• Morgan, Robert (PI)

Project Details


Within the EU, Heavy Duty Vehicles (HDVs) are responsible for 30% of on-road CO2 emissions. Hybrid and electrification strategies now being introduced in the light duty vehicle (LDV) sector are ineffective in HDVs due to prohibitive on-cost, high associated mass and compromised range & load carrying capacity. Without a sector-specific carbon reduction technology, the contribution & importance of HDV carbon emissions will inevitably rise as other sectors adopt effective low carbon propulsion solutions. To address the significant CO2 production within the sector, the UK Automotive Council roadmap calls for new thermodynamic cycles as a key medium-term objective. STEPCO2 represents a disruptive shift in combustion engine technology, and addresses this call through the use of split cycle technology with a novel step to significantly increase engine efficiency. Extensive feasibility studies supported by test results from previous projects, indicate the technology has potential to radically increase the efficiency of an engine in a HDV application. The project objective is to progress this game-changing concept from a research environment towards a working concept demonstrator & eventual application within HDVs, leading to drastic reduction in fuel usage & CO2 emission within the heavy duty transport sector.

Key findings

Test results, carried out as part of StepCO2 programme part funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, have shown the CryoPower engine to offer a near-zero emissions capability, in some cases offering lower tailpipe NOx emissions than in the surrounding air and with potential to remove pollution in towns and cities.

CryoPower was originally conceived as a means of enabling otherwise unachievable improvements in fuel economy and reduced CO2, targeted at achieving at least 60 percent brake thermal efficiency. The early development work carried out on the test rig installed at the University of Brighton has not only validated this potential but has also demonstrated the highly impressive low-NOx emissions credentials of the CryoPower combustion process.

Professor Rob Morgan of the University of Brighton’s Advanced Engineering Centre said: “Our research has taken a completely new approach to the design of the combustion system, focusing on achieving the conditions for ultra-low emissions. This enabled us to unpick the ‘normal’ way of designing an engine and to come up with a different set of answers.

“Our split-cycle engine combines the findings of our high efficiency research with our low emissions research ideas. On the test bed, we are getting engine out emission much lower than a fully optimised modern truck. With some after-treatment, you would get to very low level emissions that are actually cleaner than the air going into the engine.”
Effective start/end date1/08/1831/12/19


  • Innovate UK


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