As early as the 1970s, auto researchers have known that adding hydrogen to the ignition phase in a combustion engine dramatically increases the efficiency of the reaction, while also reducing pollution. But until recently, there was no safe, reliable means to provide a steady supply of hydrogen to an engine. Now, a company called Canadian Hydrogen Energy is marketing their Hydrogen Fuel Injection (HFI) system to North American shipping companies, and the system is proving useful.

The HFI system is a bolt-on apparatus which includes an electrolysis unit, and a water reservoir. It uses power from the engine's alternator to electrolyze distilled water, and produce hydrogen on demand. The hundreds of semi trucks in North America which are now using this system enjoy improved horsepower, and emit about half of the particulates they did before the unit was added.

Sherwin Fast, the president of Great Plains Trucking, reports that their four HFI-equipped trucks have saved them $700 a month in fuel. With the units about $14,000 each, it will take some time to recoup the expense; but in the meantime they're also helping to save the environment. Instant Karma... just add water.

Wired News article
Canadian Hydrogen Energy homepage

Written by Alan Bellows, posted on 16 November 2005. Alan is the founder/designer/head writer/managing editor of Damn Interesting.
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