stockpile toilet paper

More information: Transonic Combustion: www.tscombustion.com/

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User comments : 37

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TCB
3.5 / 5 (14) Mar 10, 2010
The article adds nothing about the costs of the "supercritical fluids" that must be added to make the system work. A system is already on the market that injects fuel directly into the combustion chamber and uses the heat of compression to ignite the charge. The system is popularly known as the "Diesel" system.
antialias
3.9 / 5 (8) Mar 10, 2010
Adding a catalyst is also not really a viable option. Are we supposed to fill up two tanks? One for gasoline and one for the catalyst?

The article adds nothing about the costs of the "supercritical fluids" that must be added to make the system work.

The supercritical fluid in the article is the gasoline (it is just put in a supercritical state by heating and pressurization)
Bob_Kob
3.7 / 5 (7) Mar 10, 2010
Well by definition a catalyst is something that speeds up reaction without being used in the process.
david_42
3.8 / 5 (5) Mar 10, 2010
I suspect the catalyst is a solid matrix, not a fluid. Direct injection using air was pioneered back in the '70s. Ford bought the technology, but was unable to manufacture critical parts accurately.
robbor
4 / 5 (10) Mar 10, 2010
combustion powered cars are becoming increasingly complicated and when compared to an all electric vehicle has surpassed its usefulness. The public needs simple, dependable, affordable transportation. I still remember the documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car" where an EV-1 service person said other than replacing wiper blades and checking the tire pressure nothing went wrong with the cars.
I tired of paying huge service bills for wildly complex cars that are being forced to run cleanly on dirty, anachronistic fuel. On many points we deserve better.
Chull13
3.8 / 5 (6) Mar 10, 2010
Nice but what's the big deal?
I bought a brand new gasoline car in 1994 that avergaged 55 mpg even at the 140,000+ mile mary with 43 mpg the low end on cold winter days and 60 mpg the high end on hot summer days. It was also the cheapest car you could buy - no fuel injection. And yes - it would go up hill without a back wind!! It was the Geo Metro.
I would think that 16 years later we would be abit further than only a 9 mpg gain.
This isn't mews!!
trekgeek1
4.5 / 5 (4) Mar 10, 2010
"This isn't mews!!"

No, it isn't. Those can be found at cat fancy magazine (couldn't resist). I agree that these engines are just getting too complex. It really illustrates how electric motors are the next stage. It seems that we are just applying patches to I.C. engines until the next battery break through, when electric cars will finally take their place in society.
lengould100
5 / 5 (7) Mar 10, 2010
Would just point out that beating the Prius on the highway is no big deal really. It is designed to improve efficiency in stop-start city driving. On the highway, is no different than any other car except for the added weight of the unused electric drive systems.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.3 / 5 (4) Mar 10, 2010
combustion powered cars are becoming increasingly complicated and when compared to an all electric vehicle has surpassed its usefulness. The public needs simple, dependable, affordable transportation. I still remember the documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car" where an EV-1 service person said other than replacing wiper blades and checking the tire pressure nothing went wrong with the cars.
I tired of paying huge service bills for wildly complex cars that are being forced to run cleanly on dirty, anachronistic fuel. On many points we deserve better.

If you think electric vehicles are less complex than combustion vehicles you're sorely uninformed.
baudrunner
3.3 / 5 (8) Mar 10, 2010
Supercritical fuel injection system
United States Patent 4189914.

An article on this patent was published in 1980, so the knowledge has been around for a long, long time, probably even before that, if my Popular Mechanics memory serves me right. It's a testament to general apathy that somebody decided to do something about it thirty years later.

It's like the continuously variable transmission. The CVT concept has been around for about 500 years, but only now are car manufacturers deciding they're a good idea whose time has come. Who makes those decisions anyway?
droid001
3 / 5 (3) Mar 10, 2010
The public needs simple, dependable, affordable transportation

Agree 100%. Where is simple cars?
digdug
3.3 / 5 (4) Mar 10, 2010

Agree 100%. Where is simple cars?


