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COP26 – Zero emissions: Cosworth’s Catalytic generator

COP26 – Zero emissions: Cosworth’s Catalytic generator

Transport was yesterday’s theme at COP26, a topic that drives much debate within the walls of SQN and with many of our clients. The wheels of our business have been driven by automotive and motorsport clients over the past 20 years. 

The transportation industry remains one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions. It is believed that as much as 29% of all greenhouse emissions come from the need to move stuff around – people, freight, food, and much more. We will always need transportation, but the key is to evolve the methods used for propulsion towards net zero carbon solutions as soon as realistically possible. This is not an overnight task, nor a simple one. 

It’s easy for governments and large corporations to set big, world-changing goals and targets. We have seen this with most of the developed world committing to halving emissions by 2030, but it’s not the work of a moment. There’s no magic wand solution. 

We have just eight years to get to that point and an astronomical amount of innovation and engineering needs to take place to create the technology that will get us there.   

Let’s turn focus onto one of our clients, Cosworth, who have committed to producing innovative solutions that can provide sustainable propulsion to power the transport industry. That process is well underway. 

Through its recent acquisition, Delta, Cosworth’s latest innovation, the Cat Gen (catalytic generator) could become a key propulsion system for the transport industry. It is a simple, yet creative range extender that works in conjunction with batteries to recharge vehicles sustainably, while on the move. Using readily available parts – a turbine, compressor, catalyst, heat exchanger, and a generator, the Cat Gen is also cost-effective to produce, further enhancing its viability. 

It works by super heating air and fuel and reacting them together across a catalyst to produce more heat energy that drives a turbine, which is directly connected to the generator producing 35kW of electrical energy. The unit is fuel agnostic, meaning that it can run on a variety of gaseous and liquid fuels, allowing us to move away from fossil fuels entirely. This key capability enables the Cat Gen to be zero-emissions capable and removes one of the major drawbacks of electric vehicles entirely – range anxiety. The fear of running out of battery power and needing to stop for a lengthy recharge is eradicated 

Innovators like Cosworth are indispensable assets on the roadmap to 2030. The company’s engineering prowess and wealth of knowledge will no doubt produce the technology we need to achieve the targets set out to bring the transportation industry into a truly sustainable future.