The ICE is far from being done yet. The next step is using much better fuels for the ICE. Take methane, a super clean fuel that’s homogenous at the molecular level. Yes, diesel and even gasoline are wild mixes of a wide array of different molecules. Not because that makes them better but rather because refining them to purer grades would be very costly so you make do. But this chemical cocktail also means that combustion is never as perfect as – yes, I say it – something that’s much more uniform and pure as a substance such as methane. A properly calibrated methane engine that has been developed for that fuel is going to usher in a new age of ICE’s as there is plenty of space at the bottom. ICE’s are far from being done with yet. There will be lots of new developments – buckle up.
“The internal combustion engine might not even be middle-aged,” Dr. Don Hillebrand, Director, Argonne National Laboratory’s Energy Systems Division. Perhaps the most ignored fact in our energy-environment discussion is the non-stop evolution of fossil fuel technologies, energy sources that have now been somehow deemed Public Enemy #1, despite the fact that they supply over 80% of the energy used in the world’s richest economies with the healthiest people.