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At first glance the idea of running an engine on air seems to be too good to be
true. Actually, if we can make use of air as an aid for running an engine it is a fantastic
idea. As we all know, air is all around us, it never runs out, it is non-polluting and it is

In the case of an Air Driven Engine, there is no combustion taking place within
the engine. So it is also called as zero combustion engines, non-polluting and less
dangerous. It requires lighter metal only since it does not have to withstand elevated
temperatures.Gasoline is already the fuel of the past. It might not seem that way as you
fill up on your way to work, but the petroleum used to make it is gradually running out. It
also pollutes air that's becoming increasingly unhealthy to breathe, and people no longer
want to pay the high prices that oil companies are charging for it. Automobile
manufacturers know all of this and have spent lots of time and money to find and develop
the fuel of the future

Air Driven Engine makes use of Compressed Air Technology for its operation.
Compressed Air Technology is now widely preferred for research by different industries
for developing different drives for different purposes. The Compressed Air Technology is
quite simple. If we compress normal air into a cylinder the air would hold some energy
within it. This energy can be utilized for useful purposes. When this compressed air
expands, the energy is released to do work.

So this energy in compressed air can also be utilized to displace a piston. This is the
basic working principle of the Air Driven Engine. It uses the expansion of compressed air
to drive the pistons of the engine. So an Air Driven Engine is basically a pneumatic
actuator that creates useful work by expanding compressed air. This work provided by the
air is utilized to supply power to the crankshaft of the engine.As there is no combustion
taking place, there is no need for mixing fuel and air. Here compressed air is the fuel and
it is directly fed into the piston cylinder arrangement



2. Literature Review

S SVermaet al. [1], have given a brief introduction to the latest developments of a
compressed-air vehicle along with an introduction to various problems linked with the
technology and their solution. While developing of compressed air vehicle, control of
compressed air parameters like temperature, energy density, requirement of input
power, energy release and emission control have to be controlled for the development
of a safe, light and cost effective compressed air vehicle in coming future.

N.Prithivirajet.al. [2], adopted the same principle of working of the Pneumatic four
stroke engine with some modification to traditional one which is main agenda of this
research paper.

Kripal Raj Mishra et.al. [3],explains the working of a four-stroke single cylinder
Engine which can run on compressed air technology which does mechanical work by
expanding compressed air. This Pneumatic engine generally convert compressed air
energy to mechanical work either into linear motion or rotatory motion. Where Linear
motion is come from diaphragm and rotary motion is come from either a vane type air
motor or piston air motor.

Shubham Kumar et.al. [4], used the compressed air engine as a modified 100cc
conventional engine. This engine is modified from 4-stroke to a 2-stroke engine
(suction and exhaust) by modification of cam-gear system. The maximum pressure
used is 8 bar for the working of the engine.

Swadhin Patnaik [5],explains the working of Compressed-air engine as a Pneumatic

actuator that converts one form of energy into another. This Engine uses the
expansion of compressed air to drive the pistons of the engine there is no mixing of
fuel with air as there is no combustion in this type of engine.



3. Methodology

3.1. Compressed Air Technology

Air can be compressed into small volumes and can be stored in suitable
containers at high pressures. Such air compressed into containers is associated with an
amount of energy. When the stored compressed air is released freely it expands thereby
releasing the energy associated with it. This energy released can be utilized to provide
useful work.
The compression, storage and release of the air together are termed as the
Compressed Air Technology. This technology has been utilized in different pneumatic
systems. This technology has been undergoing several years of research to improve its
applications. Compressed air is regarded as the fourth utility, after electricity, natural gas,
and water. Compressed air was also used in some of vehicle for boosting the initial
torque. Turbo charging has become one of the renowned techniques to enhance power
and improve the efficiencies of the automotive engine that completely runs on
compressed air. Compressed air is clean, safe, simple and efficient. Air which is having a
compressible property will make it as a fuel. Energy can be stored in air by compression
and store in reservoirs, aquifers, or tanks.

Compressed air can be used in or for:

 Pneumatics, the use of pressurized gases to do work.

 Vehicular transportation using a compressed air vehicle
 Scuba diving
 To inflate buoyancy devices.
 Cooling using a vortex tube.
 Gas dusters for cleaning electronic components.
 Air brake (rail) systems
 Air brake (road vehicle) systems
 Starting of diesel engines (an alternative to electric starting)
 Compressed air breathers (such as Suisse Air)
 Pneumatic screw-driver.



