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Hydrogen to boost mileage by 30%

With gas prices as high as they are, would anyone complain about getting 20 to 30% better mileage? I didn’t think so. It may soon be possible thanks to hydrogen. The problem with hydrogen as an alternative fuel source up to this point has been availability. You can’t just go down to the gas station and fill your tank up with hydrogen.

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a new technology that creates its own hydrogen. It uses a fast response on-board reformer to generate a small amount of hydrogen from gasoline. That hydrogen is then added to the air/fuel mixture of a normal engine. The improvement comes without an increase in the NOx emissions that are a problem for diesel engines.

That mileage improvement comes from a device that is, in prototype form, just 18 inches long and 4 inches wide and just bolts onto the engine. Auto industry supplier ArvinMeritor is working with MIT to perfect the technology. The first production application may still be four years away.



About T.O. Whenham

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