Let's say a cargo ship uses a large amount of fuel while on a voyage. Could you direct the exhaust i.e. Carbon dioxide into a chamber utilising a check valve so the emissions don't backflow into the engine? Allow the gas to travel through a hose towards the front of the ship and release through a gas control valve which regulated that the gas is at a specific pressure. Before releasing it so that it blocked the wind and cleared the ship essentially eliminating or reducing frontal drag?

Could this method also be utilised on planes and other vehicles? the gas wouldn't weigh much due to heat from just being emitted from an engine so I can't figure out why this isn't used in formula one cars and so forth?


1 Answer 1


No, due to Newton's Third Law of Motion, which basically states that a force applied generates an equal and opposite reaction.

In theory, the exhaust gas could be released at the front of the car and cancel (or at least mitigate) the air drag, but in so doing, the exhaust itself would push the car in the opposite direction. So instead of air drag, you have an equivalent force from the exhaust gasses being propelled out of the car's nose.

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    $\begingroup$ But if the exhaust wasn't directed in the opposite direction of travel but instead horizontally in relation to the front of a ship or car, either side of the car or ship then it wouldn't slow down the car or ship and would still some frontal drag. $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2017 at 19:11

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