Simple cars exist. Mainly in countries other than the USA. If there was a big market for them, they would be selling them. But in the USA, most people believe in "bigger is better". Heck, I read an article that said the Model T Ford got 25 mpg. We haven't come very far in the last 100 years with the combustion engine.

I'm slightly happy about the recession that the USA is in. It makes people think twice about buying that gas-guzzling SUV versus a more fuel efficient vehicle. It makes people think twice about using public transportation.

American is a great country that has willingly let corporations send many of our jobs and manufacturing to other countries.

It will be a great day in American history when an American auto company can gather enough brains together, throw away the greed, and make a vehicle that kicks the crap out everyone else. I, personally, have lost hope. I would love to be proven wrong. That's my 2 cents.
Glyndwr
4.3 / 5 (7) Mar 10, 2010
Why does the question of whether the US is a great country come into this? A country is a human construct......we need the most efficient technologies to progress in this world
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (2) Mar 10, 2010
Simple cars exist. Mainly in countries other than the USA.

Name the country please. I have a suspicion that you're talking out of your ass. I would be most pleased if that suspicion was wrong.
slaveunit
4 / 5 (2) Mar 10, 2010
This is another brave but silly attempt to string out the life of the ICE the real answer to reduce immediate fuel use is the plug in series hybrid where the engine generates electricity for recharge on long trips with a battery good enough for the daily commute so during the week you can go to work with no fuel costs but wont get stranded with no charge in the battery. Jaguar is developing a micro turbo generator and im sure the same could be done with a really efficient deisel geneerator for range extended electric vehicle, this solution could also be combined with current hybrid perhaps doubling their fuel efficiency that would help the transition to ev's a lot. Btw the ev is not yet suitable as anything but a daily commuter it neeeds either to recharge faster or to go further to really replace ICE vehicles.
dirk_bruere
3 / 5 (2) Mar 10, 2010
My VW Gold 2.0 Diesel - 50mpg
tkjtkj
4 / 5 (1) Mar 10, 2010
Adding a catalyst is also not really a viable option. Are we supposed to fill up two tanks? One for gasoline and one for the catalyst?


Catalysts are items that are not consumed by the chemical reaction... they fascilitate the reaction.. ie, require less energy espenditure for the reaction to occur ..
Therefore, no need for any consumable "catalyst". Were there, then the catalyst would then be called the 2nd element of a binary fuel.

EdFreeman
4 / 5 (1) Mar 10, 2010
Realistically, we will be using gas engines for quite a while yet. Every single improvement gets us closer to cleaning up our air, this one included. However, I wish they had licensed the technology rather than retaining it. A broad distribution would help us reduce our dependence on fossil fuels a little quicker.
tkjtkj
4 / 5 (1) Mar 10, 2010
Every single improvement gets us closer to cleaning up our air, this one included. However, I wish they had licensed the technology rather than retaining it.


Wake up! What do you THINK is the driving force behind innovation?? at least in our capitalist society ...
Hint: it begins with: " Prof...."

EdFreeman
5 / 5 (2) Mar 10, 2010
You can make a profit by licensing your invention and often a lot quicker and without the other business risks.
dcap78
1.5 / 5 (4) Mar 10, 2010
lets face it, were going to be using fossil fuels for a long time, maybe forever. It is still this easiest (and cheapest) way to power our cars. I would love to see dependence on fossil fuels go away, but its still going to be a while. Has anyone seen the car that can run on water by converting it to hydrogen? that's a good idea. Electric cars are not economic because of their up-front cost, and the cost of the replacement batteries which are several thousand dollars and have to be replaced every 5 to 6 years.
Parsec
3 / 5 (1) Mar 11, 2010
There is no inherent reason that electron storage cannot be 5x, 10x or more better than what we currently have. There are embedded physical limitations on the efficiency of any engine using a carnot cycle such as gasoline, diesel, steam, or any other sort of engine of that sort.

