New Engine Technology To Cut Hydrocarbon Pollution 80%

Onboard distillation system weighs five pounds and helps cut startup pollution by burning higher volatile fuel.

Published: 12-Jan-2001

AUSTIN, Texas, January 11, 2001 (ENS) - Engineers from The University of Texas (UT) at Austin College of Engineering and Ford Motor Company have patented a new technology aimed at reducing vehicle emissions by 50 percent or more. The new technology, called the on board distillation system, not only reduces hydrocarbon pollutants but promises to reduce all toxins emitted from cars by 80 percent.

Gasoline powered vehicles use more fuel when the key turns in the ignition - and as the engine is warming up - than when the vehicle has been running for a few minutes. Only vaporized gasoline burns - the rest forms a puddle in the intake manifold and evaporates when the engine gets warm, causing the engine to emit a higher level of hydrocarbons.

The ideal automobile engine would run on two kinds of fuels: an extra-volatile fuel for starting the engine and for warm up, and a separate type of fuel for ongoing operation. But it is "difficult enough to get consumers to keep their radiators full of water and their tires full of air, much less ask them to fill with two fuels at the gas station," said Dr. Ronald Matthews, a UT Austin professor of mechanical engineering. The new technology patented by Matthews and three other engineers solves that problem.

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