Cyclone Power Technologies announced that it has successfully completed combustion tests of coal powder through the fuel injector of the company's award-winning Cyclone Engine.
These tests of coal powder present significant proof of the Cyclone Engine's versatility in utilizing diverse fuel sources without modification of the engine's primary components and system design. In this specific instance, an additional propane torch was utilized to ignite the solid fuel particles.
Over the last few months, the company has successfully tested a multitude of liquid fuels such as algae-based biodiesel, and gaseous fuels such as propane. This test, however, was the first for the Cyclone external combustion engine with a fuel in a solid, powdered state.
"While the environmental merits of 'clean' coal are debatable," stated Cyclone's CEO, Harry Schoell, "it is still one of the most abundant, inexpensive and widely-used fuel sources we have in the United States."
The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates world coal reserves at 905 gigatons, equal to about 4,417 billion barrels of oil equivalent. At the current production rate, this would last 164 years.
Mr. Schoell added: "Tests of this fuel in the Cyclone Engine are vastly important with respect to the commercial applications of our technology. Where electric power generators traditionally run on coal, such systems utilizing a Cyclone Engine could switch to more environmentally-friendly fuel sources on-the-fly when economic forces allow it."
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the U.S. consumes about 1.053 billion tons of coal each year, using 90% of it for generation of electricity. Worldwide, approximately 40% of electricity production comes from coal.