Zy­gor En­ergy spark plugs to cut emis­sions from ex­ist­ing and new ve­hi­cles

Zy­gor En­ergy, run by In­der Sharma, is work­ing on re­duc­ing emis­sions in the ex­ist­ing and new cars. He ex­plains how the sim­ple re­place­ment of a spark plug can do that.

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Most of the pow­er­train com­po­nents man­u­fac­tur­ers are work­ing on some in­no­va­tive prod­ucts to re­duce the emis­sions and to meet the BS-VI norms. We re­cently met In­der Sharma, Founder of Zy­gor En­ergy Sys­tems, who is a mi­cro­bi­ol­o­gist by aca­demics and an en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist at heart.

He be­lieves that while new emis­sion norms and mov­ing over to elec­tric ve­hi­cles will be even­tu­ally hap­pen­ing, the ex­ist­ing ve­hi­cles run­ning on in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gines also need to be up­scaled at a min­i­mal cost. Adding com­po­nents that will make an older ve­hi­cle ad­here to BS-VI norms is a costly af­fair. But, Sharma’s so­lu­tion is sim­pler. The cross-sec­tion are area of ig­ni­tion in a spark plug is ve very small. Zy­gor EEn­ergy’s new gen­erat gen­er­a­tion spark plugs ha­have a spi­ral de­sign wwith more than 1 elec­trode. el The net re re­sult is the com­bus­tion­com­bus­tio of fuel hap­pen­ing at a much greater dis­dis­tance from the plug.

“A lot of tech­nolo­gi­estec ex­is­texis to­day to curb pol­lu­tion, but ev­ery­thing is re­lated to post-com­bus­ti­com­bus­tion process. I al­ways be­lieved tto find a root cause of the pro­prob­lem and in this case, it is the iin­com­plete com­bus­tion in a cylin­cylin­der. So, if the com­bus­tion is com­pletec or full, there is less pres­sure on the cat­alytic con­verter to re­duce the con­tri­bu­tion of harm­ful gases com­ing out of an in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine,” Sharma said. The fo­cus for Zy­gor En­ergy has been to mod­ify the spark plug in or­der to in­crease the com­bus­tion with­out wastage of gases. This has re­sulted in about 20% re­duc­tion in emis­sion, and 2% in­crease in fuel ef­fi­ciency.

Over the last 80 years, the evo­lu­tion of spark plugs has been min­i­mal. There are com­pa­nies like Bosch that have in­tro­duced mul­ti­elec­trode spark plugs which haven’t been suc­cess­ful due to their de­sign. Sharma opined that the chal­lenges with the spark plug were the de­sign and ex­per­i­men­ta­tion but in 2013, the de­sign­ers used a crown with the spark plug in be­tween. This crown was spe­cially de­signed to be fused in a spark plug de­sign. The re­sult was that fuel was get­ting ig­nited even 50mm away from the spark plug. Af­ter rig­or­ous test­ing for about 5 years and a num­ber of

phys­i­cal pilot ap­pli­ca­tions, the spark plug has re­ceived a global patent. Cur­rently a pilot project for these spark plugs is on­go­ing in Delhi in as­so­ci­a­tion with NITI Aayog. So far, ac­cord­ing to Sharma, the re­sults have been pos­i­tive as there is no re­duc­tion in ac­cel­er­a­tion in CNG ve­hi­cles as well.

An­other as­pect which was en­quired about was the strate­gies im­ple­mented in the US to re­duce emis­sions and if they can be used in In­dia. Ac­cord­ing to Sharma, the US has a very dif­fer­ent model with dif­fer­ent mind­set as well as dif­fer­ent economies of scale. Re­sources in Amer­ica are high and so is the value of the cur­rency. The strat­egy for In­dia needs to be dif­fer­ent due to the lack of re­sources such as crude oil for the time be­ing and the weaker cur­rency power. An­other hur­dle is the fuel qual­ity which is avail­able in In­dia ver­sus what is avail­able in other de­vel­oped coun­tries in­clud­ing the US. There are more strin­gent fuel stan­dards in abroad than those in In­dia and stricter pol­lu­tion con­trol norms.

Sharma also feels that the po­lit­i­cal sys­tem also needs to cre­ate aware­ness to change the fun­da­men­tal un­der­stand­ing with the peo­ple and their mind­set. And in case some­one does not fol­low rules or has a ve­hi­cle that is pol­lut­ing more than a cer­tain set limit, that per­son should be fined heav­ily and made an ex­am­ple of. Pol­lu­tion is the ma­jor con­cern area but the Govern­ment has to cre­ate the aware­ness for peo­ple to avoid us­ing ve­hi­cles if they emit more pol­lu­tion.

With re­spect to the au­to­mo­tive sec­tor, Zy­gor En­ergy is also look­ing at elec­tric ve­hi­cles. They are cur­rently re­search­ing on us­ing the least num­ber of bat­ter­ies with­out af­fect­ing range of a cer­tain elec­tric ve­hi­cle or for that mat­ter have a higher range, ac­cord­ing to Sharma. The com­pany is look­ing at op­tions wherein not only does the elec­tric mo­tor uses the least amount of en­ergy, but also gen­er­ates elec­tric­ity on the move. Although Sharma agrees that this kind of tech­nol­ogy will take time to be put into prac­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tion, but, once put into mass mar­ket seg­ment, there would be no need of a charg­ing sta­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to a pre­sen­ta­tion made by Sharma, 2 sets of bat­ter­ies would be used in an elec­tric ve­hi­cle. While one set is run­ning the ve­hi­cle, a small amount of that en­ergy is be­ing used to charge the sec­ond set of bat­tery. This, although, means that there would be no losses of en­ergy which may be­come a hur­dle in real-world ap­pli­ca­tions. “That said, I feel a suc­cess­ful model would be when, in real-world ap­pli­ca­tion, we are able to take a ve­hi­cle from say Delhi to Mum­bai on a sin­gle charge,” stated Sharma with a very op­ti­mistic voice.

Sharma’s be­lief on the fact that this is pos­si­ble does hint at the pos­si­bil­ity of what could be the fu­ture of elec­tric ve­hi­cles. How­ever, with re­spect to the scarce avail­abil­ity of re­sources, he also agrees that un­til the time the elec­tric­ity gen­er­ated is not through a re­new­able en­ergy source, it would not be log­i­cal to say that it is the sus­tain­able mo­bil­ity so­lu­tion.

While there is the pos­si­bil­ity of an emis­sion-free elec­tric ve­hi­cle, hy­dro­gen fuel cell tech­nol­ogy should also be con­sid­ered. The op­por­tu­ni­ties are end­less for such start-ups to build a niche in the plane of what a sus­tain­able fu­ture could be. How­ever, with­out the right poli­cies in place, it will be­come a task, Sharma said.

Zy­gor En­ergy’s elec­tric mo­tor

In­der Sharma, Founder of Zy­gor En­ergy Sys­tems

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