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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
WOULD CARS RUN BETTER WITH WATER?
Don't laugh. A fuel mixing H20 and naphtha might just work

After two years of hush-hush work with Caterpillar Inc., a small Reno (Nev.) company called A-55 LP is marketing an unusual new fuel for cars, trucks, buses, and diesel generators. It promises to reduce pollution and might also improve mileage. That's mainly because it's diluted with 30% to 55% water. No joke: water. The rest is primarily naphtha, a derivative of crude oil that's typically cheaper than gasoline or diesel fuel, because it needs less refining.

The fuel, called A-55, is the brainchild of Rudolf W. Gunnerman, a Reno inventor who could easily be mistaken for the mad scientist in the movie Back to the Future. He has spent 10 years and $25 million on the fuel, financing its development mainly with royalties from his other patents. Gunnerman's detractors--and there are many--believe his fuel smacks of Tinseltown make-believe. Oil companies aren't impressed. ''It's a curiosity, not a technical breakthrough,'' says Amoco Corp.

TESTING. Despite the skepticism, Gunnerman's single-minded salesmanship has sparked wide interest among environmental agencies and regulators. Thomas M. Houlihan, head of the White House's new Interagency Environmental Technology Office (IETO), got the Energy Dept. and the Environmental Protection Agency involved. Sierra Pacific Power Co. in Reno generated electricity for more than a year with A-55. State and local agencies in California and Nevada continue to test it in a variety of vehicles.

In Australia, Beston-Pacific Corp. of Adelaide recently plunked down $5 million to license A-55. Alexander John Paior, a senior executive with a big Australian law firm, became so enthusiastic he resigned to help Beston-Pacific commercialize A-55. Gunnerman has deals cooking in Britain, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Mexico, and the Philippines.

Caterpillar teamed up with Gunnerman in 1994, after a Reno city bus had racked up 11,500 miles--with 20% better mileage than it got on diesel fuel. The claim that A-55 can boost mileage is a sticking point for skeptics. Gunnerman asserts the increase stems from a catalytic reaction that breaks down the water into combustible hydrogen and oxygen. David B. Kittelson, director of the Diesel Research Center at the University of Minnesota, says this requires at least as much energy as is released when the hydrogen burns, ''so you don't win.''

Researchers have tried adding water to fuel for decades, Kittelson adds. But nobody could make oil and water mix. Gunnerman found a proprietary emulsifier that keeps A-55 mingled for at least a year, he says. To burn A-55, gasoline engines need only minor modifications, mainly in timing controls--a tune-up that runs a couple hundred bucks. Diesel engines require more tinkering.

''SELL THE SYRUP.'' Last October, Gunnerman decided it was time to take A-55 to market, so he backed out of the venture with Caterpillar. New Mexico may be the next proving ground. Last month, its legislature followed Nevada's 1995 lead in designating A-55 as an alternative fuel. By federal definition, this term excludes anything based on petroleum. Thus, without state action, fleet owners can't substitute A-55 to comply with an EPA mandate to use more alternative fuels. This is a stumbling block in the U.S., which explains why Gunnerman spends so much time overseas.

Gunnerman's scheme calls for setting up local joint-venture companies to make the fuel--and import his proprietary emulsifier. ''It's a Coca-Cola situation,'' says IETO's Houlihan. ''Sell the syrup, do the bottling locally.'' If EPA, Energy, and others agree there's fizz in A-55, it just might work.
 

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Thats an older article. Caterpillar tried to steal the technology and was ordered to assign all of its interests in the aqueous fuel technology to A-55.
 

