Your theory is correct but there is a flaw. Pure oxygen introduced into a
hot cylinder would cause a ignition oxygen alone or if you could get a
mixture of pure oxygen and fuel into the cylinder the explosion would
destroy the engine.
One: Pure oxygen and fuel mixture is liable to go off in the intake
plenum if there's a hot valve, and blow out the entire airflow sensor
and throttle body system, it would be far too unstable.
Two: If you manage to get a pure O2/Gasoline mixture into the hot
cylinder long enough to get the intake valve fully closed, it /will/
go off prematurely as the compression stroke starts and well before
TDC, causing a nasty detonation that will mechanically ruin the
Three: You don't have the storage density for carrying it in a car
as compressed Oxygen in tanks, you wouldn't make it more than 30 - 50
miles between tank fills. Liquid Oxygen (LOX) has the needed storage
density, but it takes a lot of heat to vaporize it in the quantities
needed. More than the waste heat of the radiator in the winter,
especially when you add cabin heater loads, and forget about using an
ambient air heat exchanger when it's below zero outside - you would
have to burn fuel to vaporize the LOX.
Four: Carrying that much LOX around (or even compressed O2) would be
a HazMat nightmare. You would be restricted from driving through many
tunnels and onto many ferries, and restricted from many bridges and
underground parking garages. Too much chance of it going *BOOM!* by
accident, and too easy to rig it up to go *BOOM!* on purpose.
--<< Bruce >>--
If you used pure oxygen instead of air, it would have the advantage that
would be less problems with pollution because nitric oxides would not
be formed. And it would probably be a little more efficient because when
you're compressing the air/fuel mixture, your also compressing nitrogen.
However, the reaction that converts hydrocarbons (gasoline) and oxygen
to carbon dioxide and water and heat would still be the same. I doubt
that there would be a significant increase in power, because air is a
convenient source oxygen with all the oxygen we need to run a car.
Even if the amount of power were significantly improved, the problem is
that pure oxygen is made by liquefying air, which separates the nitrogen
and oxygen (oxygen has a boiling point of about -300 F, so it is not
something that is easy to do in a car). This would eat up any savings.
Finally, oxygen would require storage tanks on board, oxygen stations to
refuel the tanks, and lots of safety equipment, because fires supported
by pure oxygen burn a lot faster than fires supported by air (which is
why they use oxygen in welding). All of this makes oxygen use
impractical where there is free air readily available, which is why only
the nice folks in hospitals, airlines (during emergencies) and NASA are
the amongst the few people who normally supply oxygen.
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.