What do rapeseed, a canister of compressed hydrogen and a combustion engine have in common? According to Carnot Engines, they are the future of sustainable powertrains.
The founders have redesigned the engine to run on hydrogen and biofuels for zero carbon operation.
The company is aiming to revolutionise the efficiency of internal combustion and say that they can be used to meet the demand for clean and cheap power for heavy transport and power generation, is crowdfunding to raise £170,000.
Carnot Engines, which joined Oxford University Innovation‘s incubator earlier this year, says the funding will underpin patent applications, investment in additional engineering resource and the completion of a proof-of-concept for a ceramic engine technology that mitigates the thermal losses that make traditional engine technology inefficient.
The thermally-efficient technology, allied to hydrogen and biofuels, provides a compelling solution for heavy transport and shipping applications, as well as off-grid power generation that currently has no clean alternatives to outmoded and dirty diesel power.
All applications of Carnot’s technology benefit from net zero carbon emissions. There are also significant cost reductions for class 8 HGV applications and the marine propulsion market. The company suggests a 41 per cent reduction in fuel usage for bulk carriers and tankers which equates to a £32 million saving over the lifecycle of an average container ship.
In other applications, efficiency is the lifeblood of supplying remote off-grid locations with electricity generation at sustainable prices using biofuels. Carnot’s genset technologies are being used to raise access to electricity in rural Ethiopia, working alongside the Ethiopian Institute of Technology and Fraunhofer IKTS Research Institute.
Carnot’s CEO, Archie Watts-Farmer said: “We’re a young business, but our progress has been stratospheric. Our fundraise is all about maintaining that momentum and extending our belief that Carnot’s technology is of its time and answers three profound problems at a stroke – how to spare the planet yet more carbon emissions, how to reduce the cost of power and how to democratise and share affordable energy in parts of the world that have been denied access to its benefits for too long. This next step is critical to that vision.”