Running on fumes
vehicle aims for 2008 launch
Friday, May 25, 2007
George Parker, president of Fuel
Vapour Tech, stands with prototype car at Victoria airport
George Parker has taken the expression "running on fumes"
literally, designing a fuel delivery system that runs on fuel
vapours instead of liquid fuel, allowing him to claim that his
prototype vehicle can achieve an estimated 2.6 litres per 100
kilometres on the highway.
Parker's company, Maple Ridge-based Fuelvapor Technologies, has
designed a three-wheeled vehicle around a turbocharged 1,500 cc
four-cylinder engine that showcases the company's patented fuel
vapour technology. His invention raises the air to fuel ratio,
which is usually 14.7:1 (14.7 parts of air to one part of
gasoline) to 20:1, which helps reduce fuel usage. Parker claims
that his invention can produce as much vapour as the engine needs
and will eliminate the fuel-injection system found in current
The Fuelvapour vehicle, called the Ale, does not give up
performance to achieve the high fuel economy. The 180 horsepower
Honda engine is capable of 0-100 km/h acceleration times in the
five-second range with the top end electronically limited to
approximately 220 km/h.
Parker also says that the vehicle produces 75 per cent less CO2
than a conventional engine and does not need a catalytic
The vehicle, which is certified for sale in B.C., can seat two in
tandem. The prototype has motorcycle plates on it.
Parker expects to deliver the first batch of completed cars
sometime in January 2008. The hand-built cars will cost
approximately $75,000. Parker suggests that with mass production,
the price can drop to between $30,000 to $40,000.
Parker is entering the car in the Automotive X-Prize competition.
The California-based foundation behind the competition is looking
to inspire individuals and companies to come up with a
super-efficient vehicle that can be produced.
Parker was in Victoria recently in talks with a Sidney-based
company exploring the possibly of replacing the vehicle's
fibreglass body on a tubular steel frame with one built from
Switching to the composite material could result in weight savings
of between 30 to 40 per cent, which could result in a smaller
engine and even better fuel economy.
Entrepreneurs and inventors with concept cars touting
super-efficiency are not new, says Lawrence Pitt, a research
coordinator with the Institute of Integrated Energy Systems at the
University of Victoria.
"Vehicles offering high fuel economy have sex appeal these days,
but it takes time and an exotic amount of money to bring the
concept to market." says Pitt. While he approaches each new idea
with "healthy skepticism," he points out that all the innovators
of the modern automobile started out in roughly the same way 100
years ago. "There is always a niche for such cars. The company's
success depends on the size of the niche."
( 12/12/2006 )
Device Saves Fuel, Cuts Emissions
A device that could help New Zealanders save fuel and reduce
carbon emissions had its international debut in Queenstown on
The hydro-charger, a small black box that can be retrofitted to
any internal combustion engine, splits hydrogen from water and
uses it to boost the fuel supply while reducing carbon emissions.
Gary Rovin, managing director of Vision Energy Ltd, the
Queenstown-based private investment company which has New Zealand
distribution and future manufacturing rights for the American
invention, said New Zealand already spent $4.6 billion a year on
imported fossil fuel.
American trials have so far shown fuel savings of an average 12
percent, up to 70 percent, and emission reduction of at least 80
Monday's launch showed the device in action on cars, buses,
trucks, tractors and a generator.
John Dee, from Global Energy Options (GEO) which developed the
device, said he knew of no other company that had used hydrolysis
technology to produce enough hydrogen from a car battery to save
fuel as well as cut emissions.
"We all know from high school science that you can drop a 9V
battery in water and produce bubbles of hydrogen and oxygen. This
is the same thing, but bigger."
Their "secret formula of electrolytes in minute amounts" hugely
increased the amount of hydrogen so produced. This was then
introduced to the engine at the air inlet where, under high
pressure, it ignited and broke up the fuel's long chain
This both increased fuel efficiency and cut polluting waste
products, especially big particulates, Mr Dee said. The hydrogen
itself also acted as a fuel.
GEO has a government agreement to supply the hydro-charger to New
Delhi, in a bid to clean up that city's polluted air in the
lead-up to the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Depending on further field tests and development, the devices
could be commercially available in New Zealand by March, he added.
The price had not yet been determined, as research continued to
make production cheaper, Mr Dee said.
Already, trials had shown the investment would be paid back within
Canterbury's Drivertek International managing director Bill Frost,
who installed a hydo-charger in his Nissan last Friday, was
impressed it had already shown an almost 10 percent fuel saving.
Queenstown Connectabus owner Ewen McCammon said that even in only
20 hours of trial, both visible and measurable emission levels had
If proven commercially successful, Vision Energy planned to
manufacture the device in New Zealand, Mr Rovin said.
( 6/18/2007 )
Necessity, they say, is a mother
When gasoline prices topped the $2 level back in 2005, Jack
Talbert dusted off an invention his father had worked on nearly 30
"I remembered that my father had made a carburetor that would
pre-stage the fuel by converting it into a gas before it went into
the intake manifold," Talbert said.
By modifying the "fuel blender" device his father once worked on,
he is achieving his goal of beating the pump.
Talbert figures he's getting about 49 miles per gallon, which
covers more than 900 miles of driving and would be considered good
with one of today's tiny hybrid cars. But Talbert isn't driving a
hybrid; his car is a 1981 Oldsmobile Delta 88, with a gas-guzzling
350 V8 engine. Talbert bought the Olds for $500 specifically for
"I've always preferred big cars," Talbert said. He filled the
car's 20-gallon tank in November of 2006 and didn't fill up again
until March of 2007. He was living in his hometown of Abilene at
To fashion the modification, he relied on things he had learned
from his dad, and also from Tom Ogle, a Texas inventor who
obtained a patent for the device in 1977. When George Talbert
began experimenting in the 1970s, he used a metal tube, similar to
a diving snorkel, and mounted it on a 1969 Lincoln Continental.
