R & D

Compressed air engine and vehicle


compressed air engine is not new technology. It has been first used in 19th century. Compressed air engine was used to power a tram in France but due to some technological disadvantage it was not work so long. so many researches done in past, and a french  engineer Profession Guy Negre developed a compressed air four cylinders engine with the Luxembourg company Motor development international (MDI). This engine was run by air in 1998 and its claims to be zero percent pollution cars.

2009-2011, MDI signed agreement with some countries France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy,New Zealand, Israel and South Africa etc. And MDI also did an agreement with TATA motors to development for compressed air vehicles, and produce and sell onecat cars in India.

Why do need of compressed air engines?

We can see that in today’s time automobiles and thermal power plants etc consuming lots of fossil which is worrying for the future. According to the current rate of consumption and production, the oil will end in 53 years, the natural gases will end in 54 years and the coal will end in 110 years. Many serious environmental problems are also increasing due to consumption of fossil fuels. This is why scientists are moving forward to improving the technology of compressed air engine.   

What is Engine and compressed air engine?

Engine: Engine is a device which transforms one form of energy in to another form.

Compressed air engine is a device which converts compressed air energy in to mechanical work through either liner or rotary motion.

Compressed air 2 stroke engine

Thermodynamic of compressed air engine: In the isothermal process the internal energy of the system does not change and energy transfer as heat to the system is exactly equal to the work done by the system.

The term isothermal means, we want constant temperature inside the air tank, Temperature do not increase with increase in pressure.

Working of compressed air engine:     

Compressed air inters in cylinder by intake valve, drives the piston downwards.

When the movement of piston is close to the bottom dead center (BDC) the exhaust valve is open, so the compressed air with residual pressure is expelled by the piston and back to top dead center (TDC), the C.A.E completes a work cycle.

Research and development of CAE:

In 2008 agreement between Tata Motors and motor development international (MDI) envisages Tata supporting further development and refinement of the technology, and its application and licensing for India.

In 2011 TATA motors launch the first compressed air car. In 23 june 2014 successfully run by modification of four stroke engine to two stroke engine and reduce the air pressure 150 psi to 120 psi.

 In February 2017 Dr. Tim Leverton, president and head at Advanced and Product Engineering at Tata revealed that it had completed the first phase of its project and the second stage was started a few years earlier and for better results still research under process.

Advantages of compressed air vehicle:

  • It uses no gasoline or any carbon based fuel.
  • C.A.E reduces the cost of the vehicle production because there   is no need to build a cooling system, spark plugs.
  • Very low cost of fuel.
  • Low maintenance cost.
  • Pollution free vehicle.


  • Refueling takes after 3-4 hours.
  • Limited capacity of storage tanks.
  • Limited speed range 110-140 km/hr.
  • Tank containing 30MPa compressed air sometimes it can be dangerous for domestic use.


Everyone aware from today’s situations of fossil fuels and their cost is so expensive too. In order to operate a compressed air engine we need compressed air. Compressor use electricity to generate compressed air which is also much cheaper over fossil fuel. Due to this technology all peoples shift toward new technology.  This vehicle having no causes to harm the environment.

In this article discussed about how need of energy is increases, but conventional source of energy is limited due to that price of petroleum or gasoline in continuously rising. A comprehensive study of compressed air engine following information was summarized such as compressed air is clean, safe, simple and efficient. Compressed air technology can be one of the best alternatives, as the pollution caused is zero.


K Yashdeep

Hye there..! I am Yashdeep Kamal. I completed my Bachelor in Technology(Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering). Engineer by passion, writer by choice. I have been writing about Composites, Ceramics, polymers, nanotechnology, advance materials and metallurgy etc. You can read about these topics here. Hope it may help you.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button