ISAT Student Researches Fuel Saving Device
"It's not every day that a student gets an opportunity to partner with a business on something this central to the prospects of success for the company," says ISAT Honors Senior, Joe Crosbie. Crosbie began working with WholesomeEnergy and NoNOxLtd as part of As part of a Valley 25x'25 Summer Internship and Honors Thesis project to evaluate a novel emissions reducing/fuel saving device.
The potential real world impact of the project is what caught his attention. "If our tests turn out well, this technology could make a meaningful improvement in the global energy situation," said Crosbie.
ISAT Student, Joe Crosbie,
working in lab
Exhaust emissions from internal combustion engines are gaining increased attention as a significant source of environmental pollution. Water-injection is a means of reducing exhaust emissions, specifically in diesel engines, but requires extensive engine modifications and high installation costs.
The purpose of Crosie's study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the novel device, being marketed by Wholesome Energy, which claims to reduce emissions and fuel consumption by emulsifying water into vehicle fuel just prior to the injection system.
Crosbie tested the water-fuel emulsifying device on a 2003 Mack tractor-trailer cab operating on a dynomometer at 192 horsepower at 60 mph. Ten trials with water emulsion were compared to ten trials of straight Diesel fuel. Particulate matter emission was reduced 50% (opacity and mass, p<0.001) and CO emission fell by 48% (p<0.001). These results indicate that significant environmental benefits can be achieved by using this device on Diesel engines.
Crosbie is currently testing the device using a gasoline-powered engine. He is hopeful to have more conclusive results regarding fuel consumption and a full range of exhaust gas emissions, particularly nitrogen oxides (NOx).
The device is scalable, easy to install, and does not require significant engine modifications. It could potentially be used on a wide range of vehicle fleets, including trucks, trains, buses, ships, and construction equipment, to reduce harmful particulate matter and exhaust gas emissions.
Crosbie received great hands on experience both designing tests and test equipment, as well as executing tests using the equipment. "I was also reminded of an important point about science: it's very slow, and takes a lot of work to get even very small and possibly inconclusive pieces of information," he said.
Information about this project will be presented at the Valley 25x25 Fall Research Symposium on October 24th in the nTelos Room (ISAT 259) from 12:00 - 5:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.