The device reportedly increased fuel efficiency from 12 mpg to
about 70 mph. Talbert was five years old at the time.
"I remember my father couldn't get the hood down, so he left it
off because of that little snorkel sticking up," said Talbert, 39,
who lives in Manhattan.
Talbert began his experimentation by reverse engineering the "fuel
blender." He knew that fuel, like a wood log in a fire, must go
through four known states of matter to complete the cycle. Wood
will reach its flashpoint, and then the outgases will combine with
oxygen, leaving oxidized ashes behind as the process is finished.
Fuel must also reach a particular temperature in order to begin
the reaction. When fuel is in a vapor state the process requires
less energy and heat to conclude. This process is process is
called gasoline vaporization.
"Right now I am the only one I know of that has the vapor
converted car, although it's been done in the past," Talbert said.
"I wasn't the first."
This was not Tablert's first attempt at perfecting the project
started by his father, who passed away in 1982. In 1993 he used it
on a 1975 Cadillac, and it worked, even though the engine ran
rough, for about two days. The device eventually was torn up by
the stresses under the hood due to the size of the Caddy's V8
Talbert said the key to getting the "fuel blender" to work this
time was going with smaller rubber tubing than what had been used
by his predecessors. He used tubing measuring 1/8th of an inch in
diameter as opposed to 2 inches in diameter. He explained that
with a larger line, only the high octane portion of the fuel was
"There is a separate little can under the hood, and fuel is pumped
from the gasoline tank into the can and then the can becomes the
fuel reserve," Talbert said. "Because the can is small and the
line in it is small, then it completely vaporizes whatever is in
Talbert admits that while his Olds Delta 88 gets great gas
mileage, it is hard to drive. It is also slow to accelerate,
taking about two minutes to get up to 55 mph. Therefore, a person
driving from Manhattan to Topeka would want to take U.S. 24, and
"You want it to be a straight shot with not a lot of hills," he
Fuel is controlled by a plumbing value mounted under the dash on
the right side of the steering wheel.
"My father could never get the car to run and idle," Talbert said.
"He could get it to idle real good, or he could get it to run
good, but he could never get it to do both. By putting a fill
control valve in the fuel line when we need more fuel we just turn
the valve up."
Talbert's son, Bruce, a high school student, has been driving the
Olds Delta 88 for about a month. Jack kids Bruce that he has a
"lead foot" and has more problems with the car dying out at stop
Trying to promote his invention, Talbert has consulted with the
small business development department at Washburn University and
the Pottawatomie County Economic Development Corporation.
"Jack is a pretty entrepreneurial fellow," PCEDC director Bob Cole
said. "He needed to know where he can get a technical evaluation
of the device and find investors."
With gasoline prices skyrocketing between $3 and $4 in recent
weeks, why aren't the major car manufacturers jumping at a chance
to get hydrid-like gas mileage with gas-guzzling cars?
Today's cars are mostly port fuel-injected and they have
electronic control modules that govern all the functions.
"It's not that there is a problem using it with port-fuel
injection, it just requires a pressure pump that introduces that
vapor into the cylinder at the right time and right location,"
Talbert said. "It literally could be in excess of a million
dollars to get to that point. You could have another $50 million
involved in getting it approved, and you haven't sold one car
Besides, even then the public may not buy it. Talbert noted a
survey he had read reporting that it would take $5 per gallon
gasoline before 100 percent of the respondents would make a
Weston man claims device can boost car mileage to 500
Inventor John Weston of Port Charlotte, claims to have invented a
device that can turn virtually any car into a gas-miser that can
run as far as 500 miles on a single gallon. Called the Air Vapor
Flow System, or AVFS, the device functions by vaporizing gasoline
before it gets inducted into the engine. That saves fuel and
reduces pollution because it allows the engine to burn more of the
fuel that gets sucked into the combustion chamber, he contends.
The device works on small, industrial engines or larger automobile
engines regardless of whether they have carburetors or fuel
injection systems, according to Weston. The device consists of a
small, plastic tank that gets mounted under the hood of a car.
Some hoses from the engine's air intake housing are run to the top
of the tank so that the engine draws in vapors from above the
level of the liquid gasoline. The device also has some additional
features that affect its efficiency and safety that Weston is not
disclosing. In an impromptu demonstration conducted for this
reporter last week, Weston installed one of the devices into his
battered 1992 Geo Storm. Scientifically, the results can be
described as intriguing but inconclusive. Weston's car ran well on
the vapors from the device when the level of the liquid in the
tank was within a certain margin. The engine ran either too rich
or too lean when the level was above or below that margin. Weston
is convinced that the car traveled 14.8 miles on about 4 ounces of
gasoline during the test. If accurate, that would amount to some
473 miles per gallon. However, an exact measurement was not
obtained due to the testing method. Weston recently tested one of
his AVFS tanks on a gasoline-powered utility generator. Without
the device, the generator ran for 3.5 hours. With the device, it
ran for 14 hours on the same amount of fuel, he said. AVFS testing
on a small engine by the firm Adiabatics Inc. in Columbus, Ind.
The results showed it reduced hydrocarbons 71 percent and carbon
monoxide 25 percent. The rate of fuel consumption was reduced by
15 percent to 30 percent. But the device increased emissions of
carbon dioxide 12 percent and nitrogen oxides 296 percent. Those
are greenhouse and smog pollutants. Weston said those emissions
increased because Reg Tech's engineer failed to properly adjust
the vapor/air mixture. "Not all engineers are mechanics," Weston