T Nation

400 Miles Per Gallon




Imagine the uproar if it was widely known that only an 1/8 of that info is entirely true.

Forget 400mpg, if the general public even found out that it was long ago fact that we could easily be driving around in 50mph, 300hp V8's (entirely believable) - I'm afraid the reaction would be quite ugly.

Exxon's $10B fill-up: Cashing in on crunch
Oil companies came under new fire yesterday when it emerged that ExxonMobil's profits are likely to soar above $10 billion this quarter on the back of the fuel crisis.

That's $110 million a day, and more net income than any company has ever made in a quarter. It's also a stunning 69 percent increase over the same period a year ago and a 34 percent jump from the $7.6 billion Exxon made just last quarter.


That's capitalism for you.


I was wondering about this today. I have a 300hp turbo acura and I get 30mpg. The sucker has 175k miles on it and is in need of a tune up. I still get 30mph. Oh and before you assume it is some tin can, it weighs about 2800lbs. I really don't understand why the car makers don't get better mileage. Well I do understand, money, it just pisses me off.

My solution would be put smaller turbocharged engines in these cars and see some real gas mileage for a change.


why doesn't this guy just start producing these cars or modifications for normal engines?


It is not surprising that there are hundreds of patents on carburators that have never reached production. I work for a patent company and we get ideas for hydrogen carburators and water as fuel all the time. Literaly. I'm surprised that I haven't recieved one yet this month. The main problem is that the criteria for obtaining a patent on a design is prety simple. One is- Doess it work?
Two- Is it usefull?

These can be proven prety easily by any patent attorney. If the idea or design doesn't break the laws of physics- It works. If it is something that can be used- it is usefull.
The problem is in the practical application of the article of invention. Does it actualy work? A manufacturer wants something that can be applied broadly and inexpensivly. Is it realistic to produce and apply these designs to their existing products(cars). If the design is not able to perform as it was theoreticaly designed to or is too expensive to mass produce and implement, then its likelyhood of breaking into the market is nill.

Another problem is working with the inventor. Some of them may in fact be brilliant, but they are also nuts. Even convincing them to get a patent is near impossible, because they think I will steal their idea. As was stated in the article, one inventor was offered 25 million dollars for his design, but refused out of paranoia. This is actualy prety common. If he won't allow a licensing agreement or outright purchase of his design, then there is nothing an interested manufacturer can do but look elswhere.

One other thing in that article that stood out to me was the time in which these designs were created. It could be my own cynicism, but some companies could be waiting for the patents to expire on these designs. A patent doesn't last for ever. A U.S. utility patent is only good for 20 years, and a ueropean design patent is only 25, so it could be a waiting game. In fact, a manufacturer in Pa is just now implementing a process to develope zero sulphur diesel and jet fuel from coal. This process was patanted in the 1920's, but never explored until recently. One of the reasons for this could be that even if this process was copyrighted, that only lasts the life of the writer plus 70 years. That puts the time frame for its expiration right about now.

I wouldn't worry too much though. As the cost of fuel rises the definitoin of realistic or feasable will change. Necessity drives innovation, and some of those patents are due to expire soon, if they allready haven't.


Something that I wondered when I read that first link: If automakers have been able to build cars with that kind of fuel efficiency for decades, then why hasn't someone done it? I understand that the article is claiming supression of the technology by the US government, but what about all of the dozens of automakers not in the US?


I have been looking at the information on this web page. Most of it is crap and based on urban myths.

Some of it is projections into the future by optimists. Guessing about the future is fraught with error, especially long term.

Some is true, or based on truths. Like the Toyota car that gets 104 mpg. I read an article over 15 years ago in a science magazine about a GM car that got just under 100 mpg, yet had the power of a Mustang. (At that time.) It was a test vehicle, and they specifically stated that it was not going into production.

The reason it didn't was listed in the article. The thing was as expensive as hell, and the technology was not there to produce them in large quantities. I believe it had a ceramic engine, a carbon fiber body (invisible to radar?) and all the technology they could get into the thing.

