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Guy Nègre, founder of compressed air engine car company MDI, dies

MDI, a Luxembourg-based company striving to commercialize a compressed air engine vehicle (earlier post), reported last week that its founder, Guy Nègre, had died.

The core of MDI’s work is a piston engine powered by the expansion of electronically injected compressed air. MDI developed two versions: a single fuel engine that relies solely upon compressed air, designed for urban areas only; and a dual-fuel version that uses compressed air and a combustible fue.

When running under 35 mph, the engine runs solely on compressed air. At speeds greater than 35 mph, the engine uses small amounts of fuel to heat air inside a heating chamber called the Compressed Air Multiplier (CAM) as it enters the engine.

The MDI Engines consist of an active chamber and are made up of modules of two opposing cylinders. A proprietary connection rod allows the retention of the piston at top dead center during 70° of crankshaft rotation—providing enough time to establish the required pressure in the cylinder. These modules can be coupled to make groups of 4 or 6 cylinders for a range of uses from 4 to 75 hp.

In the US, Zero Pollution Motors (ZPM), the US licensee for Luxembourg-based MDI, is working to launch US-based production of MDI-powered vehicles. (Earlier post.)

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