Hot Deal or Hot Air? Life-cycle Analysis of Pneumatic Cars

Through a series of press releases and demonstrations, a car using energy stored in compressed-air made available from a compressor has been suggested as an environmentally-friendly vehicle of the future. We analyze the thermodynamic efficiency of a compressed-air car powered by a pneumatic engine and consider the merits of compressed air versus chemical storage of potential energy. Even under highly optimistic assumptions the compressed-air car is significantly less efficient than a battery electric vehicle and would produce more greenhouse gas emissions than a conventional gas-powered car. However, a pneumatic-combustion hybrid is technologically feasible, inexpensive and might compete with hybrid electric vehicles.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: DVD
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 13p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 89th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers DVD

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01155438
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 10-0694
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jan 25 2010 10:20AM