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LiquidPiston

First wholly new combustion engine / cycle in 85+ years

What Investors Say


What Friends Say

Wired
The big advantage of a pistonless rotary engine is its high power to weight ratio, reduced weight, and simplicity.
Popular Mechanics
DARPA Project Manager Mark Gustafson, who has led high-profile projects for the military such as the $6 billion propulsion system for the F-35, sees great promise in the LiquidPiston technology.
Alec Shkolnik CEO of Liquid Piston
We developed what we call the X4 engine, which is like the old Wankel rotary engine, but flipped inside out. It solved a lot of the challenges the Wankel used to have while giving it this new thermodynamic cycle upgrade... Our engine has the potential to be very quiet. There’s no piston slap, for instance, so the only real noise is from the gears and combustion. So, it’s relatively quiet.
Alexander Shkolnik CEO of Liquid Piston
“Engines are dirty, and physics tells us we can do better! We've developed an optimized thermodynamic cycle and built a fundamentally new combustion engine that's cleaner, cheaper, quieter, and smaller. Compared to piston engines, our "X" rotary engine can be ~5-10x smaller and lighter than a Diesel, and up to 2x more efficient than a gasoline engine. An electric vehicle using LiquidPiston combined with a small battery pack could have a lower CO2 footprint compared to plug-in electric vehicles.
Mark Gustafson DARPA program manager
DARPA believes that there is potential for a family of high-efficiency, compact, lightweight heavy-fuel engines. If fully successful, this project will provide proof of concept that our challenging objectives are achievable and pave the way for potential new capabilities in ground, air, and maritime applications.
Randy Goers Founder of The Drone Radio Show
The company develops and licenses compact & efficient power solutions based on an optimized thermodynamic cycle and a new type of rotary engine architecture. The patented high-efficiency cycle is the biggest leap forward in combustion engine technology over the last 85 years, and holds great promise as the preferred future propulsion solution for both military and heavy commercial drones.
Nikolay Shkolnik
We started with the mission statement of building an engine that would have much higher efficiency, consume less fuel, be smaller, and quieter. We wanted to create an engine that is better than every other engine on any single parameter. We were very ambitious!
Jordan Golson Writer for WIRED
The engine... has just two moving parts: a rotor and a shaft to transfer power from the engine. Minimal moving parts means the engine is smaller, lighter, more reliable and quieter than a conventional piston-fired engine. It's also smoother, which, if you've ever used a weed whacker or leaf blower, you'll consider a big plus.
Michael Kanellos Contributor to Forbes Magazine
With the X Mini’s High Efficiency Hybrid Cycle (HEHC) design, the volume remains constant: no undulating piston exists to alter the operating environment inside the cylinder. By applying near maximum pressure into this consistent environment, the result is a more efficient combustion cycle. Fewer parts mean lower vibrations and fewer potential mechanical problems.
Mark Gustafson DARPA Project Manager
The nation would benefit greatly from the development of a high-power-density, energy-efficient engine that could operate on heavy hydrocarbon fuels. We are excited about the plans to develop and test key technologies that could help achieve that goal, and look forward to LiquidPiston's efforts to accelerate progress in this important field of work.
Bob Stearns Former CTO of COMPAQ
I like to invest in companies that have two key ingredients -- important new technology AND great people. I feel LiquidPiston has both. Their engine is a fundamentally new and important breakthrough, with broad commercial and military applications. And the entrepreneurial management team is truly impressive -- brilliant, high-energy, pragmatic, and totally committed. I'm thrilled to be able to play even a small part in making this company successful.

In the news

LiquidPiston unveils X Mini engine
June 25, 2018
Back in 2012, Gizmag looked at LiquidPiston's X2 rotary engine and now the company is back with the 70 cc X Mini engine, which LiquidPiston's President and Co-Founder, Dr Alexander Shkolnik unveiled on Wednesday at the SAE International/JSAE 2014 Small Engine Technology Conference in Pisa, Italy.
