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 |  Jan 26 2012, 7:00 AM

Pump up your tires and pump up your tank, there’s a new kind of fuel in town thanks to the Dearman Engine Company.

Well, that’s not totally true. The fuel is actually air in liquid form, so it isn’t actually new, but the London-based company that formed just under a year ago has managed to develop an engine that runs on it.

The system works by storing air at -256 degrees Fahrenheit in a tank before pumping it into a cylinder with what Dearman calls a heat exchange fluid. Once inside the chamber, the liquid air rapidly expands to propel the piston in the same fashion as a traditional internal combustion engine. The coolest part is that the system’s exhaust only emits air.

Tech stories about revolutionary new systems aren’t all that rare and they usually end by essentially saying “it’s really cool, but don’t expect it to ever be mainstream” and while that’s probably still the case here, Dearman is quick to point out that their motor relies solely on existing materials.

Truth be told, the air is actually just an energy catalyst. That means automotive applications would require a secondary power source to keep the tank chilled. It also seems that liquid air used as fuel would slowly disappear from cars that sat for a long time.

The system is currently being tested for real-world feasibility, but if it proves to be a workable system we speculate that it could play into a new gasoline or electric hybrid drivetrain somewhere in the future. If it ever happens, you could be “gassing up” with an air compressor while you check tire pressure. Watch the video after the jump to learn more.

[Source: CNET]

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