The hybrid electric plane from MIT intercepts its own pollutants Scientists have just presented a very interesting aircraft design that limits its own emissions by capturing a large proportion of them before they even hit the atmosphere.

The transition to alternative propulsion technologies can take years, especially in the case of aviation, so researchers at MIT have developed a technology that may be a good temporary solution. The engineers responsible for developing this system believe they can reduce harmful NOx emissions by as much as 95% by capturing and trapping it in a special element in the cargo hold while avoiding 92% of premature deaths caused by them. Because it should be remembered that it is a huge source of air pollution, which is associated with many diseases, such as asthma, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Previous studies have shown that 16,000 people die prematurely as a result of their emissions by international aviation around the world.

The authors of the system admitted that they were inspired by the emission control systems used in transport cars - many diesel trucks now have systems that re-capture nitrogen oxides generated by engines. Although translating these methods into airplanes was not easy, because the construction of recoil engines prevents them from placing special devices, similar to those from cars. This is where the hybrid or truboelectric model comes in handy, in which the power source of the aircraft will still be a conventional gas turbine, but it will be integrated with the hold, which will allow a special generator to generate electricity to be placed between it and the propellers.

The emissions produced by the gas turbine will go to an emission control system, similar to automotive ones, where they will be cleaned before reaching the atmosphere. “It will still be a huge engineering challenge as we have fundamental physical limitations. If you want a zero-emission aviation sector, then there is a potential solution to air pollution, which is significant and technologically feasible, explains Steven cybernews world professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT. Equally important, the system does not represent a large additional load and it is estimated that its installation means the need to carry 0.6% more fuel into the air. Will this convince the producers? Or will the MIT idea become just an idea? It is certainly easier to make than all-electric constructions ...