New fueling system for the internal combustion, based on known technology, may help out at the gas pump.
Mr. Jack Talbert of United Renewable Power and Electric, Inc, Abilene, Kansas, has been working on an old idea in fuel for new cars. An idea that may just make 70 M.P.G. SUV’s a reality.
In the 1970’s, George Talbert (Mr. Talbert’s father) started experimenting with what he called a ‘fuel blender’. Basically it was a metal tube, somewhat akin to a diving snorkel, that stuck out of the hood of George’s 1969 Lincoln Continental. The odd looking device did however (according to first hand accounts from friends and family of George Talbert) increase the efficiency of that particular car from 12 M.P.G. to over 70. The fuel used was measured in pint intervals by refueling a pint-sized canister that was under the hood and recording the miles driven. The initial tests were done over 1970 and 1971.
What it blended and how it worked wasn’t ever fully explained to anyone before the elder Talbert’s death in 1982, but a few examples of his devices remained in storage until the 1990’s.
Young Mr. Talbert found the devices and started reverse engineering the ‘fuel blender’ to find out what was the secret that it held. The secret was actually a known and patented phenomenon; for any substance to burn, it must ultimately be converted to a gas. Even a solid, like a wooden log in a fire, must go through all four known states of matter to complete the fire cycle. Wood will reach its’ flash point, and then the outgases will rapidly combine with the oxygen, leaving dehydrated oxidized ashes behind after the process is complete.
Fuel must go through the same process, whether in a solid or liquid state also. When using an explosive hydrocarbon like gasoline, that fuel must also reach a particular temperature in order to begin the reaction. When a fuel is already in a vapor state (pure gas, not fuel droplets suspended in the atmosphere) the process requires less energy and heat to conclude.
That known and patented fact is usually referred to as gasoline vaporization. Even the large automobile manufacturers took advantage (although not fully) of gasoline vapor recovery with production cars in the 1970’s and early 1980’s.
An experiment revisited
With this new found knowledge and the last known prototypes of the ‘fuel blender’ in hand, the younger Mr. Talbert started trying to get the same results that his father did in the 1970’s. The young inventor modified one of the devices for his 1975 Cadillac, and with the help of his brother, they got it to work.
The engine ran rough, it ran too lean and the catalytic converter glowed due to the higher exhaust temperatures. The device ultimately was torn apart from the stresses under the hood of the Cadillac; that was mainly due to its’ 500 cubic inch displacement V8 engine. The device was rendered unusable after only two days; but it worked.
Mr. Talbert likens that experiment to the Wright Brothers’ first flight, “Their first flight was using a very unsafe wood and cloth winged crate. It had a less than user-friendly set of controls; I flew a simulator of that airplane once in Wichita, and it was nearly impossible to get the simulator to stay airborne, even for the brothers 12 seconds record. But it did fly for 12 seconds, a feat thought impossible to do at all.” He said.
“Could a person
make a transatlantic flight with that aircraft, or could it carry passengers at
all? No, but it was only the first attempt.
Within ten years of that historic first flight, there were aircraft
carriers being built and aerial dogfights over Europe. A good idea, when given the proper attention
and resources, develops into good technology quickly,”
Due to financial and time constraints the project was duly noted and not pursued after that single 48 hour experiment, until recently.
In August of 2005, Mr. Talbert bought a 1981 Oldsmobile Delta 88 two-door car. He selected it due to its low price tag, and 307 Chevrolet engine. It was also a V8 engine with the same four-barrel carburetor that he had successfully converted over a decade ago. This time he had set out make a better, more durable working model, one that could obtain thousands of miles of test data over a period of months.
“I designed the system, and with the help of friends and the use of their and my brother’s shops and equipment, I got the working model I had long sought. I am testing the car right now; it works like I designed, and much better than I had hoped,” explained the inventor.
He then added, “I had the help of the best mechanics in the area, and they had as much input as I did. It was a great learning experience for all of us, and I could not have made this work without that support. What I got out of the time and money spent, was a real working model. I am just as excited as a boy getting the toy truck he has always wanted on Christmas Day.”
The working model was different than originally conceived in design, but the changes were self evident; changes that the elder Talbert would have discovered and made himself if he had lived long enough to conclude his research.
“The Oldsmobile that we converted actually performs better in town and at low speeds, than at highway speeds. The overall efficiency is around 55 M.P.G. on average. I had to trade economy for power and a smoother driving experience; I think that dad would have made that concession also. His was getting over 70 M.P.G., which my design can also reach, but it has no acceleration or power, at all. In a low demand situation, say under 20 M.P.H. in town, it uses only a trickle of fuel,” said Talbert.
