KKR has been granted a patent for a method to reduce contrails during aircraft operation. The method involves mixing exhaust gas with ambient air to induce condensation, separating the condensed water, and injecting it back into the engine or using it to generate steam. GlobalData’s report on KKR gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on KKR, was a key innovation area identified from patents. KKR's grant share as of February 2024 was 79%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Reducing contrails by condensing exhaust gas moisture into water

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: KKR & Co Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11904272B2) discloses a method for reducing contrails during aircraft operation by inducing condensation of moisture in the exhaust gas of the heat engine. The method involves mixing a proportion of the exhaust gas with ambient air flowing around the aircraft to create condensed-out water, separating the water on the aircraft, and injecting it into the combustion chamber of the heat engine or using it to generate steam. The separation process includes electrostatic charging of water molecules in the exhaust gas and directing charged water droplets towards a complementary pole.

Furthermore, the patent also describes an aircraft equipped with a heat engine, nozzles for conducting exhaust gas into ambient air to create a gas mixture, separators for extracting condensed-out water from the mixture, and mechanisms for collecting the separated water. The aircraft's design allows for the discharge of exhaust gas on the outer surface of the aircraft or into a mixing channel where ambient air flows during operation. The separators in the aircraft utilize electrostatic charging to separate water molecules and attract condensed-out water droplets. This innovative approach aims to reduce contrail formation during aircraft operation, potentially addressing environmental concerns associated with contrails.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.