Preliminary Development of a 30 kW Heavy Fueled Compression Ignition Rotary 'X' Engine with Target 45% Brake Thermal Efficiency
June 25, 2018
This paper presents initial progress in the development of LiquidPiston's 'X4', a 30 kW heavy-fueled rotary compression ignition engine prototype. The X4 is the newest version of the unique rotary 'X' engine architecture. This development is partially funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects
Quieter military drones that fly farther? The Pentagon thinks this engine could be the answer
June 20, 2018
Most people haven't heard of the engine created by Felix Wankel in the 1960s, but its derivatives may end up powering the military's future unmanned aerial vehicles. Despite a compact design that allows it to run at higher speeds and produce more power than conventional internal combustion engines, the Wankel engine never really caught on.
The Next Generation UAV Engines: Alec Shkolnik, Liquid Piston - Drone Radio Show
May 7, 2018
What might the next generation UAV engines look like? For that question, we turn to Alec Schlonik, co-founder and CEO of LiquidPiston, a Connecticut based company that is revolutionizing next-generation engine development. The company develops and licenses compact & efficient power solutions based on an optimized thermodynamic cycle and a new type of rotary engine...
MIT Corporate Relations and MIT Startup Exchange announce STEX25 additions
April 27, 2018
MIT Startup Exchange is pleased to announce the addition of seven companies to its roster of STEX25 startups. New additions to the program include: Asimov (programmable living cells), Feature Labs (data science automation), Form Energy (renewable energy storage solution), Formlabs (3D printing of polymers), Legit (AI to improve R&D process), Liquid Piston (high efficiency combustion engine), and PathAI (pathology AI).
13 Tech Trends Worth Watching, From the 2018 SAE World Congress - Motor Trend
April 24, 2018
The Society of Automotive Engineers' annual World Congress-WCX18 in abbrev-speak-aims to be the SXSW of the car-biz's nerd-illuminati. "Better mousetraps" for accomplishing nearly anything mechanical or electronic onboard a vehicle are displayed every year. The best of these answer questions mere automotive enthusiasts have yet to imagine asking.
LiquidPiston Enters the UAV Arena with a Revolutionary Rotary Engine - Commercial UAV News
April 2, 2018
On March 6th, LiquidPiston Inc., an advanced internal combustion engine technology company, announced its intention to enter the UAV market with a revolutionary rotary engine aimed at powering medium-sized drones. As part of the company's push into the UAV market, it presented at the Starburst Accelerator's Selection Committee in Israel on Wednesday, March 7th.
X marks the spot
March 22, 2018
LiquidPiston Inc. has developed a new engine that can run on multiple fuels, including diesel, jet fuel, and gasoline. This platform uses an optimized thermodynamic cycle and a new rotary engine architecture and could increases flight endurance over conventional UAV engines by greater than 50%.
LiquidPiston receives $3M Rapid Innovation Fund award from US Army for 2kW hybrid-electric genset
June 28, 2017
LiquidPiston, Inc. (LPI), a developer of advanced multi-fuel-capable rotary combustion engine technology, has been awarded a $3-million Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) award from the US Army to develop an innovative ultra-portable 2kW diesel Compact Artillery Power System (CAPS). The RIF process is extremely selective, with only five percent of whitepapers...
DARPA awards LiquidPiston $2.5M to advance further X4 rotary engine prototype
December 14, 2016
The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded LiquidPiston Inc. $2.5 million to continue development of a new, patented, high-efficiency, lighter-weight rotary engine. LiquidPiston, a developer of advanced combustion engine technology, received the award for the first phase of a program to realize the full capability of its...
Sikorsky names LiquidPiston winner of 7th Entrepreneurial Challenge
December 2, 2016
Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, named LiquidPiston, developer of engines based on its High Efficiency Hybrid Cycle (HEHC) (earlier post), as the winner of the 7th Entrepreneurial Challenge. The Entrepreneurial Challenge, driven by Sikorsky Innovations, the technology development organization of Sikorsky, is designed to accelerate innovators and disruptive technology concepts...