The article said they were going to try to phase in much of the stuff on this car, and as technology improves they expected a drop in the cost of producing these things.

Now since this time gas was cheap, so nobody really cared about fuel economy. In fact about 5 years later, (I can?t remember these dates exactly, so I have to estimate,) I read an article in some car magazine where they mentioned the tremendous advancements the car companies have made in extracting energy out of gas, but while they could have put it into fuel economy, they were instead using it to boost performance because that was what the public wanted.


I don't know anything about this company, but they sell a car, and/ or plans for a car that is supposed to get 128 mpg. When I read their webpage they mention the car cannot go over 65, uses diesel, and that mileage is at 35 mph. At 55 mph it drops to 85 mpg, and it gets 65 mpg in the city.

It weighs 1,200 pounds, and nowhere does it say how long it takes to get to 55 mph.

Now here is an interesting article all about these carburetors and gas mileage:



Businesses free to pursue their heart's desire doesn't bug me as much as the greed and opportunism they exhibit in doing so.


As gas becomes more costly, demand for highly fuel efficient cars will increase and car manufacturers will produce them. Thats the beauty of capitalism! The market dictates what is produced and in what quantity and we all, buyers and sellers, control the market. The automobile industry is no different than any other. Cd's replaced tapes, DVD's replaced VHS, and when there is a market demand, hydrogen powered cars (or whatever) will replace gas powered cars.


Sometime recently, Volvo (I believe) made a concept car that got 250 mpg. Problem was it held one person and one gallon of gas. All automakers could have pushed fuel economy way up, but that's not what the public wants. The market is packed with SUV's the size of asteroids and lots of horsepower. They go where the demand is. Now they might lean to the other direction.


Maybe this is the car you mention. It's a VW, and gets 235 MPG. It holds 2 people, one in front of the other, uses cameras instead of side view mirrors to cut down drag from wind, and weighs 588 pounds.

It has a 1.7 gallon gas tank, and a 57 pound, 8.5 hp engine.



This guy cryo'd (cryogenically froze) all of the engine parts in his hybrid Honda and went from getting 50mpg to 120mpg.

The cryonic process is interesting in it's own right and something NASCAR teams and other professional race teams have done to high stress parts for years. (for longevity not neccesarily fuel efficiency)

A very simplified explanation is that it's a tempering process (freezing at -300 deg f) that rearranges the molecules of an object to a more perfect state.


There was an episode of 60 minutes within the last year or so that featured a rather long piece on alternative fuel cars.

One of the more interesting interviews was with the engineer that developed the first lithium batteries, while (and still) working for Toyota.

He had taken a 2005 Corolla (sp?) and modified the engine with, what he said was, $50 in parts and allowed a current internal combustion engine to run on hydrogen gas. Suddenly, years of "needed" development to make a viable hydrogen engine are no longer needed.

Will I see a car with this mod rolling down the street in the next 10 years? Doubtful.


Interesting article. An uncle of mine worked for GM, and told me about a rumor that one of the major car manufacturers developed something like this and that the patent was bought by the oil companies.

Not sure if I agree with it, but at least I have a link. Thanks!


You guys really believe the Oil Aristocracy would allow itself to become obosolete? Do you realize how much power they currently have because every industrial human being on the planet NEEDS their product?

I bet my life that we will never see a mainstream alternative fuel source.


Forget the illuminati crap, and realize these are just companies trying to make a profit just like all the other companies.

But I will admit they do have some power and influence, and they work together more then they (legally) should.

The car companies will give us what we want. If we demand it they will give it to us. Over the past decade nobody was really demanding high mileage cars. Everyone wanted the SUV, or that powerful sports car, and when gas really doesn?t cost that much, people don?t care about mileage.

Now that gas prices are up people are just starting to demand these better mileage cars. This is not some theory of mine, but historical fact. In fact it is what made Japan win over the car market years ago. (Along with a superior product.)

