It is a fact that modes of transportation have a negative impact on the environment; therefore, the development of alternative energy sources has been at the forefront in recent years. While clean energy alternatives such as solar power and natural gas are increasing in popularity for some types of transportation, turbine engines continue to rely on fuel. Fortunately, progress is on the horizon and it appears that the next generation of turbine engines is within sight.

The Findings

Researchers at Ohio State University have designed a new turbine engine that uses less fuel and decreases emission levels. To accomplish this, the team used a technique known as phase transformation strengthening that looks at the composition and microscopic defects of alloys in the engine.

Their findings led to a method that reduces the formation of nano twin defects by fifty percent, which would minimize engine malfunction. The modified engine design can also be exposed to higher temperatures and pressure while improving efficiency and maintaining structural integrity.

What It Means

This new process increases the overall efficiency and reduces the amount of fuel used to power turbine engines. With the average fuel price of $4.62 a gallon, aviation enthusiasts and corporate jet owners will benefit from an alternative that decreases reliance on fuel. With less emissions produced, the modified turbine engine would also have a smaller impact on the air quality.

Engine malfunction is often unpredictable and catastrophic consequences may result. This innovative research from Ohio State University provides a solution to minimize engine malfunction with the added benefit of the engine tolerating higher temperatures, increasing efficiency, and decreasing the environmental footprint of turbine engines.

The Next Steps

While the research at Ohio State University has not been implemented in the marketplace, it provides the hope that change is possible. As technology advances and research expands on this topic, alternative energy solutions are on the horizon for turbine engines.