Bruce Burney photo
article title
Vital key to 100mpg super carbs!

John Bruce McBurney

Reprinted from: Exotic Research Report (Volume 3, Issue 2; Apr/May/Jun 1999)

In search of 100 mpg...
I read a book called The Secret of the 200 M.P.G. Carburetor by Allan Wallace. It explained a simple vaporizing carburetor system and discussed several of the systems from the past. I wanted to see for myself and set out to build my own system.

First I built a gasoline heater, then a hot water vaporizer, then an electrical system for heat control, with a dual disk butterfly mixing control with which I could vary the air/fuel ratio from 10-1 to 1000-1. Finally, in a text book while trying to find the boiling temperature of gasoline, I discovered the principles of Thermal Catalytic Cracking (TCC).

I learned that the oil refiners take the heavy oil leftovers and heat them above 747°F with water or hydrogen and break them down to smaller more usable molecules. The idea hit, the system had to lower the boiling point to make a difference with vapor because of the principles of refrigeration and compression—that is to turn vapor back to liquid. Natural gas will stay as a vapor under our engine compression. It struck me that this really could cause such a drastic mileage increase.

I took all I had learned and designed and built a system on my 1976 360ci. Dodge Maxi-van. It had a large catalytic chamber heated by the exhaust and electric elements powered by additional alternators capable of reaching this 747° and beyond. I air pressure tested it at 100 lb. at 900°. I also developed different systems to feed heated gasoline, air and steam. It was very difficult to get ratio pressures and temperatures stable. It was difficult to keep it balanced to run. The best I ever got was 72 mpg for about a 5 mile run as measured by my mileage computer.

Bruce took all he had learned and designed and built a system on his 1976 360 c.i. Dodge Maxi-van which has turned into a full-time billboard promoting high mileage technology as well as clean air.
I knew I was on the right track, but I also needed to computerize the whole system including the two fuel injectors, steam injector and the temperature, natural gas and oxygen sensors. All this would cost big bucks to do effectively... and I needed clean, additive free gasoline.

Understanding Reactions
After researching and experimenting with the idea of using vaporizing carburetors (they boil the fuel by heating it) to obtain fantastic mileage improvements, I came to understand the secret of cracking the gasoline down into smaller hydrocarbons—and why it really could yield unbelievable gains.

Our engines burn fuel in a cylinder that generates heat that exerts pressure on a piston, which is connected to a crankshaft that rotates to produce motion power. The type of fuel used dictates the amount of propulsion (useful energy) and heat (wasted energy) generated. A fuel that explodes generates more propulsion and less heat than a fuel that burns. Describing the two basic types of fuels used in bombs, percussion and incendiary, will help explain this concept.

A percussion explosion will destroy a brick building but not generate much heat or fire. An example is nitroglycerin, used to extinguish oil fires. The dynamics of the explosion chase the flame front, or heat of the combustion, far enough away from the oil without generating more heat. This uses the oxygen completely and pushes the heat away so that the oil doesn’t re-ignite. Percussion explosives have a singular specific boiling point, and the molecular structure of each molecule is identical causing the fuel to react together and immediately.

Engine view of the system on Bruce's 1976 360 c.i. Dodge Maxi-van. It has a large catalytic chamber heated by the exhaust and electric elements powered by additional alternators capable of reaching 747° and beyond. It has been air pressure tested it at 100 lb. at 900 degrees. The best he ever got was 72mpg for about a 5 mile run.
This is the type of reaction used in any supercarb process. It causes the dynamic motion action which generates greater pressure with much less fuel and generates much less wasted heat. It has been noticed that these systems ran much cooler even to the extent that a man named Pogue ran a car with no radiator system for an extended time with no engine damage using his system.

Incendiary fuels burn and generate heat slowly causing a building to catch fire and burn. The flame front is slower, and doesn’t cause the dynamic explosion of a percussion fuel. Incendiary fuels are made up of molecules of many different sizes having a wide range of boiling points and a greater variance in molecular structure. These react slower in burning in progression as they reach different boiling points. Only vapor burns. Any liquid must become vapor before it burns.

This is the process used in today’s cars. It causes more heat to be generated and not as much pressure for dynamic motion. This requires more fuel to achieve the motion produced. Today’s gasoline has a boiling point ranging from 130° to 430° F or 54° to 221° C. When ignition occurs, the lowest boiling temperature fuel burns first and the heat from it is used to boil the next higher boiling temperature fuels. So that they can burn the up the levels of the fuel to push the piston down then when the exhaust valve opens and the fuel continues burning in the exhaust system.

When applying this understanding to any of the many supercarb systems over the years, there were two basic ways that achieved the percussion type reaction to power the engine more efficiently. Both basically vaporize the fuel.

The first and easiest is fractionalization which distills the fuel and burns each level of it simultaneously because each level will consist of similarly sized molecules. Vapor systems that recirculated fuel work on this principle. The problem here is that the fuel that boils over 350°F is left unused in the tank. If it is a water heated system then more fuel will be left depending on the vacuum and the highest temperature of their unit. Thermal Catalytic Cracking (TCC) is the other method and is the more efficient of the two.

