A New (Old) Way To Boost Fuel Economy?

If the claims of Oregon-based Vapor Fuel Technologies are true, they may have found a way to increase the fuel economy of the gas internal combustion engine by a third while maintaining its power output and lowering its tailpipe emissions.
Vapor Fuel Technologies (Beavercreek, Ore.) claims it accomplishes this by vaporizing fuel and mixing it with super-hot air, enabling modified electronic control circuitry to coax the same horsepower out of engines while burning less fuel and cutting emissions.
Being able to vaporize the fuel of a gasoline engine means the engine can extract more energy form the fuel than today's fuel injected engines. Even the best fuel injection engine doesn't burn the gas in its cylinders completely because the atomized fuel is still in droplet form (in a very fine mist), leaving the fuel in the center of the droplet only partially consumed. It exits the cylinder during the exhaust stroke before it can burn completely, wasting energy. The remaining fuel burns in the exhaust manifold, exhaust pipe, or in the catalytic converter.

By vaporizing the gasoline, complete combustion takes place within the cylinder, extracting more energy from the fuel and boosting power and economy.

If this works as advertised, the fuel economy of autos, trucks, and SUVs could be boosted without a major redesign of their engines. It would also greatly increase the economy of hybrid vehicles as well.

I've seen engines like this before, using the proverbial “100 mpg carburetor”, but the imprecise control and feedback mechanisms made them impractical and more often than not, very expensive. They also decreased the life of the engines they were used with, burning out valves and piston rings due to the much higher combustion temps the old systems caused and damaging pistons because of the tendency of these systems to suffer from detonation due to the lean fuel/air mixtures created by the systems.

If I recall correctly, Smokey Yunick tried out a number of these fuel vaporization schemes back in the 70's and 80's and every one worked...for a few hundred or thousand miles before the engines self-destructed.

Hopefully the system created by Vapor Fuel Technologies will fare better.

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