3.2. Behavior of compressed air

Compressed air is clean, safe, simple and efficient. There are no dangerous
exhaust fumes of or other harmful by products when compressed air is used as a utility. It
is a non-combustible, non-polluting utility. When air at atmospheric pressure is
mechanically compressed by a compressor, the transformation of air at 1 bar (atmospheric
pressure) into air at higher pressure (up to 414 bar) is determined by the laws of
thermodynamics. Compressing a gas into a small space is a way to store energy. They
state that an increase in pressure equals a rise in heat and compressing air creates a
proportional increase in heat. Boyle's law explains that if a volume of a gas (air) halves
during compression, then the pressure is doubled. Charles' law states that the volume of a
gas changes in direct proportion to the temperature. These laws explain that pressure,
volume and temperature are proportional; change one variable and one or two of the
others will also change.

Compressed air is normally used in pressure ranges from 1 bar to 414 bar (14 to
6004 PSI) at various flow rates from as little as 0.1 m (3.5 CFM cubic feet per minute)
and up.

3.3. Components

3.3.1. Air Engine

Compressed air vehicle is powered by an air engine, using compressed air, which
is stored in a tank. Instead of mixing fuel with air and burning it in the engine to drive
pistons with hot expanding gases, compressed air vehicles (CAV) use the expansion of
compressed air to drive their pistons.

The first air cars will almost certainly use the Compressed Air Engine (CAE)
developed by the French company, Motor Development International (MDI).Compressed
air propulsion may be incorporated in hybrid systems, e.g., battery electric propulsion and
fuel tanks to recharge the batteries. This kind of system is called hybrid-pneumatic
electric propulsion. Additionally, regenerative braking can also be used in conjunction
with this system.




Cylinders are mechanical devices which produce force, often in combination with
movement, and are powered by compressed gas. To perform their function; pneumatic
cylinders impart a force by converting the potential energy of compressed gas into kinetic
energy. This is achieved by the compressed gas being able to expand, without external
energy input, which itself occurs due to the pressure gradient established by the
compressed gas being at a greater pressure than the atmospheric pressure. This air
expansion forces a piston to move in the desired direction. Once actuated, compressed air
enters into the tube at one end of the piston and, hence, imparts force on the piston.
Consequently, the piston becomes displaced by the compressed air expanding in an
attempt to reach atmospheric pressure.

3.3.3. Compressor

A gas compressor is a mechanical device that increases the pressure of a gas by

reducing its volume. Compressors are similar to pumps: both increase the pressure on a
fluid and both can transport the fluid through a pipe. As gases are compressible, the
compressor also reduces the volume of a gas. Liquids are relatively incompressible, so the
main action of a pump is to pressurize and transport liquids. Compressed air engine
operates between 0-4 kW producing working pressures about 50 bars to 200bar. When air
at atmospheric pressure is mechanically compressed by a compressor, the transformation
of air from atmospheric pressure into air at higher pressure (up to 414 bar) is determined
by the laws of thermodynamics . Rise in pressure equals to a rise in heat and compressing
air creates a proportional increase in heat . Boyle's law explains that if a volume of a gas
(air) halves during compression, then the pressure is doubled. Charles' law states that the
volume of a gas changes in direct proportion to the temperature. These laws explain that
pressure, volume and temperature are proportional; change one variable and one or two of
the others will also change

3.3.4. Air Tank and its Specifications:

The air tanks in air powered cars are composed of an interior thermoplastic
container which ensures it is airtight. This is held in a coiled and crossed carbon fiber



shell. This technique is the result of many studies into factors such as: mechanical
specifications, density of material, choice of fibers etc . The specifications of tank,
Maximum effective pressure: (200 bars) The tanks weigh 22-25 kg for 100 liters of air at
200 bars.
The tanks must be designed to safety standards appropriate for a pressure
vessel, such as ISO 11439.
The storage tank may be made of:
 Steel
 Aluminum
 Carbon fiber
 Kevlar
Other materials or combinations of the above. The fiber materials are
considerably lighter than metals but generally more expensive. Metal tanks can
withstand a large number of pressure cycles, but must be checked for corrosion


3.4.1. Pressure Gauge System

The pressure gauges are used to measure or display the pressure at the position
at which the pressure gauge is installed. There are different ranges of the pressure
gauges. 0 to 10 bar pressure gauges are used in this project. The pressure gauge is
connected to the inlet of the air reservoir. This helps to measure the pressure inlet to
the air reservoir.