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I have the orignal article on this stuff from years back. Thing is there have been many inventions along these lines as well as those that increase milage in current technologies. But anyone who thinks that getting something like this to mass market is a simple task you are sadly mistaken. The red tape alone in bringing new fuel technologies to market is so extreme that only the wealthiest of people in world could afford to even attempt it. Just the way Exxon Mobile likes it. ;)
 

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squidward said:
I have the orignal article on this stuff from years back. Thing is there have been many inventions along these lines as well as those that increase milage in current technologies. But anyone who thinks that getting something like this to mass market is a simple task you are sadly mistaken. The red tape alone in bringing new fuel technologies to market is so extreme that only the wealthiest of people in world could afford to even attempt it. Just the way Exxon Mobile likes it. ;)
Exactly!! clap: There will not be an alternate fuel while there is still oil. It wouldnt make any sense becaues the rich would not keep on getting rich right? wink:
Omar
 

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It was my understanding based on an article that I read a while back and can no longer find that this fuel was already "approved"by the Federal Government which made it able to be brought to the pump and sold to the public. But now that I have read this article it seems that being an alternative fuel provides it's own set of hurdles. My reason for posting this article was to show people that we don't need to go looking for new alternatives, we already have them. This particular fuel is easy to make, the ingredients are waste products from oil refining which would make them inexpensive, and existing vehicles can run this fuel with minor modifications. These type of "Alternative fuel" would give us the best chance of decreasing our dependancy on foreign oils and thus potentially bring down the price of fuel. The only real problem I see is they didn't do a study to see how well it will run in a 2-stroke outboard!!!
 

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I agree OB. Alternatives are out there. I predict we will even see some
come into common use as gas prices keep going up. I also predict that
as soon as there is the threat of oil and gas being secondary, the price of
oil and gasoline will drop like a lead ballon and most of the people that
were thinking about making the change will opt not to.

I would love to see the Arabs have to drink their oil.
 

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OB-1 said:
It was my understanding based on an article that I read a while back and can no longer find that this fuel was already "approved"by the Federal Government which made it able to be brought to the pump and sold to the public. But now that I have read this article it seems that being an alternative fuel provides it's own set of hurdles. My reason for posting this article was to show people that we don't need to go looking for new alternatives, we already have them. This particular fuel is easy to make, the ingredients are waste products from oil refining which would make them inexpensive, and existing vehicles can run this fuel with minor modifications. These type of "Alternative fuel" would give us the best chance of decreasing our dependancy on foreign oils and thus potentially bring down the price of fuel. The only real problem I see is they didn't do a study to see how well it will run in a 2-stroke outboard!!!
Don't get me wrong! I am all for alternative fuels and I wish someone could do something about the oil companies stranglehold on the world (and especially America's) economy!! And for the most part I am not a "Nay-Sayer". It's just so frustrating to see all these great fuel techologies going to waste while the OPEC nations and big Oil just keep bilking the living hell out of us!

Check out this technology! I saw this one on a news clip and it is absolutely fascinating!!
http://hytechapps.com/ (copy and paste the link)
 

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It cannot be an "alternative fuel" if it is petrol based or uses any petrol at all.
 
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I wasn't going to say anything but here ya go.

I figured out a way to have my truck run on Fish Oil. So with all the fish I caught, I extract the oil and make it burn in my car. There's only one small problem.....My truck is on "E". What's THAT say about my fish catching ability??? wink:
 

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Dr Hook said:
It cannot be an "alternative fuel" if it is petrol based or uses any petrol at all.
That's the key right there, Hook. While it may be cheaper than traditional petroleum based fuels, it will only help stretch the existing petro based fuel supply.

Something that always occurs to me whenever I read these "alternative fuel" type articles is the way that people seem to assume that alternative fuels will cut the big oil companies out of the loop. I'm betting that the oil companies will all eventually be the "new" alternative fuel companies. You'll be buying solar, geothermal, hydrogen, whatever, from offshoots of the existing oil companies. They are virtually the only companies around with the resources to develop alternatives. I hope I'm wrong about this, but I've got this funny feeling.........
 

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This is a guy I know who creates biodiesel in a high tech but simple matter. He can grow it several times faster than any other algae farmer. Tup: He is currently developing his website so here's the best info on him I found.


From MIT website:

Michael Weaver, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO, Bionavitas, Inc.

Bionavitas is a Washington state company that has developed a proprietary technology for the high-volume production of micro-algae.

