Turbulent’s results have been confirmed in independent testing both with a modern automotive diesel engine and with standard burner technologies which would be found in today’s furnaces, boilers and turbines.
In the automotive field, Turbulent tested its device in the test cells of Roush Engineering in Detroit, Michigan. Roush is one of the leading independent automotive engineering and consulting groups in the United States. The testing was conducted on a production 2.4L common rail, direct injection diesel engine. Diesel fuel and water were mixed in-line with no other additives or chemicals. Over the series of testing, engine performance with mixtures of anywhere from 3% to 20% water, was not diminished, power and torque were maintained and there was no loss in fuel economy. Dramatic reductions in emissions were recorded. Particulate matter (i.e. soot) was reduced as much as 97%, averaging well over 80% over the series of tests. Additionally NOx was reduced by a significant amount.
In burner device testing, Turbulent tested its device in a furnace at Honeywell’s facilities in the U.S. where the Turbulent device was installed in-line with the burner to mix diesel fuel with air. This test resulted in a 45% rise in temperature of the input air versus the output air (121 degree rise in the control vs. a 176 degree rise with device). This was accompanied by a 40% reduction in NOx emissions.
Turbulent has developed its suite of devices based upon known physical effects introduced by Bernoulli, Joule-Thomsen and Ranque-Hilsch in the early 1800’s. The Turbulent “mixer” utilizes low-pressure inputs of fluids and/or gasses, accelerates the input streams through these physical effects and creates a stable and homogenous mix of the inputs. The novel internal geometries of the device create high-speed vortices through a series of channels resulting in the superior mixes. All of these effects happen ‘in flow’ with no moving parts and can be dynamically controlled by changes in pressure. As a result, Turbulent has been able to create stable mixes of otherwise immiscible products such as diesel fuel and water. Further, the product is highly scalable and designed to be used to make stable premixes that can be stored for later use or added in-line to the system or machinery that immediately utilize the created hybrid fuel such as an engine or boiler (in the case of fuels. The FAD can be easily retrofitted to existing equipment. The devices are made with existing manufacturing technology so there are no barriers or risk to building inexpensively in large numbers from numerous potential fabricators. They can be made from any number of materials depending on application and
target costs. When applied to fuels, the mixes that are now possible with the Turbulent devices have shown the ability to improve performance and efficiency while reducing many pollutants and even virtually eliminating others, all the while reducing the cost of the operation. The cost reduction is very significant, especially with diesel fuel. With the current cost of diesel at $1,700 MT (including tax), a 50/50 hybrid blend of diesel and methanol, one of the goals of this project, the customers cost would be reduced by more than $220 MT (including tax) for the equivalent energy value.
The first of this suite of devices, and the device to be used in this project is the Fuel Activation Device (FAD). The FAD allows for the input of multiple liquids and/or gases and produces a homogenous and stable output flow without the use of any additional chemicals or surfactants. For this project we will use methanol with either diesel fuel or heavy fuel oil and possibly water and air as inputs and create new hybrid fuel blends as the output. This is accomplished by splitting the fuel components into multiple flows and passing them into the device through its multiple input ports. The picture below shows the device and identifies the input and output ports.
The FAD prototype to be used in the project is machined from stainless steel, however, final production parts can be made inexpensively from various materials (e.g. metals or plastics) depending upon the application and use. The cost of production parts for high volume applications is inexpensive and manufactured with known and widely used manufacturing equipment. Once assembled, the FAD device requires no maintenance other than periodic cleaning. Since the FAD device contains no moving parts, it is highly durable and reliable with an extensive operating life. The picture below shows the FAD partially disassembled for a view of the internals of the device.
The FAD has been successfully use to create diesel and water fuel blends which were used to fuel a modern Ford diesel engine. Various blends of different diesel and water proportions were created, used in combustion tests and samples were collected. The samples were recorded to be stable for an extended period of time. Below is one of the many samples collected (container on left) shown in comparison to unaltered diesel fuel (container on the right).
Magnified images were also captured of the blend (emulsion) to show how the water droplets were encapsulated with the diesel fuel which keeps them stable in the suspension.
Engine manufacturers have known for decades that water improves combustion. As a result, they have often attempted to mix diesel fuel and water but have always failed for a variety of reasons. On a commercial scale all previous attempts to create a diesel and water blend, without the use of surfactants, have been unsuccessful, whether as a pre-mix, or for use in-line to fuel an operating engine. Thus, Turbulent’s Fuel Activation Device is truly a novel discovery and the only known way to create a fuel blend of diesel/HFO and methanol.
The ability to maintain the integrity of the blend (emulsion) over a period of days, weeks or months, as Turbulent was able to do with diesel and water, will provide options and flexibility in selecting a business model to meet market requirements that do not currently exist. The FAD can be easily and inexpensively retrofitted onto existing combustion equipment to get the performance, emission and cost advantages that these hybrid fuels will offer. With this implementation, each blend element would be stored at the site and blended in-line and combusted or burned as soon as they are mixed. Should the hybrid fuels or emulsions have long term stability as previously demonstrated in testing of diesel and water, there is also the option to make the hybrid fuel at a central facility to be delivered as a pre-mix to the end customers. This pre-mix model is the way Dor currently services their customers. During the course of the project we may find there are additional combustion benefits if the delivered pre-mix is re-homogenize through the addition of an FAD installed as part of the fuel system of the combustion device. The parties intend to take full advantage of having all of these options available in being able to offer a suite of services for their customers. At the end of this project, the capability to provide pre-mixed hybrid fuel, ready for use, gives the business a direct path to immediate sales and revenue generation from the diesel fuel and HFO markets. All customers would need to do is just order the pre-mixed hybrid fuel and with minor tuning adjustments to their existing equipment, immediately gain the advantages of the hybrid fuel.