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Lasers could help reduce emissions

Scientists have devised a way to replace spark plugs with laser beams to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

The laser can be channelled through hollow glass fibres and directed to an optimum point in the cylinder to ignite fuel vapour.

The result is better combustion and a more efficient engine relative to one with spark plugs, which corrode with use. Researchers at Colorado State University in America, who have tested their theory in the laboratory, are now working with commercial partners.

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