01 Apr '11, 12am

Piston Engine Holds Promise for Fuel Economy: A start-up venture is developing a four-stroke opposed piston engi...

As I wrote in Thursday’s Times , several start-ups backed by Silicon Valley venture capital firms are developing a new type of internal combustion engine that promises a striking boost in fuel economy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It sounds a bit too good to be true, but the companies have had their claims verified by independent firms, and some of them have signed licensing deals with major engine manufacturers. The start-ups that I profiled – Achates Power, EcoMotors and Pinnacle Engines – all are building variations on what is called an opposed piston engine. Such engines do away with heavy cylinder heads that serve as combustion chambers in conventional engines. Instead, the space between two opposing pistons forms the combustion chamber where fuel is ignited. That makes opposed piston engines lighter and cheaper to make. And because opposed piston engines h...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/31/piston-engine-h...

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