Try not to fall for those urban legends.


As far as Cryogenically freezing things, I have heard of this before. An interesting emerging technology.

There is more to come.


Now THIS I could really get behind - turn almost all our garbage into oil. Even though it's not an alternative fuel, this process serves double duty with the extra benefit of producing a cleaner end product.

(Follow the link to read the entire article)
No More Waste, No More Pollution, Plenty of Oil
[This article is reprinted from Discover Magazine, Vol. 24, No. 5, 5 May 2003]
In an industrial park in Philadelphia sits a new machine that can change almost anything into oil. Really. "This is a solution to three of the biggest problems facing mankind," says Brian Appel, chairman and CEO of Changing World Technologies, the company that built this pilot plant and has just completed its first industrial-size installation in Missouri. "This process can deal with the world's waste. It can supplement our dwindling supplies of oil. And it can slow down global warming." Pardon me, says a reporter, shivering in the frigid dawn, but that sounds too good to be true.

"Everybody says that," says Appel. He is a tall, affable entrepreneur who has assembled a team of scientists, former government leaders, and deep-pocketed investors to develop and sell what he calls the thermal depolymerization process, or TDP. The process is designed to handle almost any waste product imaginable, including turkey offal, tires, plastic bottles, harbor-dredged muck, old computers, municipal garbage, cornstalks, paper-pulp effluent, infectious medical waste, oil-refinery residues, even biological weapons such as anthrax spores. According to Appel, waste goes in one end and comes out the other as three products, all valuable and environmentally benign: high-quality oil, clean-burning gas, and purified minerals that can be used as fuels, fertilizers, or specialty chemicals for manufacturing.

I assume this process is different from gasification because that's basically what they're describing, but they didn't really mention it specifically in the article. I'll have to research some but at first glance it seems to be that gasification only gives you the raw oil which stills needs to be converted to gas where the other process does both.

Gasification Technologies Council
Gasification offers the cleanest, most efficient method available to produce synthesis gas from low or negative-value carbon-based feedstocks such as coal, petroleum coke, high sulfur fuel oil or materials that would otherwise be disposed as waste. The gas can be used in place of natural gas to generate electricity, or as a basic raw material to produce chemicals and liquid fuels.

At any rate this brings up a very important point and one that could be a separate thread, WE ARE NOT RUNNING OUT OF OIL. The Nazi's were turning coal into oil during WWII.

Imagine if we would have put $400 billion into this technology...

Ultra-clean fuels from coal liquefaction: China about to launch big projects
July 22, 2002
Diesel Fuel News
Pending final government approvals, Shenhua Group -- China's largest coal producer -- just announced it aims to build a 50,000 barrels/day refinery to make ultra-low sulfur diesel and gasoline from direct coal liquefaction.

The $2 billion plant, to be built adjacent to coal mines at Majata, Inner Mongolia, will use coal liquefaction technology developed by U.S.-based Hydrocarbon Technologies Inc., (HTI) a division of coal-synfuels developer, Headwaters.

HTI developed the process in part with U.S. Department of Energy "clean-coal" liquefaction research in recent years, HTI president L.K. Lee told us in an interview. Shenhua spent the last five years evaluating technology options from vendors and conducting feasibility studies, before signing technology licenses with HTI last week.

Assuming that the Chinese government grants final approval, construction of Shenhua's first reactor train would start in early 2003, followed by plant start-up in 2005. A total of three licensed reactor trains would process about 12,800 tons/day of the local coal.

The finished fuels would be hauled from the plants in tank-cars via Shenhua's existing railroads adjacent to the mines. These trains already haul coal for later trans-shipment via watercraft to city markets.

Conspiracies aside, why are we being told about the doomsday fuel shortage when we have been able to turn coal into oil for 70 years?


Ya well i'm far from a consperency theorist but this one is too obvious. At the very least the price of fuel in this country is waayyy inflated