email author of himac website J Bruce McBurney.
As you can see it wasn't long after automobiles began to gain in
popularity that the inventors noticed that something wasn't quite kosher with
the available carburetion, these patents are all vaporizer carburetors. |
They are all designed to feed fumes or true gas, not liquid spray to the engine. Some even use heavy oil, reining it right under the hood to produce gas vapor.
It is a partial list, included solely to impress on you the time frame involved, the scope of development, and the idea that feeding fumes to an engine is an old and well developed concept with great merit and potential.
PATENT 1938497 DECEMBER 5, 1933 C.N Pogue
"...I have found that in such a carburetor a relatively large amount of the atomized liquid fuel is not vaporized and enters the engine cylinder in the form of microscopic droplets. When such a charge is 'fired' in the engine cylinder only that portion of the liquid fuel which has been converted into the vaporous and consequently the modular state, combines with the air to give an explosive mixture.
The remaining portion of the liquid fuel which is drawn into the engine and thereby impart power to the engine, but burns with a flame and raises the temperature of the engine above that at which the engine operates most efficiently, ie. from 160 degrees to 180 degrees F.
According to this invention a carburetor for internal combustion engines is provided in which substantially all of the liquid fuel entering the engine cylinder will be in the vapor phase and consequently capable of combining with the air to form a mixture which will explode and impart a maximum amount of power to the engine, and which will not burn and unduly raise the temperature of the engine."
If you have been following closely, you will realize that this old patent has stated what some of the latest technical reports only recently disclosed.
Namely the gasoline in an engine with a conventional carburetor only partially explodes, some burns and some goes right out the exhaust pipe.
This wastes power, causes excessive heat buildup in the engine, carbon deposits on the valves and cylinder heads, and creates massive pollution.
Note also the temperature range mentioned 160 to 180 degrees F. Late model cars run at much hotter temperatures than this, mine runs at between 200 and 220 degrees F.
You may also gather that, contrary to popular belief, its the force of the explosion not the heat that runs the car.
The heat is a by-product. Scientists that measure the energy potential of gasoline by its BTU content are off base. (BTU = British Thermal Unit: the quantity of heat necessary to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.)
It hold true for external combustion engines, such as a stream or the sterling engine but not for internal combustion engines such as Bourke, Wankel or piston engine.
Some piston engines have used compressed air even freon, that expands with heat not combustion.
PATENT 1972874 SEPTEMBER 11, 1934 ARTHUR EMILL DOBBS
'This invention relates to an apparatus for carbureting appliances which may use as a fuel, volatile liquids.
It has long been apparent to those skilled in the art, that the ordinary means in use for today for producing vapor from volatile liquids are, as far as perfect carbureting concerned, defective, highly inefficient, and expensive.
The principle reason seems to be that the vapor is, in reality, a mist or wet vapor which does not give quick complete combustion, and, consequently, the result is a diminution of ultimate power.
The secondary deleterious effects are the excess formation of carbonaceous deposits, extreme heat, and cutting the lubricating agent.
In the case of the ordinary hydrocarbon engine, as used in propelling ships and the like, slow and imperfect combustion caused by improper admixture of the hydrocarbon fuel will, in addition to poor performance, formation of carbonceous deposits, and extreme heat, warp and burn the valves, and cut and dilute the lubricating agent in the crankcase, which later defect always necessitates the trouble and expense of changing the lubricant before it has served its purpose and often results in injury to the entire motor.
The same, is true in the case of stationary hydrocarbon engines, both large and small.
Where volatile liquids have been converted into gasses for lighting and heating purposes, difficulty has been experienced in obtaining a constant and uniformly suitable flame, because of the poor and changing combustible properties of improper admixture.
The ultimate desire has been to produce a gas, the constituents of which will be so thoroughly and uniformly mixed at all times, and under all conditions, as to render combustion, yet to be entirely dry and cold.
Heretofore, it has been customary to utilize heat in producing the gas. This has been found to be highly disadvantageous and unnecessary.
The advantage resulting from the use of my method and apparatus are manifold. The power produced by such appliances is tremendously increased.
The tendencies toward carbonaceous deposits after exploding or burning the gas are reduced to a minimum. The possibility of the leakage of raw fuel into the lubricating agent of a hydrocarbon engine, for example, to cause dilution is eliminated; and the decrease in heat created because of the cold gas is astounding, so that with the proper consistency of gas, it is possible to modify the cooling systems now used by hydrocarbon engines."
A bit pretentious in wording, but the content is consistent with Pogue's statements, this particular unit uses the same principle as many others, nothing more than having the having the intake air bubble up through the gasoline to pick up vapors prior to its introduction to the engine.
Although I feel that the Dobbs unit may have been more effective back then in the thirties since the gasoline produced at that time was of much lower octane, and hence more volatile, and would more readily evaporate in this type of system than current fuels.
