The topic of plasma combustion has peeked above the clouds a few times in recent memory but still not much is known about its future in real-world automotive engines. Now a team at Los Alamos National Laboratory says the technology is poised to enter the marketplace.

In principle, plasma ignition is applying electrical voltage to the atomized fuel stream prior to combustion. The long chain of hydrocarbons in the fuel is broken down into smaller parts, allowing a more complete burn. The net results are better fuel efficiency and less pollution.

Team leader Louis Rosocha says the need for cleaner burning vehicles is driving the research. PerriQuest, a company that usually works on defense technologies, says it's dedicated to making plasma technology a viable commercial product.

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[Source: Pure Energy Systems News]