An award-winning engine invention developed by Lancashire-based innovation company OakTec has won UK government funding to develop the concept to generate electricity from bio-waste
OakTec has won a £214,000 grant from the new Energy Catalyst initiative run by Innovate UK to design a new version of its highly successful Pulse-R™ prototype that will produce efficient clean power from waste energy sources such as sewage, food waste and agricultural anaerobic digestion.
The Pulse-R engine concept was the 2014 national winner of the highly prestigious Shell Springboard Cleantech innovation competition, beating more than 110 innovations from UK companies working in the clean technology sector. OakTec has recently developed a prototype Pulse-R propane gas engine that has demonstrated exceptional results in testing, and has shown significant advances in power efficiency and emissions performance when benchmarked against market leading small engines, opening up opportunities in many market sectors that use small combustion engines.
Pulse-R has shown such potential that OakTec believes it can set a new industry standard when burning untreated bio-gas. The Energy Catalyst project will demonstrate a new prototype engine that will take bio-gas directly from an anaerobic digester and efficiently convert it into clean useful power.
The Pulse-R design has further commercial advantages in that it is fundamentally simple in its architecture and can be easily manufactured in very high volumes at a low unit cost.
OakTec founder Paul Andrews commented, “This funding for Pulse-R from Innovate UK is a massive opportunity for us to develop what we are convinced can be a global game changer in gas engine technology. It has allowed us to put together a small team of top race and road car engine designers who will apply their knowledge and expertise into developing a simple, low cost and highly efficient bio-gas engine.
“We have got exceptional test results from our propane-fuelled prototypes and we have a conviction and ambition for this technology to become a global product. There is quite a small uptake of gas engines in the UK but in many of the world’s biggest markets, including much of Asia, gas is becoming the fuel of choice, but no small engine currently exists that is optimised to fully exploit gas fuels. This creates a massive business opportunity and we are convinced that we have the best innovative technology to capture this huge market.”
OakTec will be presenting about the Pulse-R gas engine and its commercial potential at the Eco-connect event in London on 12 February.