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Truckers Choose Hydrogen Power 511

hipernoico writes to tell us Wired News is reporting that hundreds of semi trucks now on the roads are being partially powered by hydrogen. From the article: "These 18-wheelers make hydrogen as they go, eliminating the need for high-pressure, cryogenic storage tanks or hydrogen filling stations, which, by the way, don't yet exist. These truckers aren't just do-gooders. They like Canadian Hydrogen Energy's Hydrogen Fuel Injection, or HFI, system because it lets them save fuel, get more horsepower and, as a bonus, cause less pollution."
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Truckers Choose Hydrogen Power

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  • by nizo ( 81281 ) * on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @10:30PM (#14040536) Homepage Journal
    Perhaps we should investigate additionally using methane as a source of fuel for these trucks. Not only could we keep these guys [] in business, but in some cases (such as trucks that haul cattle) they might actually produce more energy than they burn.
  • What?? (Score:5, Funny)

    by rscoggin ( 845029 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @10:31PM (#14040538) Homepage
    That doesn't fit the rugged stereotypical trucker at all! "Goshdernit, we're gonna pollute all we need to get this convoy to San Antonio by Saturday!"
    • Re:What?? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BobPaul ( 710574 ) * on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @10:53PM (#14040653) Journal
      Wha? I always thought the stereotypical trucker was pissed about how much gas prices were cutting into their income (or the corporation was if the trucker didn't own his rig).

      In either case the diesel is cutting into someones proffits and someone is eager to cut costs. Maybe the ends isn't a decrease in pollution, but it's a natural by product in using less fuel, which is a major goal for any semi-truck owner.
    • That doesn't fit the rugged stereotypical trucker at all! "Goshdernit, we're gonna pollute all we need to get this convoy to San Antonio by Saturday!"

      Don't be too quick to dismiss bad stereotypical behaviour []. The Daily Show devoted an extended segment to the subject, so it must be true.

    • Re:What?? (Score:5, Funny)

      by identity0 ( 77976 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @12:33AM (#14041102) Journal
      Yeah, no kidding! What next, an ethanol-powered General Lee?! 'Course, if they used moonshine, it'd be alright...

      But how can I take Smokey & The Bandit seriously if Burt Reynolds has to stop every now and then and go, "Gosh darn it, the H2/Oxygen ratio is all gummed up, I gotta recalibrate the electrolysis diffuser and recompile the firmware matrix!"(kicks tires). They're turning my redneck flicks into Star Trek! Nooooooo!!
  • Maybe a problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by suso ( 153703 ) * on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @10:34PM (#14040556) Homepage Journal
    They like Canadian Hydrogen Energy's Hydrogen Fuel Injection, or HFI, system because it lets them save fuel, get more horsepower and, as a bonus, cause less pollution."

    Could our root problem be that we consider less pollution a bonus instead of a motivating factor?
    • Re:Maybe a problem (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sarisar ( 842030 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @10:40PM (#14040593) Journal
      As always money first, pollution second.

      Although IMHO this is the only way to actually make people stop polluting - make it cheaper for them not to. Of course I'm sure the power that be would just tax polluters as they can make a LOAD of cash that way (oh wait...)
    • Yes, the root problem is finding a way to obtain $sys$pollution.
    • Re:Maybe a problem (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dfenstrate ( 202098 ) <> on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @03:19AM (#14041724)
      Spoken like someone who's never been depended on to run a business. When your employees have to feed their families, you've got to feed yours, the mechanics have to be paid, the lights have to stay on, your investors want some dividends, and some old trucks have to be replaced, you'll find out your priorities would be pretty damn similar.

