Taiwanese researchers unveil air-powered motorcycle

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Researchers at the National Central University in Taiwan has developed a motorcycle that can run on compressed air, as oppose to petrol.

Researchers Yu-Ta Shen and Yean-Ren Hwang developed the motor because motorcycles and scooters are the most popular form of transport in Taiwan and therefore they account for the majority of pollution in Taiwan.

Hwang said: "In Taiwan, air pollution is a very serious problem in the city. Twenty percent of all air pollution comes from motorcycles."

The air-powered motorcycle would still require energy to compress the air. But the amount of pollution associated with the energy and motorcycle will depend on what type of power plant provides electricity to the area the motorbike is been run.

At present, the prototype can only carry two and a half gallons of air, which is enough to carry the bike and rider three quarters of a mile.

In the future, the two researchers hope the bikes could hold enough air to travel for 20 miles without refueling.

Experts in the air-powered vehicle field are not convinced that a motorcycle is the best way to use the technology.

Shiva Vencat of MDI, said: "We don't think it's a viable product because you're talking about a very, very limited amount of compressed air you can put on a bike."

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Liam Marsden

By Liam Marsden

Former MCN Web Producer