Title:
Fuel dilution method and combustible mixture resulting therefrom
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A combustible mixture and method for producing same includes the addition to a fuel of two components: a combustion enhancing catalytic additive, and a volume increasing dilutant. A fuel tank is arranged to feed fuel through its outlet pipe and control valve, to create a stream. An outlet from a pressurized tank of dilutant is directed to the fuel stream through a control valve, and an outlet from a tank of combustion enhancing additive feeds the additive through a control valve into the fuel/dilutant mixture. Finally, the combined fuel/additive/dilutant combustible mixture exits the pipe for storage or combustion.



Inventors:
Fenton, Ronald L. (Mt. Prospect, IL, US)
Shakun, Wallace (Atlanta, GA, US)
Kuhn, George W. (German, OH, US)
Application Number:
10/172556
Publication Date:
12/18/2003
Filing Date:
06/14/2002
Assignee:
FENTON RONALD L.
SHAKUN WALLACE
KUHN GEORGE W.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
48/197FM
International Classes:
C10L1/10; C10L1/12; C10L3/00; C10L10/00; F02M25/00; (IPC1-7): C10L3/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
PATEL, VINIT H
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Douglas B White (Cary, IL, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A combustible mixture comprising the combination of a fuel, a combustion enhancing additive, and a dilutant.

2. The combustible mixture of claim 1 wherein said combustion enhancing additive comprises a catalytic composition.

3. The combustible mixture of claim 2 wherein said catalytic composition comprises a metal oxide catalyst dispersed in an organic carrier.

4. The combustible mixture of claim 1 wherein said fuel comprises propane.

5. The combustible mixture of claim 4 wherein said combustion enhancing additive comprises a catalytic composition.

6. The combustible mixture of claim 5 wherein said catalytic composition comprises a metal oxide catalyst dispersed in an organic carrier.

7. The combustible mixture of claim 1 wherein said dilutant comprises 15% to 25% of the mixture.

8. The combustible mixture of claim 1 wherein said fuel comprises propane and said dilutant comprises air.

9. The combustible mixture of claim 8 wherein the ratio of air dilutant to propane fuel comprises up to 24 cubic feet of air to 1 cubic foot of propane.

10. The combustible mixture of claim 9 wherein said combustion enhancing additive comprises a metal oxide catalyst dispersed in an organic carrier.

11. A method for preparing a diluted combustible mixture from a volume of fuel, comprising the steps of: generating a stream of said fuel; injecting a measured quantity of a dilutant into said fuel stream; and injecting a measured quantity of catalytic combustion enhancing additive into said fuel stream.

12. A method for preparing a diluted combustible mixture of claim 11 wherein said catalytic composition comprises a metal oxide catalyst dispersed in an organic carrier.

13. A method for preparing a diluted combustible mixture of claim 11 wherein said dilutant comprises 15% to 25% of the mixture.

14. A method for preparing a diluted combustible mixture of claim 11 wherein said fuel comprises propane and said dilutant comprises air.

15. A method for preparing a diluted combustible mixture of claim 14 wherein the ratio of air dilutant to propane fuel comprises up to 24 cubic feet of air to 1 cubic foot of propane.

16. A method for preparing a diluted combustible mixture from a volume of fuel, comprising the step of mixing together a fuel; a measured quantity of a dilutant; and a measured quantity of catalytic combustion enhancing additive.

17. A method for preparing a diluted combustible mixture of claim 16 wherein said catalytic composition comprises a metal oxide catalyst dispersed in an organic carrier.

18. A method for preparing a diluted combustible mixture of claim 16 wherein said dilutant comprises 15% to 25% of the mixture.

19. A method for preparing a diluted combustible mixture of claim 16 wherein said fuel comprises propane and said dilutant comprises air.

20. A method for preparing a diluted combustible mixture of claim 19 wherein the ratio of air dilutant to propane fuel comprises up to 24 cubic feet of air to 1 cubic foot of propane.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0002] Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] b 1. Field of the Invention

[0004] The present invention relates generally to fuels used for combustion in engines, such as propane, gasoline and the like. More particularly, this invention relates to methods for increasing the volume of a combustible fuel by adding a dilutant along with a combustion enhancing additive, and thereby decreasing the amount of fuel burned.

[0005] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0006] In the prior art, fuel in an undiluted state is pumped or fed from a tank or other supply source to a combustion chamber. In the combustion chamber the fuel is ignited and the energy of the combustion is extracted and used to operate machinery. For example, in the automotive field, gasoline (traditionally the most commonly used fuel for vehicles) is pumped to an engine where is it is mixed with oxygen from ambient air and ignited. The resulting combustion of the gasoline acts to power the engine but leaves extensive hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide as polluting byproducts.