Figure 1: Pressure Gauge [3]


3.4.2.The Air Filter

The engine works with both air taken from the atmosphere and air pre-
compressed in tanks. Air is compressed by the on-board compressor or at service
stations equipped with a high-pressure compressor. Before compression, the air must
be filtered to get rid of any impurities that could damage the engine. Carbon filters are
used to eliminate dirt, dust, humidity and other particles which, unfortunately, are
found in the air in our cities.

3.4.3. Pressure regulator

A pressure regulator is used to regulate the pressure of compressed air in the
storage cylinder to working pressure of the engine If the load flow decreases, then the
regulator flow must decrease also.

3.4.4. Distribution and valves

To ensure smooth running and to optimize energy efficiency, air engines use a
simple electromagnetic distribution system, which controls the flow of air into the
engine. This system runs on very little energy and alters neither the valve phase nor its
rise. No clutch is necessary. The engine is idle when the car is stationary and the
vehicle is started by the magnetic plate, which re-engages the compressed air. While
the car is running on fossil fuel, the compressor refills the compressed air tanks

3.4.4. The Solenoid Valve

A solenoid valve is an electromechanical valve for use with liquid or gas. The valve is
controlled by an electric current through a solenoid coil. Solenoid valves are the most
frequently used control elements in fluidics. Their tasks are to shut off, release, dose,
distribute or mix fluids. They are found in many application Areas . The main
function of this solenoid valve is to regulate or maintain the flow of the compressed
air from the compressor. It is called 3/2 solenoid valve because it has 3-ports and 2-



3.5. Modification of Cam:

For a normal Combustion engine When the air entered at a pressure , the
piston moved from Top dead centre Bottom dead centre (TDC to BDC).and piston
reaches at bottom dead centre. After that, the piston started to move from Bottom
dead centre to Top dead centre due to the weight of the flywheel. As piston started To
move upwards the engine stopped working. This was because the exhaust valve did
not open and the compressed air did not moved out. So, engine stopped there. To
overcome this a cam was designed. The engine used in the experiment had cam of two
cam Lobes To overcome this, in addition to two cam lobes, a new cam lobe was
attached. Further, to make the exhaust valve open again one more cam lobe was
attached. When the four cam lobes were attached, the engine started to work due to
this, the petrol engine started to work as a compressed air engine in which there is no
need of petrol and combustion.
The 4-stroke conventional engine camshaft cannot be used in compressed air engine
to run it. Thus we convert camshaft of 4-strokeinto 2-strokewith slight modifications
in it and valve timing ratio. Before modification shape of lobes of cam was vshaped,
after modification it is converted to I-shaped i.e. the inlet and exhaust at 180°. Also
for continuous supply of air, to generate more torque we shaped oval shape at lobes
CAM to the individual side through 180°.Valve is used to regulate the flow of air fuel
mixture inside the cylinder and exhaust gas outside the cylinder. Hence the valve
timing ratio is also to be change to 1:1 instead of 2:1, so for every revolution of
crankshaf the camshaft will rotate once.

Cam shaft of SI Engine Modified cam shaft for CAE

Figure 2: Cam Shaft [6]



3.6. Performance Parameters

Figure 3: Performance parameter [7]

3.6.1. Influences of the Intake Pressure:

Intake pressure is a critical parameter, which decides the air mass flow of the
engine, and is important for improving the performance of the engine. For the CAE,
the intake pressure can be adjusted according to the loading system. The influence of
the intake pressure on the performance of the engine can be obtained by simulation
and analysis, and the influence of the intake pressure on the energy efficiency and the
output power can be described in fig ,with an increase in the intake pressure, the
output power increases; however, the energy efficiency decreases. Thus, a higher
intake pressure can increase the output power of the piston CAE, but decrease the
energy efficiency of the piston CAE. That is because the compressed air in the
cylinder cannot expand sufficiently.



3.6.2. Influences of the Valve Lift

The valve lift is also important parameter that greatly affects the air mass flow.
The influence of the valve lift on the energy efficiency and the output power can be
illustrated in

3.6.3. Comparison with batteries

Advanced fiber-reinforced bottles are comparable to the rechargeable lead-

acid battery in terms of energy density. Batteries provide nearly constant voltage over
their entire charge level, whereas the pressure varies greatly while using a pressure
vessel from full to empty. It is technically challenging to design air engines to
maintain high efficiency and sufficient power over a wide range of pressures.
Compressed air can transfer power at very high flux rates, which meets the principal
acceleration and deceleration objectives of transportation systems, particularly
for hybrid vehicles.

