Patent application title: Engine based burning of microencapsulated fuel
Artem Shtatnov (Newtown, PA, US)
IPC8 Class: AC10L100FI
Class name: Fuel and related compositions fuel product of defined shape or structure shaped or arranged for easier ignition
Publication date: 2010-04-22
Patent application number: 20100095582
A method for oil-based fuel dispersion in the form of micron and submicron
Droplets with typical size distribution 0.5-20 microns where said
Droplets are coated with a polymer-based shell containing metal
nanoparticles that enable the droplets to absorb laser irradiation and
utilize laser energy to initialize fuel burning. These encapsulated fuel
Droplets are used primarily within engines to increase the power,
efficiency, and stability of the engine.
1. An oil based fuel encapsulated with a polymer-based shell containing
metal nanoparticles or carbon nanotubes for use in energy production
2. The method of claim 1 where said encapsulated fuel is ignited through the application of pressure, heat or an open flame
3. The method of claim 1 where said polymer-based shell is enabled to absorb laser irradiation and transform laser energy to initialize fuel burning
4. The method of claim 3 where said encapsulated fuel is ignited using a mechanically or electronically controlled laser
5. The method of claim 4 where said laser is programmed to be synchronized with the movement of a piston to ignite said encapsulated fuel within a combustion chamber
6. The method of claim 1 where an oxidizer is used in conjunction with fuel capsules
7. The method of claim 1 where Thermite is used in conjunction with fuel capsules
8. The method of claim 7 where a combination of Thermitee and fuel is placed within individual capsules
9. The method of claim 1 where droplets can be coated with a shell containing magnetic nanoparticles for capsule navigation with an applied magnetic field
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
Before the compression cycle of the two-stroke piston engine in FIG. 1, the encapsulated fuel is injected into the engine as it normally would. At full compression, the fuel is activated through laser induced ignition. The activation and burning of the fuel creates expansion and pushes the cylinder up. The exhaust is released at the top of the piston stroke. This operates the same way as a normal two-stroke engine but with the fuel burning initialized with a laser rather than a spark plug or other heat source.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
The recently developed technology of microencapsulation and nanoencapsulation allows emulsion of liquid fuel, such as benzene, diesel fuel, sunflower oil and other water non-mixable hydrocarbons of different sort. Practically, the size of emulsion droplets is about 0.5-20 microns and can be optimized for particular needs. The essential advantage of this encapsulation technology is coating each emulsion drop with a composite nanoparticle polymeric shell. Metallic nanoparticles of silver or gold and carbon nanotubes are susceptible to laser irradiation and produce enough heat locally to ignite fuel droplets. The laser initializes burning of the fuel in a controllable way. The quantity of fuel and release of energy are determined by injection of capsules upon each cycle of the working piston. An oxidizer such as oxygen or even water soluble oxidizers must be supplied together with fuel capsules for continuous burning of fuel.
The laser beam is conducted via optical waveguide to the combustion chamber receiving the fuel droplets. The laser impulse is synchronized with the fully extended position of the piston when the volume occupied by the fuel and oxidizer is minimized. Laser induced burning of the fuel droplets is done in this position once each cycle of the piston engine. This burning produces energy from the fuel. The energy causes expansion and pushes the piston creating mechanical energy. Products of burning fuel are exhausted each cycle of the engine and new encapsulated fuel and an oxidizer is supplied to restart the cycle. Utilizing encapsulated fuel is not limited to a two-stroke engine but can be used in any engine that normally operates with an oil-based fuel including four-stroke, diesel, rotary, and jet engines.
Preliminary data shows that a wide range of fuel can be encapsulated and burned via laser induced ignition in the presence of an oxidizer. Gasolines such as petroleum diesel, autogas (liquified petroleum gas), compressed natural gas, and jet fuel; coal based fuels such as methanol; heating oils; and biofuels like biobutanol, biodiesel, bioethanol, biomethanol, biogas, ethanol, peanut oil, and other vegoils have all been encapusalted effectively. This method of encapsulation can also be used for jet fuels which need to remain stable up to 980 degrees Fahrenheit. After encapsulation, the type of fuel would no longer matter to the operation of the engine as the only variable is the laser's ability to ignite the fuel through its polymeric shell. All oil or gas based fuels can be encapsulated and used in a single engine without the need for modification.
Laser ignition of encapsulated fuel droplets decreases combustion and exhaust waste as each encapsulated fuel particle is ignited individually and is able to burn completely. This method of encapsulating fuel can be used to create energy efficient engines, turbines, heaters, furnaces, and others devices which produce energy from oil based fuels. The method requires significantly less laser energy to initiate burning with microcapsules. The laser can activate a few capsules and ignites the fuel inside rather than igniting the entire amount of fuel in the combustion chamber. Within an internal combustion engine, the laser can be more precisely timed electronically rather than mechanically. Through better timing, it is possible to increase engine lifespan, reduce vibration, reduce fuel consumption, and create cleaner exhaust. Additionally, electronic timing of ignition removes the necessity of idling when the engine is not in use. Ignition can take place at any position of the piston to start the engine instantly. Being able to stop the engine rather than keep it idle increases fuel efficiency in automobiles which often undergo start and stop operation.
Through the encapsulation, the maximum compression ratio for the fuel is increased drastically, since fuel is added in a liquid encapsulated form and starts to burn only from an externally synchronized laser impulse. The minimum volume of the engine chamber during full compression does not play a role in ignition. The fuel is encapsulated in such a way as to prevent ignition through pressure. The encapsulation allows for a significantly higher compression ratio easily surpassing the maximum for most fuels of 25:1 and significantly increasing the power of the engine. As compression no longer plays a role in the engine operation, both diesel and gasoline can perform in the same way as they are both ignited only when the capsules are ruptured by laser irradiation. Additionally, diesel fuel can be used without laser irradiation by using weaker microcapsules specifically designed to rupture at a predetermined compression ratio to ignite the fuel through pressure, effectively eliminating the use of the laser ignition.
With the increase in efficiency, smaller fuel tanks are possible to yield the same energy production. In vehicles, this will lighten the load and increase fuel economy. Through adding Thermite such as aluminum powder and a metal oxide, an increase in energy can be achieved in certain engines. Thermite causes the combustion to burn with increased temperatures. By adding an oxidizer such as permanganate to the combustion chamber, the engine is able to operate in oxygen free environments. If the fuel capsules are constructed with magnetic nanoparticles, the fuel can be manipulated with a magnetic field. This can be useful to clean up spills or create a more viscous solution for storage and transportation.
This method is significantly safer and better for the environment than non-encapsulated fuels. The fuel burns more completely and produces fewer harmful byproducts. During transportation, storage, and distribution encapsulated fuels are less prone to accidental combustion and the fuel creates no harmful fumes due to evaporation. In case of spills into bodies of water or the ground it has fewer consequences to the environment as the encapsulation makes the fuel inactive and thus reduces the cost of decontamination.
Patent applications by Artem Shtatnov, Newtown, PA US
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