It consists of a rotor carved with wave-like channels. Fuel and air enter through central inlets, and the rotor spins to block their exit through a separate outlet. The sudden build-up of pressure generates a shock wave, compressing the mixture. Then it's ignited, and as the rotor keeps spinning, the outlet opens again to let the hot gases escape.
The novel generator would use about 60 percent of fuel for propulsion, according to MSU. This is a dramatic improvement over typical car engines, which use only 15 percent of fuel for forward movement. The system could also make cars 20 percent lighter, improving fuel economy even more.