Compressed air systems have advantages over conventional batteries including

longer lifetimes of pressure vessels and lower material toxicity. Newer battery designs
such as those based on Lithium Iron Phosphate chemistry suffer from neither of these
problems. As with electric storage technology, compressed air is only as "clean" as
the source of the energy that it store.

4.Working Principle

4.1. Two Stroke Engine

A two-stroke engine is an internal combustion engine that completes the

thermodynamic in two movements of the piston compared to twice that number for
a four-stroke engine. This increased efficiency is accomplished by using the beginning of
the compression stroke and the end of the combustion stroke to perform simultaneously
the intake and exhaust (or scavenging) functions. In this way two-stroke engines often
provide strikingly high specific power. Gasoline (spark ignition) versions are particularly
useful in lightweight (Portable) applications such as chainsaws and the concept is also



used in diesel compression ignition engines in large and non-weight sensitive

applications such as ships and locomotives. All functions are controlled solely by the
piston covering and uncovering the ports as it moves up and down in the cylinder. A
fundamental difference from typical four-stroke engines is that the crankcase is sealed
and forms part of the induction process in gasoline and hot bulb engines.

Figure 4: Working two stroke engine [2]

There are no traditional valves in a two-stroke engine. In a two-stroke the

engines fires once every revolution. This makes the engine highly efficient and
lightweight compared to four-stroke systems. Rather than entering through valves, the
fuel/air mixture enters through an intake port and exhaust exits out of an exhaust port. In
place of traditional valves the two-stroke engine uses the piston’s position to force out
exhaust or suck in fuel mixture.
The engine is powered by compressed air, stored in a carbon-fiber tank at
30MPa.The tank is made of carbon fiber in order to reduce its weight .The engine has
injection similar to normal, but uses special crankshaft and piston, which remains at top
dead Centre for about 700 of crankshaft The expansion of this air pushes the piston and
creates movement. The atmospheric temperature is used to reheat the engine and increase
the road coverage. As we know a normal two stroke engine contained several ports and it
also had the spark plug which we didn’t require. So, several modifications had to be done
on the engine to suit our purpose. The modifications comprised of:



 Closing transfer port

 Closing the inlet port
 Removing the spark plug from the cylinder head
 Providing an inlet at the place of the spark plug
 Providing a suitable connector at the cylinder head.

The whole cycle can be explained as follows:

 As the piston moves from bottom dead center to top dead center it creates a vacuum to
draw the fuel / air mixture through the carburetor and past the reed valve assembly.
 The piston moves down from top dead center to bottom dead center. The reed closes,
causing the pressure to build in the cylinder. The movement of the piston uncovers the
intake port and pressurized the fuel / air mixture.
 The piston now moves up from bottom dead center to top dead center, effectively
ending a cycle and starting another. The spark plug ignites the compressed mixture,
sending piston back down.
 At this point the piston uncovers the exhaust port, allowing the spent gasses to escape.
As it continues to bottom dead center, it uncovers the intake port and allows the fuel /
air mixture through the carburetor and past the reed valve assembly.


A process which have no cooling and the heat does remains in the air which
causing pressure rise that increases compression work requirements for the maximum

A process that provides perfect cooling, in which no changing in temperature of
air and the work required for compression is tends to the minimum. But the given fig:
indicates that isothermal expansion is higher than adiabatic expansion, the volume of the
compressed air and flow rate are controlled at a particular compressed pressure

Figure 5: process graph [1]

Figure 6: Temperature vs Entropy [1]

4.2.Four Stroke Engine

To convert normal four stroke petrol engine into compressed air engine
several modifications are needed, there are listed below.

4.2.1. Intake Port

The carburetor does not find any application in the engine running on
compressed air, only in where air is injected from top of combustion chamber .So it is
profitable to remove the carburetor since it will help to reduce the piston in opposite
direction during expansion stroke.