Prior to Bionavitas, in 1998, Mr. Weaver co-founded Applied Discovery, Inc. (ADI) a Washington based company that invented on-line legal electronic discovery, and was Chairman and CEO. Mr. Weaver designed and patented Applied Discovery’s system to process, index, and provide on-line tools for searching and managing email, files, and other electronic corporate data at the rate of three million pages a day, changing the face of modern day legal discovery. ADI’s services were key to the discovery of some of the most notorious emails and files in the Enron, Worldcom, and Global Crossing litigations as well as the investment bank investigations and other high profile corporate cases. In 2003, Mr. Weaver was winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award and negotiated the sale of Applied Discovery to Lexis/Nexis. Upon moving to the Seattle area from New York City, Mr. Weaver managed the Seattle Management Consulting practice of Coopers & Lybrand. He then consulted with Microsoft and founded a series of successful companies providing software distribution and license tracking services for software manufacturers. Prior to Coopers, Mr. Weaver served in the United States Air Force developing distributed databases for military training curricula. Mr. Weaver holds a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering and MBAs in Finance and Operations Management, is a member of the Northwest Energy Angels, and serves on numerous corporate boards.
End




Michael is a brillant innovator. He has taken the time to discuss smarter HVAC control systems development with me for about a half a day. He's a landfill of information. One day we sat down for lunch and talked about his new endeavor- biodiesel. He talked about common problems with current biodiesels (flashpoint, farming, energy ratio: production vs energy use, and whose going to develop it and why?). He has a top secret method to make alge grow like crazy.

The current things known about algae growth is environment (open or closed), where it can grow (anywhere and many places effectivly), water salinity, species best for oil, and fuel specifications per species. However, the unknown is, how can we grow it faster if we want to use it? Michael has developed a method to make the algae grow several times faster than current producers. I'm sure he'll eventually release the information in his upcoming website, but for now it remains secret.

The cool thing isn't that he's just developing the least polluting biodiesel in the world, its the byproducts that are actually pretty cool. Michael has a pond down on lake Union next to an old coal burning powerplant. When the biodiesel is grown and refined, which isn't much of a process compared to other biodiesels, it produces two byproducts; oxygen during growth and nitroglycerin as the processed waxy byproduct.

Mike uses the nitroglycerin to burn in the coal burning powerplant next to his algae pond. The powerplant is configured to divert the CO2 to the algae ponds. The burned nitroglycerin has one other byproduct other than CO2 which is nitrogen and it's exhausted out the stack. The power provided by the plant is now powering the ponds 100% and can send power back to the grid. Talk about a method that has multiple benefits. Tup:

The bottom line is that properly developed algae biodiesel is very effiecient with a low flash point, but not low enough to be considered as explosive. It has the lowest carbon emissions compared to other biodiesels. It is made very cheap and could be sold for a little more than $1 per gallon if tax laws didn't prohibit, so it will be $2 per gallon. It takes much less, and I mean, much less land to grow algae than corn or others. Its refining process is far less than soybean or corn and requires less energy to refine. It also creates its own power if the pond is placed next to a coal powerplant.

One other very cool thing about this diesel, it can enable waterways into desert lands. This could allow people to grow food were they couldn't before such as in parts of Africa.

I don't think I've seen a cooler fuel out there. It's truely an environmently and economically perfect solution IMO. The hardest this is try to get D.C. to listen and I guess Michael as been kicking down some doors and has been getting to great support. Not bad for only being in about year 3 of development.
 

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OB-1,

I saw your post in the other thread about algae biodiesel being too high of a cost to do. That is actually the card DC tries to play whenever Mr. Wever goes to Washington. But he's proven that as being wrong and misleading. He now has the ears of many in our government. Here's a link to breakdown the costs of algae ponds, and it doesn't include the other benefits I posted above.

Oh, and with higher algae growth rates come even cheaper prices. And growth rates are there now.

http://www.americanenergyindependence.com/biodiesel.html
 

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trharder said:
Traut:

The big oil companies aren't going to make *any* changes until they
are no longer seeing record profits.
I totally agree.

However, I bet that as more and more little start up companies begin developing alternative fuels, big oil will buy them out (with some of their record profit $$) and eventually come to monopolize the "new" energy industries.
 

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Chevron has a patent hat covers certain mixtures of water and fuel. It is not profitable to produce and sell at this time although it boosts power by 5% or so.
 
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