      It's the way it works in our capitilistic society, which fortunately produces enough wealth that we can still be pretty darn clean about these kinds of things, especially compared to even two or three decades ago.
  • Awsome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JoeShmoe950 ( 605274 ) <> on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @10:35PM (#14040568) Homepage
    The faster and farther we get away from oil the better IMHO. I think the bonus should be the extra MPG, and the environmental impact should be the reason. We can spare a few $$$ for environmentally friendlier vehicles. I guess the real problem is, if the government does not intervene, companies will only do what will profit them, and if it does, we end up with violations of rights. Will we ever make the switch in consumer end vehicles in the long run?
    • Re:Awsome (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Trepalium ( 109107 )
      I'd suggest reading the article, but this is Slashdot. The device isn't hydrogen power, it's more of a hydrogen suppliment to make diesel burn cleaner and more efficiently. It may a useful device, but does nothing to reduce dependance on oil. It cracks water into hydrogen and oxygen and feeds that into the engine, producing a cleaner burn.
  • by Ironsides ( 739422 )
    But the HFI system uses electricity from an engine's alternator to power the electrolysis of water to produce hydrogen as needed from small amounts of distilled water.
    R Given that diesel engines are not 100% efficient, and even assuming that water->hydrogen is. How is it this produces a net gain in energy? The burning hydrogen should only produce as much energy as is used to seperate the oxygen and hydrogen. Disconecting the alternator (which many cars do right now to increase fuel efficiency) shoul
    • by LSD-OBS ( 183415 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @10:47PM (#14040625)
      You mean some cars physically disconnect the stator wheel from the crankshaft? I'm probably a bit rusty on my car mechanics, but as long as that thing is spinning you're generating electricty. That electricity has to be enough to cover the maximum current draw of the electrics system plus some headroom, so you're always generating more power than you need.

      Surely it's a No Brainer that putting the excess power back into the engine (electrolysis, hydrogen, blah blah) is Good Thing.
      • Surely it's a No Brainer that putting the excess power back into the engine (electrolysis, hydrogen, blah blah) is Good Thing.

        Yes, but the more current you draw, the more the alternator serves as a brake on the engine. You know all those "regenerative braking" hybrid systems? Same principle: they brake by dumping electricity from motors now running as generators back into the batteries.

        • Yeah, I wasn't going to get into that, but it would seem their idea allows them to obtain a higher overall efficiency, more than compensating for the added resistance on the engine.

          I'd think of it as distance 2nd cousing of the turbocharger and the nitrous injection, if you look at the common principles (though instead of burning more fuel per stroke, it burns cleaner fuel)
      • I'm probably a bit rusty on my car mechanics, but as long as that thing is spinning you're generating electricty

        Not necessarily. If you turned a generator and the poles weren't hooked up to any circuit, it's not moving any electrons through that circuit.

        Take a motor sometime and turn it with the leads disconnected. Then short the leads and try to turn it.
    • The addition of hydrogen causes the air/fuel mixture to combust a little hotter at a little faster rate. This allows for a more efficient burning of the fuel. An added bonus is that currently the "infefficiency" is being released through the tailpipe as black soot. The compounds that made the soot are now being burned, which is where the extra energy comes from. Well, that and the fuel being burned quicker means the mechanical energy released is able to be captured more efficicntly.
    • I don't know but you're hurting my eyes!
    • by cerelib ( 903469 )
      Burning the hydrogen produces more energy than it takes to extract it. This is not a transfer of energy from the electricity to the hydrogen to the engine. It is similar to a turbo charger or super charger. You are using power from the engine to compress air which makes the engine run better. This also is not a direct chain of energy transfer. That is the trick with enhancing car performance, either harnessing wasted energy ( brake systems that recharge batteries in hybrids ), or enhancing the combusti
    • by Sigl ( 691196 )
      How is it this produces a net gain in energy?

      From the sounds of it

      article: "Fuel efficiency and horsepower are improved because hydrogen burns faster and hotter than diesel, dramatically boosting combustion efficiency."

      I read this as improving overall combustion efficiency. Although it's stretching their words alittle, what else could it be? The extra heat from the hydrogen must increase the efficiency of the diesel burning. It might be they spend %10 of the energy creating hydrogen (what is the efficien

    • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:31PM (#14040851)
      RTA, the hydrogen helps the diesel combust more completely so you get more energy from each gallon. Some of that is lost in the water->hydrogen conversion, and some is a net savings.

      My question, though, is why not just produce the hydrogen at a plant and enrich the diesel with it at the refinery?

      • Because Hydrogen is VERY hard to store. It's such a small molecule it'll just diffuse right through.

      • My question, though, is why not just produce the hydrogen at a plant and enrich the diesel with it at the refinery?

