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Thank you for your interest in our work on the acoustic Stirling heat engine. We hope the sites and links you find here will be useful.

Thermoacoustics at Los Alamos

More Efficient than Other No-Moving-Parts Heat Engines The Acoustic Stirling Heat Engine

Our new heat engine efficiently converts heat to intense acoustic power in a simple device that comprises only pipes and conventional heat exchangers and has no moving parts. The acoustic power can be used directly in acoustic refrigerators or pulse-tube refrigerators to provide heat-driven refrigeration with no moving parts, or it can be used to generate electricity via a linear alternator or other electroacoustic power transducer. Already the engine's 30% efficiency and high reliability may make medium-sized natural-gas liquefaction plants (with a capacity of up to a million gallons per day) and residential cogeneration economically feasible.

World Oil® magazine recently announced the thirteen winners of the “New Horizons” awards. Connecticut-based Praxair received “The New Horizons Idea Award,” for their work with the Los Alamos National Laboratory to liquefy natural gas using thermoacoustics.

Thermoacoustic engines and refrigerators use sound waves instead of moving parts to ultimately convert gas to liquid. An early prototype produced 140 gallons per day of LNG, and a 500 gallon-per-day prototype is close to completion. Praxair and Los Alamos National Laboratory received recognition because their cost-effective process promises to meet demands for liquefying natural gas in many situations.

Los Alamos researchers who worked on this project include: Greg Swift, Scott Backhaus, Carmen Espinoza, Chris Espinoza, David Gardner, and Mike Torrez all of the Condensed Matter and Thermal Physics Group (MST-10).

This work was awarded a 1999 R&D 100 award! The R&D 100 awards program, now in its 37th year, is designed to honor significant commercial promise in products, materials, or processes developed by the international research and development community. Technologies are nominated in open competition and judged by technical experts selected by the Illinois-based R&D Magazine. The magazine uses technical criteria to select the 100 most significant, unique, or promising entries.

If you are interested in industrial or academic partnerships or postdoctoral programs, please visit this site:
Opportunities at Los Alamos National Laboratory


For more information contact:
Scott Backhaus at
Greg Swift at

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