[0007] Due to its cleaner combustion, propane has emerged in recent years as a cleaner alternative to gasoline for vehicles. As a result, some vehicles have been converted to use propane, and some vehicles now even have dual systems to permit the switching between gasoline and propane systems. Alternatively, CNG (compressed natural gas), methanol, and ethanol are also in use for powering engines, but are not as effective as propane. Regardless of the chosen fuel, some amount of air polluting emissions will naturally result; and while switching to a cleaner alternative, such as propane, will help reduce air pollution, it has become quite clear that only a reduction in the amount of fuel burned will ultimately control emissions. This has given rise in recent years to public efforts to reduce vehicle usage and to increase vehicle mileage. More recently, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,823,758, FUEL COMBUSTION ENHANCING CATALYTIC COMPOSITION AND METHODS OF FORMULATING AND UTILIZING SAME, there was described a catalytic fuel additive, known commercially as CGX-4. By mixing such an additive into the fuel, combustion takes place more completely and more effectively, thereby improving combustion efficiency and reducing pollution.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] The object of the present invention is to further reduce pollution resulting from the combustion of fuels and to further economize on fuel consumption by extending the combustive usefulness of a given volume of fuel. These and other objects are accomplished by employing a method for diluting and enhancing fuel by the addition of two components: a combustion enhancing catalytic additive and a volume increasing dilutant. As a consequence of using this combustible mixture, less fuel (whether propane, gasoline, CNG, or other fuel) will be consumed, and this will result in improved efficiency and reduced polluting emissions. In automobile terminology, such an enhanced fuel composition resulting from the method of this invention will burn cleaner and improve vehicle mileage.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] FIG. 1 is a depiction of one embodiment of the apparatus employed for the production of the diluted fuel (combustible mixture) in accordance with the method of the present invention.

[0010] While the invention will be described in connection with a preferred embodiment, it will be understood that it is not the intent to limit the invention to that embodiment. On the contrary, it is the intent to cover all alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0011] The method described herein increases the volume of a combustible liquid or gaseous fuel by the addition of a dilutant along with a combustion enhancing additive. The dilutant, the additive and the fuel may be mixed in any order, but the preferred method is that of generating a fuel stream, adding the dilutant in the selected volume ratio and then adding into the stream of the mixture the desired volume of the combustion enhancing additive. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the dilutant comprises a combustible or burnable gas for a gaseous fuel or a combustible or burnable liquid for a liquid fuel. Alternatively, this dilutant may also include oxidizing components, such as oxygen in the gaseous version. The combustion enhancing additive, in the preferred embodiment, comprises a catalytic composition such as the CGX-4 additive described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,823,758, entitled “FUEL COMBUSTION ENHANCING CATALYTIC COMPOSITION AND METHODS OF FORMULATING AND UTILIZING SAME”. This catalytic composition employs a metal oxide catalyst dispersed in an organic carrier.

[0012] Generally, the combustion of a fuel is used to release energy, such as by the ignition of a vaporized fuel in an internal combustion engine. By injecting a measured quantity of the dilutant into the fuel along with the combustion enhancing additive prior to ignition, less volume of the original fuel is required to obtain acceptable combustibility and emission results. Particularly, it has been found that using a propane fuel and a catalytic combustion enhancing additive, such as CGX-4, a diluting gas can be injected into the mixture prior to ignition in the range of 15% to 25%. This dramatically lowers the amount of propane gas consumed by increasing the combustion efficiency, and it reduces the polluting emissions by lowering the amount of fuel burned as well as the combustion temperature. In a further aspect of this method, it has been found that by using a dilutant containing an oxidizing component, such as air with oxygen as a component, the requisite dilution can similarly be achieved. Specifically, it has been determined that propane can be diluted by the method of the present invention with injected air at the ratio of up to 24 cubic feet of air per cubic foot of propane.

[0013] Typical apparatus for accomplishing the method of the present invention to produce the combustible mixture described herein is depicted in FIG. 1. Particularly, in the preferred embodiment a fuel tank 12 is arranged to feed fuel through its outlet pipe 14 and a control valve 16. Connected to this pipe 14 is an outlet 22 from a tank 24 of dilutant, whereby the dilutant is fed to the fuel stream in the pipe 14 through a control valve 26. This dilutant is preferably stored in a pressurized tank 24 and the introduction of the dilutant into the fuel stream is controlled by the control valve 26. This control valve 26 is electronically calibrated to provide the desired ratio of the volume of dilutant to the volume of fuel. Subsequent to the mixing of the dilutant into the fuel stream, an outlet pipe 32 from a tank 34 of combustion enhancing additive feeds the desired volume of additive through an electronically controlled valve 36 into the fuel/dilutant mixture. Finally, the combined fuel/additive/dilutant mixture 42 exits the pipe for storage or combustion.

[0014] From the foregoing description, it will be apparent that modifications can be made to the apparatus, method, and product without departing from the teachings of the present invention. Specifically, but without limitation, while the method of producing this combustible mixture has been described in a particular order, it is to be noted that the order of introduction of the fuel, dilutant and additive components into the mixture is not critical and the components may be added in any order desired. Accordingly, the scope of the invention is only to be limited as necessitated by the accompanying claims.