PATENT 3294381 DECEMBER 27, 1966 ARNOLLD.H SCHWARTZ
"The present carburetor, when used for feeding the cylinders of a six cylinder engine of a popular automobile, improved the miles per gallon performances of said engine, during ordinary driving conditions over 200%."
That would, on the average, put us over the 60 MPG mark. A figure, I have been told by an engineering student, is impossible to attain. I wonder if he can get a refund from the school? According to books I have read on filing patents, the patent office is pretty careful checking out the claims made by the inventors such as these.
I believe that we may be reasonably sure that they are accurate. So why aren't they available in the marketplace? Why indeed. You will notice two of the patents were purchased by the big auto makers. I believe that some of the others were also purchased, but I have not had the resources available at this writing to confirm it.
Apparently there have been many such systems developed in this country that deliver 60 to 90 MPG, and have received limited newspaper coverage. Then nothing is heard of them again. Here is one such example, reprinted in full with the permission of The Post Crescent newspaper in Appleton, Wisconsin, dated May 15, 1980.
Twin Cities men claim breakthrough Alco-1 better than gasoline? By Don Castonia SEYMOUR-A pair of Twin Cities men claim to have made a breakthrough in alcohol fuels for automobiles, which they say can five to six times the mileage obtained with gasoline.
Thomas Catlin Sr., 160 Gruenwald Ave. Neeah, and Micheal Frank, 332 Grandview Ave., Menasha, say they have achieved 100 MPG with a 1972 Plymouth Duster with a 318 cubic inch V-8 engine using their alcohol blend and their own design replacement for the carburetor.
Catlin calls his fuel Alco-1, a mixture of 45% propanol alcohol and 55% water, and has incorporated under the name of Alco-Gas Inc.
Earlier this week Catlin sought a building permit from the City Council to construct a building to house his alcohol production facilities at the north end of the city.
The permit request was referred to the Public Property Committee to determine whether a previously imposed building moratorium is still in effect.
Wednesday Catlin claimed he could be in production within three weeks after his building is constructed.
He said all alcohol fuel research to date has been geared to the wrong kind of alcohol-ethanol. His research, he said, involves propanol, the most common form of which is isopropyl, a disinfectant and rubbing alcohol.
He said he has been researching and testing his product for nearly a year and has been running a pilot still on a farm near here. That still would be moved to the building he wants to construct.
He contends that previous research has misunderstood the source of power in a fuel and has measured it only by its BTU content. This, Catlin said, is only a measure of the heat generated by the burning of the fuel.
The real energy, he said, comes from the conversion of a liquid to a gas state under pressure with the release of hydrogen and oxygen atoms as water vapor and the carbon atoms as carbon dioxide. With gasoline, he said, the fuel is burned to rapidly to take advantage of this energy.
Propanol, he said, is better than either methanol or ethanol alcohol because it contains more hydrogen molecules and has a higher octane which results in slower burning.
His process for producing propanol also is cheaper than the conventional still. He says he can make propanol for 40 cents a gallon using waste material, such as whey or vegetable matter.
With solids, he said, he uses a small, lightweight hammer mill to pull the fibers apart. He then treats it with an acid, rather than an enzyme, to convert it to glucose.
This, he said, speeds up the process by six times, permitting a higher production volume than with the conventional process. The glucose is then converted to alcohol by enzyme treatment.
Instead of distilling it for purity, Catlin said he simply filters it in the same manner that beer is filtered to remove solid impurities. "Since nobody is going to be drinking this it doesn't have to be distillation pure," he said.
The end product is about 70% alcohol with about 30% water content. He said he doesn't need any higher concentration, which would require distillation and increase the cost, since he is going to add more water to come up with his fuel.
Frank said that while the existing carburetor on a car could be converted to use their Alco-1, it still would not be particularly efficient.
To replace the carburetor they have developed what they call an "alcohalater" which bolts on in place of the carburetor. The jets in the alcohalater are only one-third the size of those in a carburetor and the air intake is severely reduced.
Frank said their alcohalater operates somewhat on the principle of fuel injection, a system that would be even better. He said deisel-type fuel injection would be the most efficient method.
Catlin said he has talked with several oil companies and they have expressed interest in the process. You would think that such a breakthrough would merit national news coverage, wouldn't you? Think again. Check the last line in the story.
I wrote to these gentlemen but apparently they are not answering their mail. With all the attention that alcohol is getting you would think that it was something new, it isn't.
Prior to WWll Studebaker, General Motors, International Harvester and McCormick-Deering supplied alcohol powered vehicles to the Phillipines and Manilla for their sugar plantations.
Here is an editorial supplied through the coutesy of the Contra Costa Times of Walnut Creek, California, dated May 24, 1979.
THE TIME IS NOW
The costs of the current gasoline shortage are becoming horrendous in a variety of ways that far exceed the economic damage being done the motorist when he pays for fuel- if he can get the fuel.
Only a few days ago, a baby died in the rear of the car as the child's baby-sitter waited in a long gas line. The baby was asphyxiated by exhaust fumes aggravated by a long wait on a scorching hot day.
