POMPANO BEACH, FL --- Cyclone Power Technologies announced it has successfully completed combustion tests of coal powder through the fuel injector of the company's Cyclone engine.
The company said the tests demonstrated the Cyclone engine's versatility in using a range of fuel sources without modification of its primary components and system design. In this specific instance, an additional propane torch was used to ignite the solid fuel particles.
Over the last few months, the company said it 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," said Cyclone 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.
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 percent of it for generation of electricity. Worldwide, approximately 40 percent of electricity production comes from coal.