#10 | Otto cycle engines: a solution to reduce emissions?

By: Mario Canet (TMB)

Undoubtedly, the objective of mobility in recent decades and the coming years is to reduce the impact of emissions, and in this regard, especially those associated with the use of thermal engines. We can distinguish two types of emissions; those of global scope that affect the planet regardless of where they are produced (CO2) and those of a local scope that affect people who are close to the point of emission (NOx, PM).

Without a doubt, zero-emission vehicles with energy produced exclusively by renewable sources are the reference solution. Still, their implementation collides with the resistance of an industry, a market and consumption habits that slow down their implementation. In this line, it is interesting to broaden the focus and include biofuels, especially biogas, as a reasonable solution that can allow the harmonization of needs and solutions.

Otto engines using biomethane, a valid alternative to natural gas

The Otto cycle engines that run on Compressed Natural Gas are capable, without any modification, of using Biomethane even with an undemanding upgrading since a certain content of CO2 in the fuel would not affect its operation, many of these engines use valves Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) that introduces CO2 from the exhaust into the mixture to reduce the production of nitrogen oxides.

The automotive industry has made great efforts in recent decades to reinvent itself to meet the demands of the Euro standards. As a culmination of this work, Otto cycle engines with three-way catalytic converters offer an extremely low level of local emissions, lower than particulate matter (PM) emissions produced, for example by tires. As a note, indicate that the particles emitted by the tires are proportional to the weight of the vehicle, much higher in electric vehicles.

Thus, if we consider that the local emissions of an engine of this type are acceptable, we only have the problem of global emissions. In this line, the biogas is associated with a level of zero CO2 equivalent since all the gas produced is of biological origin and the closed cycle of the matter is ensured.

“Otto cycle engines are able to reduce emissions of global engines at a local and global scope”

 Four aspects of the added value of Otto cycle engines using biomethane
  • First, it fosters the circular economy.
  • Second, there is political-economic independence that implies being able to manufacture the fuels necessary for mobility and industry locally without depending on external suppliers.
  • Third, the production cost stability.
  • And fourth, the advantages for the consumer of being able to continue operating with their trucks, coaches or private vehicles in the same way they have been doing it for decades.

In conclusion, this technology harmonizes the interests of the most demanding environmentalists by reusing truly problematic waste to produce clean energy (various livestock waste, wastewater, etc.), and the interests of the automobile and fuel distribution industry, which can reuse the work and investments made to date (refuelling points, manufacturing chains, developments, auxiliary industries, etc.) making the most of a truly advanced state of the art.

Otto cycle engines meet the demands of environmentalists and the automobile and fuel distribution industry by reusing problematic waste to produce clean energies and reusing work and investments already made