Researchers have discovered a new type of cool burning flames that could lead to cleaner and more efficient engines for cars.

“We observed something that we didn’t think could exist,”  Forman Williams, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of California, San Diego said in the press release.

An in-depth understanding of the cool flames’ chemistry could help improve internal combustion engines in cars e.g., by developing homogenous-charge compression ignition. The technology, if employed, would lead to engines that burn fuel at cooler temperatures, emitting fewer pollutants such as soot and nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide, also known as NOx, while still being efficient.

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