Closed cycle hydrogen internal combustion engine technology

A novel internal combustion engine technology in which the ambient air supply is replaced with oxygen and the inert nitrogen working fluid is replaced with recycled argon or helium, eliminating the formation of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx). In addition to eliminating harmful pollutants, the higher specific heat ratio of argon or helium provide an increase in efficiency due to lower compression required to achieve the same peak cylinder temperature compared to nitrogen. In order to recycle the inert gas, as argon or helium is too expensive to consume, hydrogen must be used as a fuel since hydrogen only emits water vapor upon combustion. Hydrocarbon fuels emit carbon dioxide, which would need to be released due to rapid pressure buildup. Water vapor can easily be separated from the exhaust stream through condensation, as the water vapor will eventually condense. Due to hydrogen’s high autoignition temperature, compression ignition is challenging without a significant pilot fuel injection of a carbon-containing high cetane fuel, which makes the closed cycle system challenging and impractical. Instead, an Otto cycle is used, allowing for 100% hydrogen fuel to be used. The result is a fully zero emission, low-cost alternative to fuel cells or batteries. This technology has a wide range of applications, from marine propulsion to trucking.

If you’re interested in licensing this technology, or interested in general, please contact me on Twitter or by email at Patents are currently being applied for. Those interested in replicating the technology, I am more than happy to help, please just give credit. I encourage engineers, designers or inventors to try out this concept and build prototypes.

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