Industrial researchers from the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne have invented a microwave system for the treatment of car exhaust gases, which, it is claimed, will enable 90% reductions of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.
The ‘microwave emissions converter’, which is suited for use in both petrol and diesel engines, uses microwave energy to break down exhaust gases to their basic constituents.
Reduction levels are the same in vehicles with or without catalytic converters, so that the already reduced harmful emissions from a catalytic converter will be further reduced. The system also reduces nitrogen oxides by recirculating the gas after ionisation through the same system, and reduces hydrocarbons while increasing the output of oxygen.
Furthermore, hot gases after ionisation can be channeled at high velocity into a turbo changer in order to substantially decrease turbo lag associated with low revolutions.
Sensors fitted to an engine control the converter so it works to its optimum at all selected engine speeds.
Built as an inexpensive device that can be attached to normal exhaust systems, the microwave emissions converter is quiet, needs minimum power and can be maintained as part of the normal routine service of an automobile.
Constructed of aluminium and weighing only a few kilograms, the concept can also be applied to gas effluents from industrial plant emissions.
Professor Elias Siores, who has worked on the technology for 10 years, adds that the R&D group is currently working on transforming the carbon particles that are filtered and collected after ionisation and further processing them: ‘Microwave deposition techniques are being used to transform carbon particles into artificial diamond powder, which could be used as a scratch or wear resistant coating on optical lenses, compact discs and watches. ‘ It is thought that the converter may enable governments throughout the world to set a new lower target level for C02.