from the innovation-is-a-real-gas dept.
Ponca City, We love you writes "Temple University physics professor Rongjia Tao has developed a simple device that could dramatically improve fuel efficiency in automobiles by as much as 20 percent. The device, attached to the fuel line of a car's engine near the fuel injector, creates an electric field that thins fuel, reducing its viscosity so that smaller droplets are injected into the engine. Because combustion starts at the droplet surface, smaller droplets lead to cleaner and more efficient combustion. Six months of road testing in a diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz automobile showed an increase from 32 miles per gallon to 38 mpg, a 20 percent boost, and a 12-15 percent gain in city driving. 'We expect the device will have wide applications on all types of internal combustion engines, present ones and future ones,' Tao wrote in the study published in Energy & Fuels. 'This discovery promises to significantly improve fuel efficiency in all types of internal combustion engine powered vehicles and at the same time will have far-reaching effects in reducing pollution of our environment,' says Larry F. Lemanski, Senior Vice President for Research and Strategic Initiatives at Temple."
"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the
sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment."
-- Richard P. Feynman