It will be a while, but an electron society will eventually emerge.
robbor
3 / 5 (1) Mar 11, 2010

If you think electric vehicles are less complex than combustion vehicles you're sorely uninformed.

jealous
jimbo92107
4 / 5 (1) Mar 11, 2010
Down with Carnot! Electrons are green!
DaveMart
3 / 5 (3) Mar 11, 2010
I am wondering if this system could be used in a Wankel engine.
Audi is looking at using them as range extenders in a hybrid as they are light and compact:
http://www.greenc...tml#more

Their disadvantage is that they do not burn fuel very efficiently, so get poor mpg.
If engineering this into a Wankel is possible then reasonable fuel economy and a greater range might be possible - the very small engine in the e-tron only gives an additional 200 kilometers range.
John_balls
2.5 / 5 (4) Mar 11, 2010
combustion powered cars are becoming increasingly complicated and when compared to an all electric vehicle has surpassed its usefulness. The public needs simple, dependable, affordable transportation. I still remember the documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car" where an EV-1 service person said other than replacing wiper blades and checking the tire pressure nothing went wrong with the cars.
I tired of paying huge service bills for wildly complex cars that are being forced to run cleanly on dirty, anachronistic fuel. On many points we deserve better.

If you think electric vehicles are less complex than combustion vehicles you're sorely uninformed.

Less moving parts. And yes they are outside of the battery.
John_balls
3.6 / 5 (5) Mar 11, 2010
lets face it, were going to be using fossil fuels for a long time, maybe forever. It is still this easiest (and cheapest) way to power our cars. I would love to see dependence on fossil fuels go away, but its still going to be a while. Has anyone seen the car that can run on water by converting it to hydrogen? that's a good idea. Electric cars are not economic because of their up-front cost, and the cost of the replacement batteries which are several thousand dollars and have to be replaced every 5 to 6 years.

Nothing is economic when they first arrive on the scene that includes the computers, hd televisions etc.
Skeptic_Heretic
2 / 5 (1) Mar 11, 2010
Less moving parts. And yes they are outside of the battery.

And ICE's are not complex outside of the energy generation provided by the engine.

You cannot pick and choose to exclude systems that are required for functionality. Couple that with the far more complex and lengthy code used to regulate power flow and my point holds.

Wake up! What do you THINK is the driving force behind innovation?? at least in our capitalist society ...
Hint: it begins with: " Prof...."

No, It begins with "M" and ends with "oney".
dachpyarvile
3 / 5 (4) Mar 12, 2010
Down with Carnot! Electrons are green!


Well, except for those generated via fossil fuels... :)
HeloMenelo
1.7 / 5 (6) Mar 14, 2010
Less moving parts. And yes they are outside of the battery.

And ICE's are not complex outside of the energy generation provided by the engine.

You cannot pick and choose to exclude systems that are required for functionality. Couple that with the far more complex and lengthy code used to regulate power flow and my point holds.

Wake up! What do you THINK is the driving force behind innovation?? at least in our capitalist society ...
Hint: it begins with: " Prof...."

No, It begins with "M" and ends with "oney".


I'm sorry but in terms of servicing IC's in comparison to electric motors, IC's have way more parts to check and replace, i would know, exactly that is, i work with electric motors.

Electric motors are more efficient they do not lose power output over time like ic's, in fact in a brushless motor you only need to replace BEARINGS. Now....

Don't make me list the things that need replacement in and ic car OOO so often!
HeloMenelo
1.7 / 5 (6) Mar 14, 2010
The IC belongs more than 6 feet under ground along with with the fossils of long buried prehistoric tech.