Thermal Catalytic Cracking
TCC causes the molecular structure of the entire fuel to be changed by breaking the larger multiple carbon molecules into much smaller singular carbon molecules. The entire fuel is then made up of similar small molecules. You get methane and methanol and all the molecules now have comparable and much lower boiling points. When it ignites, it burns completely and instantaneously and the energy is transformed more efficiently with a smaller charge.

This cracking action uses all the fuel instead of leaving leftover high boiling point fuel that normally burns in the exhaust pipe or is reburnt in regular exhaust catalytic converters if enough oxygen is present. If not it just goes out unburned to pollute our air. The car companies' converter does help for reducing pollution some, but the energy is wasted heat and isn’t moving you down the road.

Super Carb vs Natural Gas
What is basically happening with any successful supercarb system is that the fuel is being converted completely into vaporous natural gas and methanol before getting detonated in the engine. There is a distinct advantage to this, over the standard system used in today’s natural gas powered vehicles. That system pre-stores the natural gas in very high pressure tanks that could cause very large explosions when ruptured.

Also a natural gas system can not recover waste heat as much in that TCC is an endothermic reaction. This reaction can take waste heat energy and change it back to chemical energy, specifically, the molecular weight of the water into hydrogen and alcohol as fuel. Also a water injection system is used to quench the explosion and the pressure expansion characteristics of steam help to keep the engine running even cooler and more efficiently.

Some previous attempts to produce high efficiency carburetors used one or both of these processes, but usually did not run very long. It was not realized by the builders of these vaporizing systems that the metal of the vapor chamber itself was acting as a catalyst. These systems soon lost efficiency because additives in gasoline coat the metal of the vapor chamber and prevent the catalytic action from taking place. Since previous inventors didn’t realize what was actually taking place, they were continually mystified by their system’s apparent failure after a certain amount of running time.

Others have been aware of intricacies of the system for a good many years but for various reasons have kept quiet about what they know. It is interesting to note that lead was not added to gasoline until the time of the Pogue carburetor in the 1930’s. Also, understand that to eliminate the ping or knock in an engine you eliminate the larger, high boiling point hydrocarbon fuels, the diesel end.

Ping or knock is caused because under compression, the larger molecules are forced too close to oxygen causing spontaneous ignition, burning before the top dead center and spark plug firing timing. The smaller the molecule the greater the octane rating. The high test fuels just have more of the fuel that boils at a lower temperature and a lower top boiling point... 380° instead of 430° for regular fuel. Natural gas has an octane rating of about 120. This means you can run a higher compression.

In the Public Domain...
Now let me give you the short run of the years of frustration I went through with our patent office. The following patent is classed as public domain, because just at the time I was publishing my book and filing my patent, the laws were changed. The Patent Office put me on hold due to some regulation and by the time it was looked after, it was just too late.

I did know the laws and had done as I was supposed to, but the law was changed and that was that. I appealed twice and my only option was the Supreme Court and that costs mega bucks. I couldn't afford to chase anymore and did not think they would ever patent it anyway.

What follows now is a more specific description of the process taken straight from my patent application, complete with diagrams. Included is an explanation of my original innovation of a replaceable catalyst container with increased catalyst surface area. This was filed November 3, 1989.

Patent Abstract
In the conventional carburetor process in the internal combustion engine, a mixture of air and fine gasoline droplets are produced for combustion. In this invention the gasoline is catalytically converted to small molecular, light hydrocarbons, methane and methanol which are then mixed with air for combustion. The new carburetion process improves internal combustion engine efficiency and greatly reduces atmospheric pollution.

This invention relates to a carburetion process for the internal combustion engine. In the internal combustion engine, a mixture of air and fine gasoline droplets are drawn into the cylinders where it is exploded to provide propulsion power. The gasoline droplets are converted to gasoline vapor by the explosion initiating sparks in the cylinders. This conversion is one source of internal combustion inefficiency. The gaseous products of the explosion and combustion of the gasoline vapor are major contributors to the pollution of our atmosphere.

I have found a process for, vaporizing the gasoline droplets before they enter the cylinders of the internal combustion engine, mixing the gasoline vapor with water vapor, and for converting the gasoline and water vapor mixture over a catalyst into a mixture of low molecular weight hydrocarbons, methane, and methanol. The methane and methanol then mix with air and this mixture of low molecular weight hydrocarbons, methane and methanol is then drawn into the cylinders where it is exploded to provide motive power more efficiently. The gaseous products of the explosions and combustion of the low molecular weight hydrocarbons, methane, and methanol, are minor contributors to the pollution of the atmosphere.

The embodiments of the invention for which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed, is defined as follows:
  1. The vaporization of gasoline droplets by waste heat from the exhaust gasses of an engine to increase the efficiency with which chemical energy stored in gasoline is converted into propulsion power.

  2. The catalytic conversion of a mixture of water and gasoline vapor to small molecular weight hydro carbons, methane and methanol.