        Maybe the hydrogen would evaporate out too fast? It'd certainly float to the top of the fuel pretty fast, so you'd have to mix it constantly. Maybe you could suspend it in something solid, but then you have a new particulate matter in the fuel stream, that also has to burn fast enough to make the hydrogen useable...

        I suppose folks could carry tanks of hydrogen with them, that they inject in

      • by benjamindees ( 441808 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @12:42AM (#14041144) Homepage
        Why is this so confusing?

        You're suggesting replacing a small, on-demand hydrogen generator with 1) a hydrogen plant, 2) distribution network, and 3) storage tanks.

        The tanks alone could cost more than the electrolysis device.

        Sometimes (most of the time) there is no such thing as economy of scale. Anything that 1) can be automated (most everything), 2) doesn't suffer from inherent physical limits (like Carnot efficiency), and 3) can be scaled down, should be made as small as possible.
      • Thats because Hydrogen is injected into the engine as a gas. You would need to cool or pressurise the diesel & H2 mixture during distribution and storage if you mixed them at the refinery.
  • Not Alone (Score:5, Informative)

    by Altec at LM ( 591619 ) < minus painter> on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @10:39PM (#14040589)
    This is not the first marketable apparatus using this technology. H2N-Gen has their very own unit that will cost about 4 grand, will fit under your car's hood, and will be on the market by March. There's been several articles on this (and a recent one in Popular Science, December issue). Here's one []
  • this article [] mentions something similar
  • Not Quite (Score:5, Informative)

    by Comatose51 ( 687974 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @10:48PM (#14040631) Homepage
    "hydrogen filling stations, which, by the way, don't yet exist. "

    Not quite. BMW has been researching and promoting hydrogen cars [] for some time now. They installed a hydrogen refilling station in Munich in '99(IIRC) and more are on the way, some in the US. [] The interesting thing about the BMW hydrogen car is that it can burn either hydrogen or gasoline so you can burn hydrogen when its available but not be hampered by the current dearth of hydrogen stations. As for the source of the hydrogen, Electricity generated from solar power is used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. []. The range on the 750H is only 400 km right now. The other trade-off of course is that there is still combustion so it's not as clean as fuel cell cars. Nonetheless, it's a start and not a bad way to transition us into a hydrogen economy.

    • there is still combustion so it's not as clean as fuel cell cars

      Hydrogen burns to water. What is less clean? Do nitrogen oxides get formed in the high temperatures or something?

      I would expect it to be less efficient than fuel cells - the maximum efficiency of internal combustion engines isn't very good.
      • Re:Not Quite (Score:4, Informative)

        by cbiltcliffe ( 186293 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:48PM (#14040925) Homepage Journal
        Do nitrogen oxides get formed in the high temperatures or something?
        In a word, yes. Although with a good catalytic, a hydrogen combustion engine has an exhaust cleaner than the ambient air in major downtown centers. So by running a hydrogen combustion engine, you're not only making no more pollution, you're cleaning pollution as you drive. Unlike fuel cell vehicles, which don't make anything worse, but don't make anything better, either, as they're not taking in any air and making it cleaner.

        I think the one thing I really like about the hydrogen combustion engine is that it still has the potential to sound like a small block V8. As much as fuel cell vehicles are cool from a tech and enviro perspective, there's just something about the sound of a combustion engine that I don't want to go away, no matter what. Imagine the black Mad Max Interceptor [] running on hydrogen!
  • Does not compute (Score:2, Interesting)

    by vik ( 17857 )
    So by using diesel to power the vehicle's alternator, they can generate hydrogen and squirt it back into the engine.

    Why does the cynic in me think it might be more energy-efficient to not load the alternator with a hydrogen generator in the first place?

    Surely, if the alternator is not placing the additional load of the electrolysis equipment on the engine, the efficiency of the engine will go up?

    Personally, if hydrogen does somehow improve things I'd suspect an even cleaner burn would result by injecting th
    • You're right, they must be imagining the decreased fuel costs. After all, it's easy to think that you're spending $700/mo/truck less when you actually aren't.
    • Re:Does not compute (Score:5, Informative)

      by WolfWithoutAClause ( 162946 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:07PM (#14040723) Homepage
      The trick is that the hydrogen is not there to produce energy, but by burning hotter it improves the combustion of the diesel, so the efficiency improvements of the combustion out weigh the losses in the electrolysis system which is driven off the alternator.