LiquidPiston: Could This Be The Engine Start-Up That Makes It?
August 28, 2016
NIkolay Shkolnik says LiquidPiston's X Mini rotary engine can double fuel economy, eliminate noise and vibration and reduce the size of engines by 30% to 75%. Check out the video: a four pound X Mini replaces a 40 pound standard engine in this go kart. But whether it can move from [...]
LiquidPiston's 4-lb Rotary Engine Shows What it Can Do - SolidSmack
June 28, 2016
LiquidPiston has invented a new rotary type engine that is piston-less, valve-less, and weighs only four pounds. They published a proof of concept video for the XMv3 engine, shown powering a small go-kart, that builds evidence that the High Efficiency Hybrid Cycle (HEHC) engine could be the compact, energy-efficient engine of the future.
New lightweight LiquidPiston engine unveiled
June 19, 2016
US-based startup LiquidPiston last week unveiled a new lightweight engine delivering significant advantages over traditional designs. The new engine, called the X Mini is a new gasoline powered engine utilizing a unique new engine architecture. Based off more than a decade of design work, the X Mini is a rotary engine that is completely pistonless.
Remodeled Mazda Rotary Engine For EVs, Drones Catches US Military Attention For Oil Problems, Engine Reliability
June 16, 2016
First Posted: Jun 16, 2016 04:10 AM EDT Electronic vehicles and drones having been using compact machineries similar to go-karts, but a new engine has been unveiled outside the laboratory for the first time. Alexander Shkolnik, co-founder and president of LiquidPiston, built a rotary designed engine with a pistonless set up that maximizes ratio of power and weight.
Startup Company Creates Rotary Engine That Weighs Four Pounds
June 16, 2016
Connecticut-based startup LiquidPiston announced today that it has built a compact engine powerful enough to drive a go-kart. The firm's X Mini engine weighs just four pounds and has just three moving parts, yet it can produce 3 horsepower, enough to serve as a replacement for a roughly 40-pound piston engine that normally powers the subject go-kart.
Este motor de combustión ruso del tamaño de un iPhone tiene 5 CV y puede impulsar un kart
June 16, 2016
Cada cierto tiempo alguien inventa un nuevo tipo de motor con la idea de revolucionar el mercado automovilístico. El ingeniero mecánico ruso Nikolai Shkolnik tenía otra idea en mente, y quizá por ello su motor de apenas dos kilos de peso ya cuenta con el respaldo de la mismísima agencia DARPA.
LIquidPiston's tiny but powerful rotary engine could usher in a new era for drones
June 15, 2016
Building the perfect engine for a drone is no easy task. They require small, high-powered engines with a high level of fuel efficiency and minimal vibrations - particularly if they're being used for filming or taking measurements. Those challenging specs may put off all but the hardiest engineers.
LIquidPiston's tiny but powerful rotary engine could usher in a new era for drones
June 15, 2016
"We started with the mission statement of building an engine that would have much higher efficiency, consume less fuel, be smaller, and quieter," says Nikolay Shkolnik. "We wanted to create an engine that is better than every other engine on any single parameter. We were very ambitious!"
How a 4-Pound Engine Can Replace a 40-Pound Engine
June 14, 2016
Connecticut-based startup LiquidPiston announced today that they have built a small, compact engine that is powerful enough to drive a go-kart. Their X-mini engine weighs just 4 pounds and has three moving parts, and yet can produce 3 horsepower, enough to replace the default 40-pound piston engine that normally powers the go-kart.
A Powerful Yet Tiny Engine Inches Closer to Powering EVs and Drones
June 14, 2016
A go-kart isn't the most obvious place to find the engine that could change how cars, drones, and anything else with a motor gets around, but it makes sense when you think about it. Karts are small, cheap, and crazy fun. "It's a thrilling ride," says Alexander Shkolnik.