He furthered with, “Most cars perform better on the highway, and ours seems to do the opposite. I understand why, it was just not expected. I use this car as my daily driver, and there are times I will get another car to drive on very long trips (over 100 miles) so I avoid the inevitable hiccups that I get when driving a car with a (basically) homemade carburetor on the engine. My wife, my son and I were on the way to her sisters house for Thanksgiving dinner, when I left the flow control valve open too far at a stop light, and I flooded the engine. A friend just happened to be near and (he) helped me to get it started. I learn volumes about gasoline vapor induction each time I drive.”
“From what I have learned about this system, it is mostly in the public domain anyway, so I am willing to give this design and all related information to anyone wishing to use it, or develop it. This technology is ready for refinement and application by automobile manufacturers. What I would like to see happen next is for people to send letters to their elected officials, CEO’s of industry and the media everywhere, asking them to take the first step in making our lives a little better. I have seen what my fathers’ system can do, first hand and several times now; I have also seen over two-dozen examples of other peoples’ work spanning from 1915 through 1979. The most recent patent I found was written by an inventor named Tom Ogle, his story is a good one to research. His model was patented, and he had (Ogle claimed) achieved over 200 M.P.G. I do not doubt his results after what I have seen with my own eyes,” concluded Talbert.
Input from an old friend
When asked what if this system was introduced into the marketplace and consumer hands, Fred White a former GM employee with 41 years of service responded, “It would do a lot for everybody. They (GM) would be a damn fool not to work on it, I get 15 MPG with my Trail Blazer, if it were to run at more than 35 MPG (on the highway) that would be impressive.”
Fred claims everyday to hear someone complain, saying “It seems like it costs $55 to fill my tank, and I fill it every other day.”
He continued, “The problem with American manufacturers is farsightedness; some one is going to wakeup someday. The foreign market isn’t sleeping, they jump onto new ideas; but they may take the idea and never compensate the originator.”
“The problem with making new technology available to over sea’s interests is the ability to protect the idea or technology, or more concisely the lack of ability to protect the idea or technology. A foreign company may come into the U.S., take technology and produce it over seas and not be held accountable to treat that idea as world trade intellectual property. Enforcing a patent may be difficult, and the foreign interest may take a ‘too Hell with you’ attitude” added Mr. White.
Fred had once posed a question, “How do you find out what is wrong with an industry?” he asked, rhetorically responding, “You go to the oldest man on the line and ask him, what is wrong with this plant, or company or industry, what would that senior person do different if they had it to do all over again?”
And he also said, “When a young man comes to you on the line one day and asks what is wrong in your opinion with the plant, or company or industry, then is the time to retire.”
Over the years, experience dictates that thriving industries should make a more attractive product by listening to what the consumers want, and providing that product. Unfortunately Japanese automakers are doing much more of that today than U.S. automobile makers. The U.S. may not have an automobile industry if that trend continues.
Foreign interests can’t be blamed for the United States short sightedness and lack of enthusiasm to produce a better product. That is chiefly because American companies can remain solvent, at least for now (through lay offs, cut backs and special pricing promotions), without committing to real change.
The rise in gasoline prices is not a problem that oil companies can drill their way out. We need a true advancement in technology. Better drilling rigs, and more efficient cars will help, for the short term, but neither are solutions to the problem of using fossil fuels, and the effects of green house gas increases.
Recent studies done in Antarctica have revealed that the increased green house gas emissions are not indicative of the Earths natural state of change, at least as far back as the last 650,000 years. This is a new and novel problem, and a threat that needs to be addressed. Combine that with record high fuel prices, and windfall profits for a handful of big American corporations (a profit that we are all paying for at the pump) and there is a real and present problem that requires a real and present solution.
Steve Blackwood a mechanic and friend of Mr. Talbert’s, that built some of the components (he rebuilt the carburetor and rerouted fuel lines), was asked about the fuel system and said, “An increase in overall fleet efficiency of American made automobiles is the reason for it, (it allows) for better fuel efficiency, hence cheaper-to-operate vehicles.”
Mr. Talbert has produced for review over twenty-five patents (from various inventors) spanning as far back as 1915. Each one illustrating some attempts to vaporize gasoline before mixing the vapor with the surrounding air. But why weren’t any one of these designs immediately grabbed up by industry and used.
Why later rather than sooner
Are there conspiracies to keep cleaner engine designs and better fuel efficiencies out of the market place to benefit the few? No real evidence of that has ever been observed, but then the same could be said for sexism. Do women earn less per year for the same jobs filled by men? Actually (on average) yes they do. Does that indicate a great conspiracy against women by a centralized organized structure? No it does not. It is just a fact that emanated from years of unequal treatment between the sexes. As times change, so do people and cultural attitudes. When the time is right to take action, and people have the desire to change for the better, it happens.
