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Dana Corporation Shows Pulsed Microwave Energy Can Initiate Combustion in Engines

Dana Corporation has recently demonstrated that its AtmoPlas microwave atmospheric plasma technology can be used to initiate combustion in an internal combustion engine.

The company made the announcement in conjunction with the Frankfurt IAA.

As part of Dana’s proprietary process, a synchronized microwave source feeds short microwave pulses into the engine through a modified spark plug to ignite the fuel/air mixture. No additional modifications are required to run the engine. The modified spark plug not only ignites the fuel/air mixture, but also radiates microwave energy into the cylinder for enhanced, more complete combustion to improve efficiency. The presence of the microwave field during the combustion process can also modify chemical reactions to reduce engine emissions.

This recent application of Dana’s AtmoPlas technology is just the latest of many exciting possibilities we have discovered for this program. This novel method for using microwave energy to enhance fuel ignition has the potential to substantially change the internal combustion engine.

—Chuck Heine, president of Technology Development at Dana

AtmoPlas generates and sustains plasma at atmospheric pressure to effectively harness microwave energy. Within seconds, plasma temperatures can reach 1,200 degrees Celsius, and there is no known upper temperature limit.

While the initial focus for the AtmoPlas technology was the heat treatment and coating of metals and other materials, Dana scientists have expanded the focus to include emerging applications such as synthesis of carbon nanostructures, hydrogen production, and exhaust gas treatment.

Dana is a $9.1-billion supplier of engine, drivetrain, chassis, and structural technologies, Dana employs 46,000 people in 28 countries.

More to come.



A lot of cool technology coming out of Europe, no? Mike, thanks for all the Frankfurt posts!


You’re welcome! But Dana is based in Toledo, Ohio. ;-)


Oops! Agreement number 3: don't make assumptions (Don Miguel Ruiz). At least the Audi/BMW stuff is cool :)


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