4.2.2. Cam Positions

In order to run the engine on compressed air the conventional cam positions
of petrol engine have to change. In conventional petrol engine cam is designed to give
four stroke, but in compressed air engine we have to convert these four strokes into
two strokes, so we have to combine suction and compression and also power and
exhaust, so it will run on air.The cam timing is also maintained in such a way that
compressed air will give displacement of piston. Cam adjusted in such way that when
inlet valve open at that time outlet valve will close and when outlet valve opens inlet
valve will close.

Figure 7: Timing Chain Adjustment [6]

The main function of timing chain is to control the opening and closing of
inlet and outlet valves. Torun the engine on compressed air it is essential that timing
of chain should be adjusted in a way that it will move as per cam adjusted. Timing
chain adjusted in a such way that it will open and close the valve with perfect timing.
Fig. shows schematic diagram of timing chain adjustment
In S.I engine function of spark plug is to burn the air-fuel mixture to produce
necessary power for working of engine, but in compressed air engine there is no need
of spark plug because in this type of engine there is no any type of combustion
required for the movement of piston. Spark plug port also use as air exhaust port.
remove the air from the chamber. So removing of spark plug is required in
compressed air engine



Figure 8: MiniCAT Technology [3]

Figure 9: Pressure vs Volume [2]



 Less costly and more effective
 The air engine is an emission-free piston engine that uses compressed air as a source
of energy.
 Simple in construction. The engine can be massively reduced in size
 Easy to maintain and repair.
 No fire hazard problem due to over loading. Air, on its own, is non-flammable.
 Low manufacture and maintenance costs
 Comparatively the operation cost is less.
 Light in weight and easy to handle. The engine runs on cold or warm air, so can be
made of lower strength light weight material such as aluminum, plastic, low
friction Teflon or a combination
 Compressed-air tanks can be disposed of or recycled with less pollution than batteries.
 Compressed-air engines are unconstrained by the degradation problems associated
with current battery systems.
 The air tank may be refilled more often and in less time than batteries can be
recharged, with re-filling rates comparable to liquid fuels.
 Lighter vehicles cause less damage to roads
 The price of filling air tanks is significantly cheaper than petrol, diesel or biofuel. If
electricity is cheap, then compressing air will also be relatively cheap
 Quick response is achieved.

 We know that when air expands it cools down (Charles’s law) and since the
temperature goes down the movement of piston is affected and again in turn
the efficiency is affected.
 Since this engine is not yet common it cannot be refilled at home but needs a
 The capacity of the tanks has to be known as a large amount of gas above the
sustainable limit of the tank can cause bursting of tanks.
 Again if the capacity of tank is low and the material is not of enough strength
the efficiency is reduced.



 If safe working is required less amount of air should be filled, but that would
account for frequent refilling of the tanks.

6. Applications
 Drive for conveyors
Air driven engines can be used as drives for different types of conveyors such as Belt
conveyors, Chain conveyors, Screw conveyors, etc.,. It is normally used for slow speed
conveyors. Medium load can only be used.

Figure 10: Belt conveyor[1]

 Job Clamping
In operations like carpentry job clamping generally requires low loading. Air Driven
Engine can provide this low load clamping.

 Fluid Pumps
Air Driven Engine can also be utilized for small displacement pumps of low pressure
capacities. These include vane type pumps, turbines and pistons.

 Automobiles
The usage of the Air Driven Engine is possible for automobiles as two wheelers and light
motor vehicles.



 Mining Purposes
Compressed air engines were used in trams and shutters, and eventually found a
successful niche in mining locomotives

 Machining Operations
Several engines have been proposed for these Impact wrenches, drills, firearms, die
grinders, dental drills and other pneumatic tools use a variety of air engines or

 Travel And Fishing Boats

Most successful early forms of self-propelled torpedoes used high pressure
compressed air, although this was superseded by internal or external combustion
engines, steam engines, or electric motors.


The Air Driven Engine provides an effective method for power production and
transmission. Even though its applications are limited currently, further research could
provide wider applications. Compressed air for vehicle propulsion is already being
explored and now air powered vehicles are being developed as a more fuel-efficient
means of transportation. Pneumatic vehicle will replace the battery operated vehicles
used in industries. Pneumatic powered vehicle requires very less time for refueling as
compared to battery operated vehicle.

The technology is just about modifying the engine of any regular IC engine
vehicle into an Air Powered Engine. The Air Powered Engine technology is cheaper
in cost and maintenance, can be easily adapted by the masses and it doesn’t cause any
kind of harm to the environment. Instead, its wide spread use will help mankind in
controlling the serious problem of global warming.




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