      A very clever system, I hope whoever came up with it has a patent on it, I'm not a big fan of IP, but that sounds like a real invention.

    • What is the effect of burning the H2 on the burning of the diesel? Perhaps that is the missing part of the equation.
    • Based on the tests done with a Jeep Cherokee outfitted with the Canadian device, fuel economy increased by 40% and burn efficiency increased from somewhere around 30% to 97%. There were also no detectable CO emissions and the tailpipe remained cool after an hour drive. So therefore the amount of electricity required from the alternator to split the water is far outwieghed by the increase in burn efficiency.

      I would assume similar results are to be found in a diesel engine. []
  • by Alcimedes ( 398213 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:02PM (#14040699)
    For all the naysayers, keep in mind, these truckers make their LIVING hauling product long distances. If this didn't work, or made the overall process less effecient, they'd know it. We're talking about their own profits it would be eating into, not some mystery lab result.

    Sorry, but doubt hundreds of truckers are going to do that just to help out a company that involved in "psuedo science".
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You know the one thats been posted to slashdot before. 32253&mode=thread&tid=134 []
  • by canadianunixbum ( 787714 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:10PM (#14040735)
    Did nobody read up on this? The hydrogen helps the engine burn more of the fuel that would have been released unused. That is why you use less fuel and have lower emissions.
  • by ScrewTivo ( 458228 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:12PM (#14040752) Homepage []

    Now that's what I'm talking 'bout

    H2 is BS.
  • by macosxaddict ( 559557 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:18PM (#14040782)
    When will people finally figure out that causing less pollution should be a goal, not just a pretty side-effect? Unless people do, our planet is doomed.
  • by i41Overlord ( 829913 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:19PM (#14040787)
    They made an engine that could run on water but the Big Oil companies bought the patents and hid it in a dark room and behind closed doors, black helicopters, Area51, republicans, Bob Lazar, tin foil hats, mind control beam, yada yada yada.
  • by DaveBarr ( 35447 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:20PM (#14040793) Journal
    This is not hydrogen power. Not even close. All it's doing is generating a small amount of hydrgen to make the diesel combustion more efficient and complete. This is not perpetual motion (taking energy out and putting a greater amount back into the system), it's just a bit of fancy chemistry to make the existing diesel burn better. This has nothing to do with the hydrogen fuel debate.

  • by Spoke ( 6112 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @12:43AM (#14041155)
    The effects of hydrogen injection sound similar to the effects from water injection, except that it may work better without additional engine tuning.

    Water injection (often mixed up to 50% with alcohol or methanol) has been used to improve the detonation resistance of combustion engines for many years. It was pioneered by WWII engineers looking to extract more power out of their engines during takeoff and landing, but now is typically only used by people modifying or racing their cars/trucks.

    In your typical combustion engine, maximum power is very often limited by a phenomenom call detonation, also called ping or knock. What happens is that during the compression stroke, the air/fuel mixture overheats and spontaneously combusts which results in a huge spike in combustion chamber pressure. If it is bad enough, it can break pistons or damage rod/crank bearings leading to engine failure.

    There are a number of ways to reduce the chance of detonation which primarily involve cooling temperatures in the combustion chamber. A very common way of doing this is to add extra fuel to the mixture, but obviously this is not efficient or clean.

    By injecting a small mist of water into the air/fuel mixture, the presence of water will help cool the mixture and prevent detonation, letting you lean out the engine to where maximum power is produced as well as adding additional timing advance and/or add boost (if running a turbo or supercharger).

    As a side effect, the water ends up "steam cleaning" your combustion chamber which keeps carbon deposits to a minimum and your engine running well.

    However, water injection does nothing unless your power output is detonation limited. In fact, if you inject water with no other changes, power output will go down a small amount.

    It sounds like hydrogen injection may improve power and combustion efficiency in all situations.

    Since the amount of hydrogen generated can't be that large, I imagine that using hydrogen injection in addition to water injection for heavy engine loads would be a great combination.

