Seems like biofuels may not be the way to go...... - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-25-2008, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by cmitch View Post
Funny how any time someone offered an alternative engine to the reciprocating piston internal combustion engine, they were shouted down and ridiculed. As for example, my uncle, Troy McClure, of Oakdale, California, who, in 1978, invented a circular piston external combustion engine based on the Sterling Hot Air Cycle. He had several patents over the years, the last one in 2000. He died 3 weeks ago, penniless and no success getting anyone remotely interested in the engine. His schematics and prototypes lay in his abandoned shop, collecting cobwebs while his widow wastes away in a nursing home. He always had a dream he would be successful in his endeavors. He was a physics genius but had no serious backing from any major corporations. Sad, because it could be the answer to our energy woes.
Here is a link to a site that details some of his patents:
External combustion rotary engine - US Patent 5961310
I don't know why they have not, in the past had traction. Until 2000, US prices for oil were cheap enough that none of the companies had a fiscal incentive to do enough R&D to make something radical [or at least tangential to the ICE] cheap enough and efficient enough to be a profitable alternative.

The calculus has changed in the past 5 years throughout the world and the US has been dragged along kicking and screaming and, sadly no longer driving the innovation.

The zeal for short term profits to appease the talking heads and brokers on Wall Street have made yet another industry fall into the trap of short sighted thinking and failure to look at the long view.


Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
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