Friday, April 27, 2007

Burning Water in an Oil Furnace

Of all the outlandish thing’s people do when driven to desperation, lets examine the method of this madness that promises lower fuel consumption.

By: Vanessa Uy

During my research on patented inventions that can help us beat the high oil prices, nothing seems more outlandish than mixing water to heating oil as what's been done by a British inventor. Eric Cottell has invented a device that emulsifies both oil and water in an ultrasonic reactor-a refinement of a device he patented back in 1952-which uses high frequency sound waves far above the human audibility range to break up liquid particles. It was originally used in commercial applications to mix the ingredients for Worcestershire sauce, catsup, cosmetics and paints. In an oil burner’s combustion chamber, a water-oil emulsion is fed into the flame; the water droplets explode into steam, shattering the surrounding layer of oil and exposing its maximum surface area. This provides more efficient and complete combustion.

Cottell tested the process in his very own home furnace and reduced his fuel consumption by 25%. A scaled up demonstration in Long Island’s Adelphi University’s heating plant during winter saved more than 3,500 gallons of oil a week-about a 25% reduction- and it cut down soot emissions by 98%. Despite of the fuel savings and a dramatic reduction in pollution, there was no apparent reduction in energy output. Cottell plans to produce his ultrasonic reactor units for household oil burners. This would be no larger than a telephone handset and costs between US$200 to US$450.

I wonder if Cottell’s invention works on gasoline powered cars, then the world could beat a path to his front door.

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