    Hmm, maybe I better patent that idea.
  • by stvangel ( 638594 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @01:43AM (#14041388)
    Air normally contains (roughly) 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen, 1% Argon, and trace amounts of a couple of dozen other molecules. This is increasing the amount of Oxygen and Hydrogen in the air entering the engine and conversely lowering the ratio of the Nitrogen, Argon and other (mostly nonvolatile) gases. This will naturally allow for a quicker, hotter, more complete burn that generates more power and less naughty parts like Nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.

    I would imagine that the additional Oxygen provides a large chunk of the benefits, rather than it just being attributed to the Hydrogen.

    They've actually invented a way to use some handy prepackaged "air for burning" (distilled water) that is (relatively) efficient and simple to make by using electrolysis. Not too much of it, because there it can be too much of a good thing. Try running an engine off pure oxygen and see what you get. You'd still get explosions, but they'd likely be uncontained this time around. The amount of electricity to electrolyse a lot of water would be quite counter-productive anyway.

    I would imagine you could get much of the same results if you could figure out a way to filter some of the Nitrogen out of the incoming air. Unfortunately, there's no good, cheap, efficient way to do that... yet....
  • Hype and hyperbole (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gerardrj ( 207690 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @01:49AM (#14041401) Journal
    If you go read the manufacturer's web site they don't claim that the introduction of hydrogen itself will increase the fuel efficiency, but that the hydrogen will clean out the carbon deposits in the engine.
    The process will take "from 0 to 9 months" depending on the type of vehicle, amount of build-up, the weather, the speeds driven, the idling time, start/stop driving, etc. Once the engine is cleaned you can see up to "40% increase in fuel efficiency".

    We're talking about some insanely small amounts of hydrogen here.

    The standard kit holds about 4 liters of water and will run for about 12,000KM. If 2/3 of the water is converted to H and captured for use, that means there's 2,261 liters of hydrogen extracted.

    I randomly took a Volvo VE D12 395 engine for specs:
    12.13L displacement and 1500RPM suggested cruise RPM, I'll guess 95Km/h is "cruise".

    12,000KM / 95KM/H = 124.3 hours
    Hydrogen is produced at 18 liters per hour
    124.3 hours * 1500RPM = 11,187,000 revolutions
    11,187,000 revolutions * 12.13L = 135,698,310 Liters of displaced air/fuel mixture

    If my conversions and guesses are close, that means there's .001% hydrogen to air ratio in the cylinders during combustion.

    I say scrap the entire thing. Don't hack in to your electrical system and don't carry around the extra weight of the machine and water. If you want to reduce operating costs, increase fuel efficiency and reduce pollution then BURN BIO-DIESEL!! Bio-Diesel has a net zero effect on atmospheric carbon, is low cost (about $.50us/gal to produce yourself), and is a tremendously powerful solvent that cleans engines of deposits like nobody's business.
    • about $.50us/gal to produce yourself
      I would like to see where you came up with this number, if truckers could produce their fuel at 1/4 the cost, I'm sure we would see bio-deisel everywhere.
      • by gordguide ( 307383 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @11:01AM (#14043594)
        A so-called "Diesel" engine works by compressing something until it heats up enough to ignite a bit of oxygen mixed in with it. You can use almost anything in a diesel engine as fuel, provided you adjust the compression appropriately. We use diesel because it's relatively cheap, for a hydrocarbon, and part of "relatively cheap" is "easily available near the highway".

        Diesel is essentially the same as the kerosene in your camp light, the fuel oil in your home heating unit, the jet fuel in the airplane you last rode in, and the solvent you might have cleaned your paint brushes in. And any one of them would light up just fine in a diesel or jet engine without modification, and it's hardly news that people do, from time to time, use alternate fuels in those engines when necessity arises.

        One fuel people sometimes use in Diesel engines is vegetable oil. It works fine, and essentially that's what BioDiesel is. It's neither particularly rare, difficult, or even new to use it provided you can find it. Farmers, mostly, have been users in the past, and it was not unheard of in the 1930's for the tractor to be running on corn oil or whatever the farmer had lots of and couldn't sell, or at least couldn't sell at a price that allowed him to buy an equivalent amount of diesel fuel from hydrocarbons.