Reports of violence on those gas lines are replete with horror stories: One of the worst last week described a motorist waiting in line who decided to pick roses from a bush in the front yard of a residence near the service station.
When the owner came from his house to remonstrate, the motorist attacked him with a weapon and left the householder seriously injured.
We have seen news photographs and TV news scenes of service station owners wearing pistols and in other cases, brandishing rifles and shotguns.
There have been countless reports describing collisions that ranges from fistfights between drivers on the long gas lines to violent assaults and injuries.
Few motorists have escaped the inconveniences created by the shortage of gasoline. Worse yet, even the intelligent peaceful tempers are boiling over-along with cars boiling over as they wait in these lines.
These threats are argument by long line frequented by long lines frequently impeding the flow of traffic as simmering driver' cars protrude into traffic lanes creating still other hazards.
On another front, automobile, recreation vehicle and boat sales are down substantially because of buyer weariness about their ability to obtain fuel after making substantial investments.
If that condition continues for long because of the gas shortage, unemployment will inevitably result from factory to retailing levels and additional economic blows will be dealt with the American people.
Cities, countries and the state of California itself are going to be hit in their treasuries because of reduced tax revenues from falling sales.
All the financial ramifications involved will radiate through our economy subtle ways few will trace directly to the gasoline shortage.
Annoyed gasoline customers are prone to lump the auto- makers together with petroleum firms in their criticism and in past years when fuel was plentiful the two have appeared to have common interests to bind them together.
However, with the threat of a staggering reduction in new car sales, it would appear apparent that for self protection alone, the automobile industry would and should extricate itself and the public from the only noose which is tightening around our ability to function in our daily lives and maintain what's left of the American economy.
General Motors and Chrysler have demonstrated their willingness to supply alcohol-powered vehicles in Brazil. Ford Motor Company is on record supporting alternative fuels legislation in California.
American car makers produced alcohol powered cars and trucks decades ago. They have had the technology at their command for many years. If they hope to stay in a business not manipulated by American and OPEC oil producers and refiners, we recommend to them the time has come to look backwards-if they want to go forward by getting into production of cars using alternative fuels.
It is interesting it note that alcohol. gasoline or any other volatile liquid or gas may be utilized to operate an automobile if property applied with no problems that haven't already been solved, a long time ago.
Another example is provided in this article courtesy of the Grainews of Winnepeg, Canada, a United Grain Growers publication. It is dated January 1980.
NEW FUEL SYSTEM CLAIMED TO GIVE 120 MPG
If it's for real, Tom Ogle, an El Paso, Texas auto mechanic with his fuel system will overcome the gas shortage before long.
Ogle did away with the carburetor and fuel pump and replaced them with a secret black box he calls a filter. The super mileage of up to 100 MPG, he said, was due to a pressurized, vaporized fuel system that injects gasoline fumes, directly into the engines' cylinders.
On April 30, so Ogle's claim goes, he drove a 1970 Ford Galaxie from El Paso to Deming, New Mexico on a measured two U.S. gallons of gasoline. The car was inspected for hidden fuel tanks and the car was kept under observation at all times yet the car went the distance without stopping for fuel and averaged 100 miles per U.S. gallon at 55 mph.
Tom Ogle, whom Grainews attempted to locate in El Paso. now has an unlisted telephone number. It seems his success has driven him into hiding.
Earlier this year, Ogle reported the discovery of his fuel system was by accident. He was messing around with a gasoline lawnmower and accidentally knocked a hole in its fuel tank. He ran a vacuum line from the tank directly into the carburetor and the engine kept running. It ran for 96 hours on the fuel remaining in the small tank.
Based on this experience, Ogle went to his car engine and converted it the same way. The engine started immediately, but eventually the gas tank collapsed inwards. After an improved gas tank was installed, the car ran without a carburetor, and fuel pump but had no acceleration. It wouldn't run faster than 20 mph and the modified engine averaged only 8 MPG.
One day after the car stalled, Ogle is said to have climbed under it to see if the vacuum hose had become detached. He was surprised to find the fuel tank was like an ice cube. He explained the icing problem was caused by the system acting like a refrigerator-warmer fumes being sucked out and the colder liquid remaining on the bottom of the tank.
He solved the stalling problem by warming the gas tank with heater coils. As soon as he added the heat, the miles per gallon shot up over 100.
Besides getting super gas mileage, Ogle claims his engine has zero pollutants. In a typical test with the engine running at speed of 55 mph, a jet of clean hot air without the usual noxious smell leaves the exhaust pipe.
Is the Ogle fuel system a super promotion scheme to make money for its promoters, or is it for real?
One person who Ogle claimed was a supporter for his system is Gerald Hawkins, an engineer at the Texas A and M University. Grainews attempted to locate him, but also without success.
Dr. Hopkins, head of mechanical engineering at Texas A and M says he has received a number of calls regarding this.
email author of himac website J Bruce McBurney.
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