“What is the alternative to the internal combustion engine?”
Internal combustion engines are infamous for their loud and emissive nature. However, would it be possible to have a different type of engine that fixes most of the problems of ICEs? Well, let’s think about with our scientific mindset. First, let’s take two pistons and enclose them on two sides of a chamber. Then, let’s heat up one side of the chamber. This extra heat will cause the volume to expand against the first piston, doing work, cooling the gas, and pulling the second piston up. Eventually, it will expand so much that the first cylinder will be able to compress it, shoving the cooled gas into the second piston’s chamber. Soon enough, the second piston will reach its threshold and the direction will be able to reverse. This engine is known as a Stirling engine and can reach efficiencies of up to 50% while remaining quiet, making them an ideal candidate for use in high specialty applications.