        The question for BioDiesel is basically: do we have enough extra corn, cottonseed, canola, peanut, coconut, or [enter locally grown oilseed] to run our trucks and jet engines while still feeding ourselves, and de we eat enough fried chicken and french fries to use the waste oil to run all our trucks, buses, and airplanes. I tend to believe not, but I'm open to contrary evidence.

        f you are swayed by celebrities, I can tell you that there is a restaurant that gives it's used french-fry oil to Darryl Hannah, who uses it in her diesel engined vehicle. Kind of a wild child, that one, but hippies do some things right, occasionally.
  • by Douglas Simmons ( 628988 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @01:52AM (#14041417) Homepage
    Truckers know how more than anyone from being financially pressured to drive fuel-efficiently. For example, next time you're in a traffic jam, watch how trucks wait about five stop-and-go-5-feets the other cars do, and they idle at a constant speed equivilant to that. Hills. Wind tricks. Pee bags.

    My point is that if it's economically ripe, the truckers will be the first to use a new form of energy. If they ain't using it, it ain't ripe (unless it's an amphetamine). Moreover, "If you got it, a truck brought it."

  • How It Works (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @03:29AM (#14041752)
    The generated hydrogen and oxygen, when injected into the intake, promote the combustion of diesel fuel. So the thermodynamic efficiency of the engine increases nonlinearly.

    On the downside, the alternator is now constantly loaded, which is an unusual situation and does require additional power.

    Apparently the increase in overall combustion efficiency from the addition of H2 and O2 more than offsets the additional power requirement for the electrolysis. So in the end the engine is more efficient and saves money. Cleaner combustion should also lengthen engine lifespan.

    It should be possible to do the same thing easily with most automobile engines. The only problem I see is ensuring that the alternator is not overloaded, which is primarily a function of the electrolysis electrode size.

    This should also make automobiles easier to start, something useful in wintertime in high-altitude regions such as California where CARB gasoline is a requirement (and is a poor starting fuel).

  • Scam, or real? (Score:3, Informative)

    by cr0sh ( 43134 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @06:19PM (#14047778) Homepage
    This thing sounds like what has been sold on Ebay in various forms as "hydrogen boosting" or "hydro-boost", of a gas engine in an automobile. In this case, it is being applied to a diesel engine in a truck. But based on what I am hearing, it doesn't sound much different.

    People here are saying they have seen similar things sold on the internet (or to be announced) for insane amounts of money. I have seen these devices sold on Ebay - every time there is an "energy crunch", you see the number of auctions skyrocket. Most of these are for plans or sometimes actual devices - some knowledge of your car and engine, and some level of mechanical aptitude is required to install them.

    At the same time, all of these things sound like a scam. I have heard all of the arguments, some make sense, some don't. So, instead of arguing about it, why don't we slashdotters construct our own, test it out, then see what is real? First off, start by googling hydro-boost []. One of the first few links will take you to this page [], which is a complete set of "plans" on how to build this kind of device from parts picked up at Home Depot (or the building supply place of your choice/location) and AutoZone or Checker (or whatever auto parts store is near you).

    These devices are simple - they make what is known as Brown's Gas [] - a HIGHLY EXPLOSIVE MIXTURE of hydrogen and oxygen gases (note that if you build a "hydro-boost" cell for your car, that you want to make sure all of the gas is going into your engine, and not building up in areas under the hood/bonnet - unless you want a "car that goes BOOM!" literally) - used industrially for welding (similar to an oxy-acetylene torch system) - in fact, from that google search link you will find many suppliers of industrial Brown's Gas welding systems.

    I don't know if these systems are the equivalent of fuel-line magnets or if they really work. If you are willing, try it yourself. Also note that I am not sure how your local environmental testing spot will treat you if you leave that device hooked up under your hood for a smog/emmissions test. They would probably fail you outright for unlawful engine modifications. However, they probably wouldn't have a problem helping you test such a system if you are willing to pay the fees needed - to see if emmissions go down if nothing else (other measurements they may or may not be willing to help out on). Just don't go through there "on the sly" - they don't look kindly on loose hoses, never mind funky emmisions modifications they don't approve...

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant