DANIEL OBERHAUS – 9/9/2020
Researchers have long experimented with “lean burn” engines, which boost efficiency and reduce the emissions from combustion. But getting them to ignite is tricky.
THERE ARE SOMETHING like a billion cars on the world’s roads today and almost all of them are powered by internal combustion. In fact, the 150-year-old technology is at the heart of most forms of transportation, whether it’s a plane, train, or boat. The engine’s importance to … well, everything, means that generations of really smart people have dedicated their lives—and untold billions of dollars—to making it better. But no matter how close it comes to perfection, the internal combustion engine will always have one major flaw: It’s killing our planet.