What if the cars of the future drove… metal powder? This is what the engineer Driss Laraqui studied!
Gasoline and diesel pollute. Electricity is complicated on a daily basis, and it’s expensive. Hydrogen is not for now. Normal, therefore, that some engineers are racking their brains to find alternatives. This is the case of Driss Laraqui, an engineer who has worked with Stellantis in particular, who offers as fuel a magnesium powder.
Magnesium is a metal which is also combustible, and which is known to burn very hot. Suddenly, it is possible to use it as fuel. Of course, there is no question of refueling a classic car with this metal: the engine must be completely different. Instead of being an internal combustion engine (with an explosion in the cylinder), it uses the heat given off by the combustion of magnesium to heat a gas, which expands inside a cylinder and pushes back the piston. . For maximum efficiency, this motor is used to recharge a small batterywhich then drives an electric motor.
The advantages of this system are manifold. Magnesium is relatively abundant and easy to extract. The magnesium powder used in this type of engine is also largely recyclable. Finally, the controlled combustion of magnesium is not very polluting, and does not reject no CO2, but simply unburned oxygen, nitrogen, a little nitrogen oxide, and magnesium oxide which is recovered in a filter system.
In short, a track to explore! To find out more about these engines of the future, find a full interview with Driss Laraqui on the Science & Vie website.
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