Pilot Testing of Isothermal Compression

Near isothermal compression for industrial air/gas applications

Institute of Gas Technology dba GTI Energy


Des Plaines, IL

Recipient Location


Senate District


Assembly District



Amount Spent



Project Status

Project Result

The project is complete and field testing of the field demo unit generation 3 was completed at a light duty manufacturing facility in Grass Valley. The final report is going through the publication process.

The Issue

Currently, gas compression is limited by the thermodynamics which causes the gas being compressed to heat up during compression, making it harder to compress. This heating process can also lead to high operating temperatures which can increase the friction and wear of moving components. It is estimated that as much as 90% of the mechanical work input into an air compressor results in a loss of energy compared to the useful work output of the compressed air that is used to power an industrial process. Heat of compression is the biggest driver of this energy loss.

Project Innovation

Gas Technology Institute (GTI) and Carnot Compression LLC (Carnot) are developing and field testing a novel, near isothermal air compressor which will enable improved efficiency, maintenance and reliability. The unit will be tested at an industrial facility in southern California. This project hopes to reduce the energy consumption in industrial, water, agricultural, and commercial applications that require compression of air and other gases. This project demonstrates a more efficient compressor that will use less electricity to meet the same performance metrics of existing air and gas compressors. If successful, this project could improve the energy efficiency of compressed air/gas systems which are prevalent in all industrial processing facilities.

Project Goals

To develop, lab testing and field demonstration of an isothermal compression technology.

Project Benefits

This near isothermal compressor, or Carnot Compressor, solves the heat of compression problem by using a working liquid to compress a gas, while actively removing the heat of compression throughout the compression process. By removing the heat throughout the compression step, the energy required to compress air from near atmospheric pressure to ~100 psig can be reduced by up to 50% compared to commercial air compressors, such as piston, screw, and scroll designs. These energy savings are expected to significantly improve the efficiency of industrial air applications.

Lower Costs


The technology has the potential to reduce energy consumption from air and gas compressors by up to 50%.

Key Project Members

Project Member

Rob Kamisky



Frontier Energy, Inc.


Carnot Compression Inc.


Match Partners


Carnot Compression Inc.


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