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Step one, add to the exhaust stream of a conventional internal combustion engine (either spark ignited or diesel) a device which harvests a portion of the water that was created by combustion [links].
Then, use this for conventional water injection [link].
In an otherwise unmodified engine, it
has two main effects: it lowers the peak temperature, reducing NOx emissions, and it has an antiknock effect, either allowing use of a lower octane (and thus cheaper) gasoline, or allowing higher levels of turbocharging / supercharging.
If you don't mind having an engine that cannot run without water injection, then you could alter the design to have an otherwise excessive compression ratio -- would normally (without water) result in excessive knocking. The increased compression ratio of course results in higher efficiency and power.
A gaseous analogue of reverse-osmosis.
My favorite version of exhaust water recovery [goldbb, May 18 2010, last modified May 19 2010]
Liquid desicant, + reverse osmosis
Another, slightly different scheme [goldbb, May 19 2010]
[goldbb, May 19 2010]
||PS I don't actually care who gave the fishbone.
||I'd be quite happy to recieve additional fishbones, if they came with probable reasons why the giver of the first bone might have thought this idea to be a bad one.
||It's so obvious - why haven't I seen it before?
However, the water would need cleaning before re-use.
||My Toyota Land Cruiser had a cracked head-gasket
that did something similar: it sucked water from
the surrounding coolant into the chamber which
increased the combustion pressure and made the
engine more powerful. It also made a pleasant
whistling sound when I turned off the engine as it
|| The only downside is that the
coolant had to be topped very frequently, which
was cheaper than a repair. Lasted several years
that way until I graduated from college, and the
girlfriend threatened to leave unless I got
something less noisy.
||Sometimes I wish I kept the
||Ling, If either of the systems in the first two links are used, there will be an absolute minimum of contaminants, and those contaminants will mostly be liquid hydrocarbons. Any liquid hydrocarbons in the water will simply burn off harmlessly.
||el dueno, count yourself lucky that it sucked in water at just the right rate to boost power, without drowning the engine.
||Also, when antifreeze burns in an engine, it typically produces white smoke in the exhaust. Didn't this bother you? Or do you live somewhere so warm that freezing was never an issue, such that you could fill the radiator with water?