It will take time but someday electric vehicles will
grow to serve the masses.
It is an awesome revolution and i'm glad to be at the start of it! There is so much research going on into creating alternative energy sources for electric motors, An exciting era to live in!
Forestgnome
1.7 / 5 (3) Mar 14, 2010
It's like the continuously variable transmission. The CVT concept has been around for about 500 years, but only now are car manufacturers deciding they're a good idea whose time has come. Who makes those decisions anyway?

You do. It's just like illegal drugs. If there's a market for it, someone will be there to provide it. You're just not willing to live in a cardboard box so you can afford to buy the car of the future.
Coldstatic
not rated yet Mar 14, 2010
To answer the question of where are all the simple cars, you need to go back in time before they added electronics to the picture, if one of the hundreds of critical sensors on a car goes, you can expect to pay quite a bit to get it replaced.
Now all of you who praise the electric car and fuel cell cars and all these other alternative energy vehicles, have you ever worked on one? The undercarriage alone is a nightmare of pipes and wires. The cost of the componets is ridculous as well, a new battery for a prius is approx 3,000 with a lifespan of approx 8 years, that is comparable to having to buy a whole new motor or transmission. The IC is still the simplest, most understood method of propulsion.

This technology seems like a good idea, I am just curious as to how they are going to tackle the pressure and heat problem. I could imagine adding an intercooler, possibly widening the channels that the coolant flow through would help.
HeloMenelo
1 / 5 (5) Mar 15, 2010
As with everything in life, price comes down as manufacturing steps up.

And no an electric car is very simple. You Have A motor, a controller and a battery,

the piping and wires is just to scare people, but it's just connecting these 3 basic components.

I know exactly how to set it up and it's easy.

Obviously in the beginning it would be expensive, but cost will drop. Simultaneously alternative power sources are being researched daily

Cooling there are a few ways of doing it, i will not go into detail, but there will be heat and and
efficient system will have to be used.

There are hundreds of benefits of electric, one would be able to customize so many variables via your own laptop,
changing the rate of acceleration, monitoring so many variables. too much too mention!

Best of all, i'l never have to go to those big head car dealers again that tries to replace unnecessary parts and overcharge
for a service. They can overcharge themselves with costs lol. Electric is alive!
psommerfeld
not rated yet Mar 16, 2010
Heck, I read an article that said the Model T Ford got 25 mpg. We haven't come very far in the last 100 years with the combustion engine.


I've heard this a few times too, but everybody seems to not realize how a Model T would do in a 70 mph+ accident (if it could ever get to that speed itself).

If you took all the safety features from a modern Honda Civic (air bags, high-strength steel, crumple zones, etc) I think you would have fantastic fuel economy. Think Honda CR-X or better.
PPihkala
not rated yet Mar 19, 2010
psommerfeld:
I agree that safety and emissions equipment have in them the burden of lesser energy efficiency. 70's cars were having good MPG because they could use better efficiency, which resulted in bigger pollution. Take out all the emission controls of modern car, optimize for consumption, not pollution and there should be a sizeable increase in MPG. Of course that will never happen, so I'm also looking forward to electric cars. Meanwhile develop that gasoline/diesel combination ICE and use it.
mpgman
not rated yet Apr 01, 2010
1. Emissions, emissions, emissions. Let me know about the feasiblity after you test it. Some of the best fuel savings techniques like lean burn cannot be used because of high NOx emissions.
2. The injection system on this vehicle would not be cheap. True hybrid batteries are expensive, but a reliable, sophisticated high pressure injection system would not be cheap either by any stretch of the imagination.
3. 64 mpg for this engine is probably a steady state speed compared to the Prius which is tested under freeway and transient conditions. The Prius would probably equal that in an apples apples comparison. The Prius gains in fuel economy are largely due to the atkinson cycle engine. Try to get ~ 60 mpg on an otto cycle engine at highway cruising speeds. The Prius is not using batteries here.
4. Is the "catalyst" a consumable fuel additive? Their are some fuels with small amounts of precious metals added to improve combustions and emissions. If so, this is an expensive trick.