AN 'ECO-ENGINE' FOR THE 21ST CENTURY - ENABLING ZERO CARBON HEAVY-DUTY TRANSPORT

In the wake of the Coronavirus, Governments around the world are launching green-growth recovery plans, including proposals to ban engines from cars & vans. The UK has launched a 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution (see docs).

An electric vehicle revolution is taking shape, led by Tesla. But battery electric vehicle solutions are not feasible for all types of transport such as long-distance heavy-duty road vehicles, aircraft, boats and ships. The R6 eco-engine is an enabling technology to de-carbonise the hardest to reach transport applications.

>> zero carbon trucks

>> zero carbon aircraft

>> zero carbon boats & ships

After 10 years of R&D via three international research projects, funded by the European Commission and the UK Government, the R6 eco-engine is proven to work, at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 4.

Libralato Cycle v diesel    

The R6 eco-engine is a 21st century breakthrough in engine design, highly simplified and optimised for a single operating point as a generator unit. The Libralato rotary 6 phase (R6) cycle can supersede the 19th century cycles of Otto and Diesel, fundamentally because it can convert higher pressure with lower heat rejection. The R6 eco-engine is ideally suited for use with hydrogen because the R6 rotors convert the high pressure pulse into torque directly from top-dead-centre. This is impossible for piston engines since the alignment of the connecting rod with the crankshaft creates zero torque at top-dead-centre. Self-charging electric vehicles can switch between or combine power from the battery and the R6 generator depending on the load requirements. The by-product of hydrogen combustion is water (with minimal NOx) so the R6 eco-engine enables zero carbon, high-power, long-distance vehicles, for land, air and sea.

SilkE Powertrain    

The R6 eco-engine offers all the advantages of a fuel cell but with a 90% reduction in cost. This makes zero carbon trucks, aircraft, boats and ships feasible with no compromise in: purchase cost/ weight/ payload/ refuelling time.



The automotive industry is very conservative. Paradoxically, because the R6 eco-engine is so radically new and different, it is not trusted and therefore Libralato Ltd. has struggled financially to develop the engine. As recognised by the ‘Renewed European Agenda for Research and Innovation’ (https://tinyurl.com/qwxh5xu) “Compared to incremental innovation, breakthrough innovations tend to come from new entrants, often start-ups without existing assets or cash flows. They tend to entail higher risks, in terms of technology, market and regulation. Too few European start-ups survive beyond the critical initial phase of 2-3 years, due to lack of venture capital, a deep-rooted aversion to risk and an inability to exploit the scale of the Union”. The illustration below shows Libralato's market penetration strategy starting with low volume applications.

Market Penetration sml    

As stated by the UK Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) in Dec 2019, "Our strength in developing the latest powertrains and autonomous technologies demonstrate that we have the foundations to build a new British success story. We want to be leaders in the technological revolution that is reshaping our industry, producing ever cleaner, cutting-edge vehicles that are driven throughout the world and which are the embodiment of the quality, ingenuity and innovation that sits at the heart of UK automotive manufacturing."



Libralato Ltd. is supported by:

Seventh Framework Programme     European Commission     Innovate