Warehouse F


The Unseen Enemy
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When Gas Price Goes Up Mileage Magic Appears

By James Donahue

Researchers in Pennsylvania say they are getting good results in testing a new electrically charged device they say can boost gas mileage by as much as 20 percent.

The device, described as a fuel economy booster, was reported in a recent issue of the American Chemical Society magazine. It is a small tube that can be attached to the fuel line of a car’s engine near the fuel injector.

Inventor Rongjia Tao said the device creates an electric field that reduces the viscosity of fuel so the injector sprays smaller droplets into the cylinders of an operating engine. This causes more efficient and cleaner combustion than a standard fuel injector provides.

Testing so far has involved a car with a diesel engine but Tao says he believes the booster will work on gasoline and biodiesel powered engines as well. He says using the device has hiked highway fuel consumption from 33 to 37 miles per gallon.

He believes more refinements may make the mileage ratio even higher.

Inventions like this have been around for a while and if they really improve mileage and performance why they haven’t become part of the vehicles we purchase.

We remember a little factory in Croswell, Michigan, that was producing a gadget designed to improve gas mileage during the great gas shortage of the 1970s. That little crisis caused long lines of cars at the few gasoline stations that had gas, and the price of fuel jumped from 24 cents to over a dollar a gallon.

That oil shortage, caused by a political move by the OPEC nations, was brief but it forced Americans to consider . . . for the first time . . . fuel conservation.

We got caught up in the crusade to save fuel and traded in our station wagon with a big V-8 engine that got 24 miles to the gallon, and bought a compact car with a four cylinder engine, then discovered that engine only got 19 miles to the gallon.

It was about that time that I heard about the Croswell gadget that used a fine water vapor to improve gas mileage . I went to Croswell, interviewed the inventor, wrote a story about the gadget, and had one installed on my car.

It worked. My gas mileage improved from 19 to 21 miles to the gallon. I found myself wishing I had my old station wagon back, however.