With Earth Day fast approaching, it’s hard not to think of ways to cut pollution. One of the main contributors to pollution and climate change is getting around. Engineering students in India, however, have come up with a clever oxygen-powered motorcycle.
The students from Palwal city in the state of Harayana in the northern part of India. Pratham Pal says that the bike is an engineering breakthrough. “This bike is different from others because the engine doesn’t burn fuel,” he says, “nor does the temperature rise. The air is compressed and transferred to the engine without any combustion.”
The oxygen moves a piston up and down which in turn runs a flywheel, which of course causes the bike to move. It cruises at a leisurely 6-12 mph. The mileage, however, is great. You can go up to 375 miles on 100 liters of 300 psi of oxygen.
The students are hoping to get funding to develop their already promising prototype even further. Environmentally-friendly vehicles are becoming popular in India because of the pollution there and people all over the world are thinking in the same terms as global warming looms and oil supplies start to dwindle. This bike, even with its currently low speed, might be popular for city use. I can imagine fleets of oxygen-powered bike couriers darting through city streets. If the students can improve performance and find markets, the bike has a lot of potential to be what Clayton Christensen calls a “disruptive innovation,” eventually challenging and then dominating vehicles based on fossil fuels.