LiquidPiston Signs $1M Agreement with DARPA to Develop Fuel-Efficient, Lightweight, Heavy-Fueled, Rotary Combustion Engine Technologies for the U.S. Military | Business Wire
April 23, 2015
LiquidPiston, Inc., a developer of advanced combustion engine technology, today announced that the company has signed a $1 million agreement with the
New Rotary Engine Lands $1 Million DARPA Contract
April 23, 2015
We love when a tiny company does big things. LiquidPiston, Inc., of Bloomfield, CT, recently signed an agreement with the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known as DARPA, to use the hyper-efficient rotary engine technology for military purposes.
Small engine packs a punch
December 5, 2014
Noise, excessive vibration, and relative inefficiency are drawbacks of the piston-based internal combustion engines (ICE) that power today's lawn and garden equipment, such as leaf blowers and lawn trimmers. But now MIT startup LiquidPiston has developed a rotary ICE that it says is significantly smaller, lighter, and quieter, as well as 20 percent more fuel-efficient than the ICEs used in many such small-engine devices.
LiquidPiston Unveils Very Small 5-horsepower, 70cc Rotary Engine - EngineLabs
November 24, 2014
A new 70cc rotary 4-stroke engine that's a little bigger than an iPhone yet could pump out five horsepower was unveiled by LiquidPiston at last week's SAE International/JSAE 2014 Small Engine Technology Conference in Italy. Called the X Mini, the compact, power-dense engine has only two moving parts.
Compact Rotary engine is a petite powerhouse
November 24, 2014
There's a new spin on the rotary engine. Liquid Piston, a Connecticut-based engineering firm, has turned the classic Wankel engine design inside out to create a more efficient, and cleaner-burning motor. The X Mini is a little powerhouse with a core that weighs just four pounds, is compact enough to fit inside a large cantaloupe, and pumps out 3.5 horsepower at 10,000 rpm.
This Tiny Engine Could Make Leaf Blowers Sound Less Like Jets
November 21, 2014
Big engines like the 707-horsepower monster Dodge put in the Challenger Hellcat or Volvo's little four-cylinder that makes 425 ponies get all the attention these days. But there are millions of tiny engines doing tiny things (think garden trimmers, leaf blowers, that sort of thing) that we never give much thought to.
LiquidPiston unveils X Mini engine
November 20, 2014
Back in 2012, Gizmag looked at LiquidPiston's X2 rotary engine and now the company is back with the 70 cc X Mini engine, which LiquidPiston's President and Co-Founder, Dr Alexander Shkolnik unveiled on Wednesday at the SAE International/JSAE 2014 Small Engine Technology Conference in Pisa, Italy.
Green Car Congress: LiquidPiston unveils 70cc rotary gasoline engine prototype embodying HEHC; power dense, low-vibration
November 19, 2014
Print this post LiquidPiston X1 engine features three separate combustion chambers creating 3 power strokes per revolution for high power density. Source: LPI. Click to enlarge. LiquidPiston, Inc. (LPI) the developer of engines based on its High Efficiency Hybrid Cycle (HEHC) ( earlier post), has unveiled the alpha prototype of the X Mini-a power-dense, low-vibration, quiet, 70cc spark-ignited, non-Wankel rotary embodiment of the HEHC.
Small Engine Fuels Big Ideas: Quieter, Lighter And More Efficient
November 19, 2014
LiquidPiston Inc. has an iPhone-sized engine it says could lead to quieter power generators, lighter weed-whackers, and more efficient unmanned flying drones. At 4 pounds, the three-horsepower X Mini gasoline engine, which the Bloomfield company planned to unveil Wednesday morning at an industry conference in Italy, boasts just two moving parts - a shaft and a rotor - and weighs 30 percent less than engines of comparable strength.
Super-efficient, unconventional ICEs take aim at Otto and Diesel
April 24, 2012
Today's combustion engines typically are only 20-30% efficient at part-load operating conditions, resulting in poor average fuel economy-and inspiring powertrain designers to reach further. Imagine new internal combustion engines (ICEs) that promise part-load brake thermal efficiencies of 50% (or more), with power densities approaching 2 hp/lb, and 33% lighter than a contemporary Otto-cycle unit.
What People Say