My Dad is a retired Veterinary Pathobiologist from the Ohio State University, has done lab work and teaching all of his life. 5 Phd's, smart guy. He's still skeptical of HHO's useage, but sends me article's on stuff he spots in magazines he will actually read that, well, make sense to him. He sent me one from the Feb. 2010 edition of Scientific American, and this gave me some insight as to what is really reported in today's mainstream publications scientists use, and how that reporting can shape how much and what kind of resistance from the scientific community at large HHO proponents can expect. For further reference I'd read the article beforehand, but this was my reply.
I got the article you sent the other day from Scientific American. It is nice to see that they chose to fill up their required allotment of pages in the magazine with a filler article on using various mechanical changes within the internal combustion engine, or ICE, itself in efforts to show that there indeed has been work done by professionals in this field to affect real change in the reduction of waste energy by ICE's. Articles of such a nature shown in such a publication like Scientific American should seem to hold sway to the average Scientific American readership much in the same way that CDC statistics on gun violence will and have held sway over gun control advocators. Why shouldn't everybody believe the CDC stats? After all, they are a bunch of experts, right? Well, therin lies the problem.
Just because they're writing staff are experts in some things does not mean they actually are experts at others as well, or even experts at finding relevant experts in this or any other field. This is the logical fallacy of going from the general to the specific, which while is often a custom of practice in everyday life by most people to one degree or another, will not necessarilly produce beneficial results. Here's an example of why.
One of the techniques mentioned in the Customized Timing Spares Fuel section of the article is something called Cylinder Deactivation. The idea behind it is to have the ability to shut off cylinders that aren't necessary to being able to keep momentum at cruising speed, but to be able to cut them back on when the engine is under a heavier load.
If you had an eight-cylinder car, you would then have the ability to, on-the-fly, cut out two or even four cylinders at a time from functioning in any capacity. To the average layperson reading this (I don't really know of ANY average laypeople who have a subscription to Scientific American, but I digress...) this would seem like a rational, mechanically sound choice in how to gain fuel efficiency and, respectively, mileage.
There's just one major problem.
Mercedes-Benz, the same people who invented fuel injection, tried this first back in the Seventies when OPEC reared it's ugly head. After years of abject failure, they finally determined that there was no way to achieve this goal that did not result in either broken valve guide rods, bent camshafts from counter-rotation due to pre-ignition, or just plain blown-out valves and valve cover gaskets.
Then Maserati tried, with similarly dissapointing results.
Datsun too, when they first came out, same deal.
Then GM/Cadillac tried, and even put out a model back in the '80's that had such a system made for the traditional gasoline and diesel motor's design of that period.
Notice you don't see this technology listed or advertised on any new models? Of anything?
You would think that if they got it to work well enough to actually put out on a year's model, that even if there were small bugs that come with nearly ANY new system, that such bugs would be worked out and Cadillac would be raking in the dough for having set the standard for how new car engines should be built to handle the fuel efficiency needs of America and the rest of the world. But alas, it just was not meant to be.
No one to this day has gotten this idea to work in any practical capacity whatsoever, and with the article itself stateing that with the added cost of $500 or more only providing a gain of 4.5% to 6% in fuel economy, who in their right mind could be convinced to monkey with the base mechanics of a thoroughly tested and reliable engine design from a reputable carmaker?
In talking with mechanics who have worked on and who have been in direct contact with others who have had experience dealing with these types of failures before, it would lead one to wonder why a publication with the clout that Scientific American carries would waste ink reporting on a overtested, unreliable unworkable option that essentially costs more to install and even more in future engine work becoming necessary by proxy, than is offset by the benefits it's reported to potentially obtain.
In other words, Scientific American's writer Ben Knight and it's editor got snowed by their so-called experts into reporting to the positive on a vastly failed technique as being a viable alternative in the arena of using internal "mechanically advantageous" changes geared (no pun intended) toward increasing fuel efficiency, which in all regards is a consistent delusion towards the idea that there actually is a better way to reinvent this particular wheel.
This would not be news to people who work with people with first-hand knowledge of, or who have studied other publications more geared towards and that are front-to-back full of articles dedicated to increasing education and understanding of the five W's of ICE's, not to mention different gear ratios, transmission designs, transfer case designs, rear end designs, ect.
Unfortunately, Sci Am. are not the only ones ogleing the Emperor's new clothes.
Popular Mechanics did a series of articles covering on-board hydrogen generators back in the Seventies, and had shown the technology produced positive results that warranted further research.
Only recently has the publication produced any articles since that period, and all new findings have denounced HHO or Brown's Gas as snake oil. This seems to fly in the face of rigorous tests performed at NASA, MIT, Wright-Patterson AFB, U of S.Fla., U of S. Australia, among other high caliber laboratories and testing grounds where the use of on-board hydrogen generators yielded positive results, none of which being less than 12% increases in fuel efficiency and were often reported in the 15% to 45% range. This coupled with a 85% to 94% decrease in particulate matter and carbon deposits leads to not only a truly cleaner-burning engine, but less frequent oil changes, and also renders moot the necessity of catalytic converters, thereby saving extra costs to the consumer and natural resources that can then be used toward other, more pressing worldwide needs.
This would make one wonder, why the sudden change of heart from a reliable, accurate source of information like Popular Mechanics? Could it be that they just aren't that popular anymore, like every other magazine facing a dwindling readership due to the Internet and a bad economy?
Would they make a deal, just to keep their mag on the shelves?
Well, if you owned them, would you?
After all, buisness is buisness, right?
Okay, all conspiracies aside....here's the thing.
First of all, thanks for finding the article and, rather than just giving me the site through an email, you printed it and sent it to me. That to me means that you DO think that there is something to this whole increase efficiency idea, and that there indeed may be a better way than what we've been doing so far. This is encouraging, for I figure if I can convince you, I can convince damn near anyone since no one but you believes directly from the first sparkle that what I say is complete and utter horseshit.
is it any wonder that, after looking at the 17 different types of competition for my attention listed in this article, that in combining the top eight ways to modify an engine and adding up all of the top-end gains from each one together, it would be right in the same neighborhood of the gains found by tests done in our top schools and testing facillities, that can be expected from the proper installation and maintenance of a on-board hydrogen generator to any currently existing internal combustion engine, for a fraction of the costs involved in combining the other eight ways together(which isn't even possible), that then choosing to install said generator might be the logical choice to make between those options?
I know, there's that whole pesky 2nd Law of Thermodynamics hangup that really grabs "serious" scientists by the short hairs and hangs on, but who, pray tell, was the one who considered the existence of "buckyballs" before THEY were discovered?
Of course we can consider that, the math involved calculating the surface area of a wing, correlated to the relative physics necessary to combat the bumblebee's flight capability, are still, to this day, absoloutely useless to the bumblebee itself....
Not to mention this is the same kind of math you can apply to how much oil it takes to destroy 1/5th of the world's seafood and God knows what else....
Isn't it time to look at things a little harder, and find out what will really work in a real-world situation? What will get the job done to a sufficient degree, without question?
What will pass the muster of the best and brightest students and staff we have to offer in the world? People driven not by corporate interests, but in, by and for the pure testing to acheive their own rational understanding of the sciences themselves, and ultimately the betterment of man in the process?
Isn't that what you do?
Why would they be any different?
I can't go on much more without being like the ending to an Oliver Stone movie, but if you find any more stuff like that, send it my way. Love seeing what passes for information these days, seems everything old is new again.
Thanks, Love ya Dad.