Engineers at Ford are testing a new hydrogen fuel internal combustion engine (H2ICE) that reduces noxious emissions by 99.7% compared to gasoline combustion engines of similar size and power. Ford's P2000 research vehicle emits mostly water vapor and a small amount of carbon dioxide from the exhaust. It would take 300 hydrogen-powered vehicles to emit the same amount of carbon dioxide that comes from a single gasoline engine. "We made big improvements to this hydrogen engine by increasing the compression ratio and reducing oil consumption," says William Stockhausen, a staff technical specialist on Ford's H2ICE project. Other improvements include adding a solid-film lubricant and hard-surface treatments to the fuel injector system and a triple-redundant safety system. "We wanted to err on the side of safety," says Stockhausen. The P2000 H2ICE uses a modified Zetec 2.0-liter engine. Ford test results indicate the new engine is 25 to 30% more efficient than its gasoline counterpart. Ford's web site address is www.ford.com.
Although plastics make up only about 11% of all US municipal solid waste, many are actually more energy-dense than coal. Converting these non-recycled plastics into energy with existing technologies could reduce US coal consumption, as well as boost domestic energy reserves, says a new study.
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