So in actuality, the early patents were solving a problem that wasn’t pressing at the time, as gasoline was a by-product of making kerosene, therefore it was both cheap and plentiful.
The later patents were most likely not seriously reviewed due to a combination of old-boy ideology and safety issues. Most attempts to pre-vapor gasoline (patented and documented) use heat. Introducing heat to fuel outside of the cylinder walls is very dangerous, an experience best witnessed first hand.
When Tim Talbert (Jack’s brother) was soldering the vapor pressure can (part of the gasoline vapor system), it formed a leak. The can was drained of all gasoline (or so they thought) and the canister was removed from the vehicle to necessitate repairs. The heat from the soldering torch caused the fuel to boil, and the vapor canister did what it was designed to do, create a very volatile fuel ready for reaction. The ensuing fireball was impressive. Mr. Talbert would later quip, “It reminded me of when John Glenn said this is the day we have managed to avoid for a quarter of a century”. It was not only a good learning experience to always triple-check for safety, but also how gasoline works when under pressure and heated. They learned much that day, and because of that accident a new design for gasoline vapor injection (versus induction) was created.
Noted scientist Clyde Tombaugh once said, “You have to have an alertness to deal with the unexpected. The history of science is filled with almost-made discoveries, missed by a hairline because they didn't have the alertness to realize they had a discovery.”
The inventors’ brother Tim Talbert said what he learned was, “Explosion is better than rapid burning in an internal combustion engine, and gasoline vapor induction creates a good explosion.”
He added, “Quit using carbureted cars (as test vehicles), they (automobile manufacturers) aren’t currently building any, you need to come up with some type of vapor pump.”
Steve Blackwood, one of the other mechanics that worked on the project, seconded that idea. Making a high-pressure pump would create a way to allow gasoline to burn like propane, cleaner and more efficiently. The vapor must be introduced into the cylinder rapidly and under pressure to get the power out of the system that consumers crave. The current working model is more passive in the way that it vaporizes gasoline, so it lacks raw power and snappy acceleration. Both problems are solvable by revamping the system with a pressure pump.
New design on the horizon
The best new design for vaporizing gasoline would be a multi-port design with a hemispherical head and pistons. It should be high compression and use a better ignition system (also in the works).
“At its worst, my design which is homemade, is not the best way to go about vaporizing gasoline,” Talbert said, “But my system at its worst is still more efficient than anything that the automobile manufacturers have produced for the general public.”
He then added, “I used parts that I had available, and made what I needed from plumbing supplies and scraps of vacuum line. The car I am using leaks transmission fluid, burns oil and only gets one station on the radio, but it was like that when I bought it. I had Steve fix an exhaust leak and put on new valve cover gaskets, but the engine itself needs rebuilt.”
Talbert concluded, “But it (the fueling system) works. It really works, and well. If I can get these results with homemade spare parts, it indicates to me that there is more over the horizon, which we cannot even imagine. When I get the backing I need to remake the system the way it will ultimately exist, and we get the fuel to react with a mathematical certainty 100 percent of the time, production cars burning gasoline capable of performing at better than one hundred mile to the gallon are within months of (reaching) the marketplace.”
“One of the biggest problems I see is apathy. Everyone seems to be aware of the problem, but no one wishes to do anything about it,” noted the inventor, “I miss the old American people, the ones that would rather risk imprisonment and destroy tons of British tea rather than pay what would amount to a 1 percent flat tax. The British tea was better and cheaper than tea grown in the colonies, but it wasn’t about the tea, it was about principles. At that time, the burgeoning American people would rather fight and die than pay even one dollar in tax, if they felt it was unfairly levied.”
He continued, “We are a different people now. We will tolerate much, but not discomfort. We will work hard and pay taxes, and support war and turn a blind eye to atrocities, as long as our basic comfort foods are nearby and our televisions are cable ready. Everyday celebrities (probably meeting court ordered community service) ask for people to help, but very few of them actually roll up their sleeves and give until they actually feel the financial impact from their endeavors.”
Talbert implored, “I really hope that at least one person sees my design, understands it, and then takes action. That one person could write a letter, or pass that information along to someone that may be able help further this technology. I feel that the majority of people would be more inclined to say ‘That’s nice, what a nice thing that is’ and then drive to the gas pump and complain about the price of fuel and severe weather. I am really confused about the generation in which I live.”
He concluded saying, “I am often times
reminded of a quote from George Mason in which he said, “Happiness and
prosperity are now within our reach; but to attain and preserve them must
depend upon our own wisdom and virtue.”
Manhattan, KS 66502