Freedom Motors, Dixon, California, says it has developed a version of its Rotapower rotary engine that can use contaminated biogas to generate electricity.
Most of the methane increase is coming from biogas generated from manmade sources such as landfills, wastewater treatment plants and animal manure, Freedom Motors says. Ideally this biogas would be used in an engine to produce electricity. However, if the methane content is too low or the hydrogen sulfide or silica contaminants are too high, the biogas may not be usable in a piston or microturbine engine and is instead flared or released to the atmosphere.
The Rotapower rotary engine is designed to be resistant to hydrogen sulfide and silica, the primary contaminants in biogas. It can also operate on biogas with a lower methane content than its piston engine counterpart or at a fraction of the cost of a microturbine, Freedom Motors says.
Freedom Motors is currently undertaking a fundraising program and reaching out to potential industry partners to bring its engine to the world market. It is the sister company to Moller International Inc., the inventor and manufacturer of the Skycar, a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) "flying car" headquartered in Dixon, California. Freedom Motors' Rotapower engines were originally, and continue to be, designed and engineered for Moller International vehicles.