  3. The combustion in the internal combustion engine of a mixture of air, small molecular weight hydrocarbons, methane and methanol to produce less pollution of the atmosphere

  4. A process for generating methane and methanol for use in an internal combustion engine generated from gasoline and water by passing them over a catalyst heated by exhaust gases.

  5. A pre-carburetion system consisting of a series of tubing and catalyst bed heated by exhaust gases to regain this heat energy into further cracking of a liquid hydrocarbon and water into a lighter more aromatic hydro carbon and methanol.

How it Works
In a caveat filed, November 10, 1987, I described the theoretical background for this invention. (A caveat is a preliminary patent application designed to register an idea before perfecting and filing a completed patent application.)

This system will change the molecular structure of a hydrocarbon, and water into a finer compound state (ie. methane or natural gas and methanol). Using a iron particle catalyst cartridge, vaporous gasoline and steam will be regulated into the cartridge then flow into a further heated coil to allow time for the hydrocarbon to crack into a smaller molecules this finest state, natural gas and methanol.

This will align and lower the boiling point of the fuel for greater efficiency. Using heat from exhaust and electric energy from auxiliary generation, the iron will be maintained at a temperature of about 500°C. Thermistors will monitor the temperature to input to a computer to control electric elements on cartridge. A catalyst cartridge will require replacement as the iron surface is poisoned out.

Figures 1 and 2 illustrate embodiments of this invention. Figure 1 is an elevation partly in section of one embodiment of the process, Fgure 2 is a top view of this embodiment.

How it Works
1 Is a fuel injector that is fed by 12, which injects gasoline droplets into a mixer block 2, where the gasoline droplets are mixed with steam produced in the coil 3 that is heated by hot exhaust gases which enter the steel heater 4 at 5 and which leave heater 4 at 6. Water enters coil 3 at 3, is converted to steam in coil 3. The flow rate of the steam is controlled by the steam control valve 7 and the control flow of steam is heated further and injected into and mixed with gasoline droplets in the mixer block 2. The mixture of steam and gasoline droplets pass into coils 8 which are made from tubing. These coils are also mounted in heater 4. The heated mixture of steam and gasoline droplets become a mixture of steam and gasoline vapor which then enters the catalyst bed 9 which contains fine metal catalyst shavings and which is separated from heater 4 by a thermally conducting lubricant. The catalyst bed is easily removable, for catalyst regeneration or replacement at the connector blocks 11. The heated mixture of low molecular weight hydrocarbons, methane and methanol, which are produced in catalyst bed 9, exit at 10 to be mixed with air
for combustion.

The gasoline and water feed lines will be preheated by coiling them around the exhaust pipe and insulating with foil and fiberglass. The gasoline will be controlled by fuel injection into a vaporizing coil maintaining a temperature 350°C to maintain a complete vaporous state. The steam will be passed through a liquid trap to insure only vapor steam entering into iron catalyst cartridge.

The main structure is cylindrical with center area access for catalyst cartridge replacement. The cartridge cylinder is directly exposed to electric elements and heated surface of exhaust gases. It will be filled with a catalytic material—a metal such as steel or iron. Experimentation will produce a better catalyst. It will have two fittings, one for input and one for output, and will be baffled inside to allow greatest surface use and time exposure. The output of the system will be connected to a cooling coil then regulator for flow to engine. On the outside of the exhaust heat exchanger the coil for the gasoline vaporizer stage will be wrapped, also the liquid trap may be mounted on the end.

When the steam and gasoline vapor enter the iron chamber the water is broken down, the oxygen forms with the carbon, creating methanol the hydrogen forms with hydrocarbon, cracking it into the finer form, natural gas.

The entire unit, except for the cartridge, should be made of stainless steel, for safety and long life. This system could work also with a standard carburetor or fuel injection for the warm up cycle with an automatic temperature sensing thermistor to automatically switch the system to natural gas production when proper operating temperature is obtained.

This system will work and should be more efficient than the standard carburetor, as the reaction is endothermic. Regaining the wasted exhaust heat energy back into the fuel which now is natural gas and methanol that should give a more complete burn in the cylinder for more propulsion power. The compression ratio will be increased and the timing changed to enhance the burn of the new fuel for greater efficiency.

Numerous times over the last sixty years, both mechanics and inventors have either stumbled upon, or through diligent experimentation on vapor carburetors, obtained fantastic mileage gains. These systems used either catalytic cracking or fractionalization. According to the many patents and books on these, most did not recognize that it was accomplished by more than just vaporizing or boiling the fuel. In most every instance sabotage or suppression has blocked the research and development needed to get it to our market.

There are records that show the oil companies now own many of the applicable patents. I have also found that if the oil companies do not own the patent then TCC was not understood by the inventor and could be easily sabotaged by gasoline additives. Therefore they did not have to buy the idea, they just would let the additive poison the system leaving the inventor wondering why it did not work any more.

For the complete history and details check out the Super Secret Mileage Report. __BB

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