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An eco-friendly car engine that doesn’t stall on performance


A novel type of engine which aims to use less fuel and reduce noxious emissions without detracting from the car’s performance is being developed thanks to an investment of £93,500 from NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts), the organisation that champions UK innovation.

Keith Hall, from Maidenhead in Berkshire, is a chartered mechanical engineer who has worked with names such as Audi, Jaguar and Ford. His Bruntel Environmental Engine aims to match the performance of the most advanced of comparable engines while offering better value. As well as being cheaper, the engine will be smaller and weigh less than an equivalent-rated conventional engine. Keith aims to prove that the engine also retains the power of a comparable conventional engine and uses less fuel, with lower emissions.

Keith’s innovation centres on his concept for ‘return stroke induction’. This means that, unusually, the engine aspirates when the piston is on its return stroke and compressing the cylinder volume. It is also the area carrying the most technical risk and part of the NESTA investment – through its Invention and Innovation programme - will go towards a simulation study to confirm Keith’s theories.

Mark White, NESTA’s Director of Invention and Innovation, said: “The potential market for Keith’s Bruntel Environmental Engine is huge and offers great social and commercial potential to the UK. NESTA is delighted to be able to support an innovative idea that will help to tackle the challenge of climate change through reducing noxious emissions. NESTA’s investment is at an early stage to ensure that these important ideas are given every chance of being fully realised.”

Keith Hall said: “I like to drive cars which are responsive and fun. It’s important that the Bruntel engine gives at least an equivalent power performance. But with energy consumption outstripping resources, it’s important to come up with a solution that is economical and causes less pollution. NESTA’s support will help me achieve this, through fully testing my theories.”

With NESTA’s assistance, Keith is entering the next phase of development, and will soon be seeking backers prepared to enter in a 2006 funding round, as he moves towards his ambitions of marketing the environmentally-friendly engine ahead of the 2009 EU crackdown on emissions from cars.

Joseph Meaney | alfa
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