How do you utilize car exhaust to generate electricity?

My brother is really into cars, and he was telling me all sorts of ways exhaust can be repurposed. He said that it can actually produce electricity?! Is that true? I’m not sure if he’s correct, so I wanted to check with you guys. How do you utilize car exhaust to generate electricity?

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Answer provided by
Tara Malenfa
Answered on Jun 17, 2022
Your brother is actually on to something! When we see exhaust gases shoot out of the tailpipes of gas-powered cars, we often associate it with polluting our air. However, the gases are also a form of wasted energy.
Here’s how to utilize car exhaust to generate electricity:
  • Traditionally, turbocharging is one way to use up some of that energy. This requires an exhaust-driven turbine to run a compressor that will pack additional air into the combustion chambers, thus allowing more gas to be injected. The result? Much more power.
  • Now, hybrid powertrains can generate electricity using an exhaust-driven turbine. The Japanese firm YGK first patented the system in 2012, which was demonstrated in a Jaguar XJR-15.
  • Instead of exhaust gases forcing air into the cylinders, they can act as a generator to make electricity.
  • The electricity is housed in a supercapacitor until it’s time to shine. Who wouldn’t want a 10% efficiency boost?
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