Breakthrough in polymer additive to Gasoline

Looks like everyone is on board with polymer additives to gasoline
except the scientific community who assures me it is too expensive and
complicated to work out. It seems this oyster farmer has more on the
ball than our modern day scholars of technology. Of course he would not
be eligible for the Nobel Peace prize so what good is he doing
Maine - Boothbay Register Nov 02, 2006 Vol 129, Number 44
"Cheaper fuel and cleaner air on the way?"
Joe Orchulli Ii
Gary Arnold of West Boothbay Harbor displays containers of a special
polymer fuel additive that he is offering to citizens in the Boothbay
region in a community-wide trial basis.
(Photo Joe Orchulli II)
In the age of rising fuel costs and concern over the environment, local
resident Gary Arnold of West Boothbay Harbor has identified a unique,
useful, and readily available technology to help answer some of these
Arnold, who has been attuned to fuel additive technologies since an
accident at a salmon hatchery in 1987, is providing bottles of a novel
polymer fuel additive to anyone who will report back with results. He
is interested in doing a regional test to help to bring Maine and all
of New England into the same arena as counties in Texas and California
who are now using the additive in fuel to help decrease air pollution.
Developed by Jerry Trippe of General Technology Applications of
Virginia, the additive, marketed as Viscon, not only cuts down on
noxious emissions, but also has been discovered to save on fuel
consumption in diesel trucks and automobiles.
Great Results
In Local Diesel Trucks
Remarkable improvement in fuel efficiency has been seen in local trucks
using fuel treated with minute doses of this ultra high molecular
weight polymer. This technology has been touted primarily as a method
to significantly reduce exhaust emissions.
Boothbay Town Manager John Anderson said, "We are very pleased with the
results, we are seeing a 20 to 25 percent savings in all of our
vehicles with a high of 28.8 percent savings in our 2006 GMC 5500.
"I looked over all of the material that Gary gave me and called
Downeast Energy, and after hearing their results, I asked Tony Goode to
try it out at the Public Works Department.
"Eventually we will put the polymer directly into our fuel depot. It is
a big help to the community in a time where fuel prices are where they
"Gary has been a wonderful person to work with it. A guy who is an
oyster farmer and now a polymer fuel expert, who would have guessed it
would get a 20 to 30 percent increase!" Anderson said.
Downeast Energy reported an amazing increase of 30 to 70 percent fuel
mileage increases in its trucks.
Peter Armstrong of "On the Road" trucks in Warren tested the polymer
additive in a truck, which normally consumes $700 to $800 per trip and
was reduced to $496, a dramatic percent increase in mileage, plus the
driver reported more power in the performance of the truck.
Daren Graves of G&G Towing reported an increase of 28.89 percent in
fuel savings in his 2005 Ford Sterling.
"It's saving me money. Gary's been really great about it. We even tried
going off of it for a week and it went back to the mileage we started
with," Graves said
Not Just For Diesel.
As far as use in gasoline engines, marine scientist Richard Langton of
the Darling Center in Walpole, and a resident of Edgecomb has used the
gasoline additive on and off for over a year.
"My daughter has an old Subaru and is always asking for PIB. Both my
son and daughter are interested in the additive because it saves them
money at the pump.
"In our four cars, we've seen a range of 10 to 20 percent increase in
gas mileage, Langton said.
"It's not snake oil. Gary is on to something here. I would definitely
encourage people to try it. It is a simple solution to some of our fuel
problems. I believe that it should be in everybody's car.
"If anything, it cleans out your engine and improves things. My mileage
is still good even after not using it for a time," said Langton.
Not Just in Maine
Tested extensively in California, this polymer technology was recently
approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for use in diesel fuel
to improve the air quality of the 110 counties in East Texas (including
the cities of Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth) where NOx levels
exceeded EPA strictures.
Cleaner Air
John Bastey, former head of the Air Quality Bureau in the Maine
Department of Environmental Protection, said that he is getting just
over 36 mpg in flat and level driving on the Maine Turnpike, up from
32.5 mpg using the additive . "Cleaner air is what is really important
to me, Bastey said.
"What does make the difference using this technology are the emissions,
that's an important thing, the environmental impact.
"I arranged an opportunity for Gary to meet with Ron Severance at the
Maine Department of Environmental Protection about the polymer
technology and Severance actually called officials in Texas about the
recent approval and use of the polymer technology. He also said he was
going to try the polymer in his personal auto.
"Regulatory officials in other states are looking into what is
happening in California and Texas. Hopefully they can help start a
trend leading to acceptance of the Texas Model in other states." said
Back in 1987
Arnold notes, "Back in 1987, at a salmon hatchery in Bingham, Maine, I
lost over 300,000 fry to MTBE pumped in from a gasoline spill. Since
then I've been a supporter for removal of MTBE from the nation's fuel
supply and have paid more attention to the products represented as
offering benefit in reducing emissions.
"I learned about the technology purely by chance a few years ago; it
was represented as being so effective in reducing exhaust emissions
that it totally obviated need for MTBE in gasoline."
Even in Bubble Gum?
In looking into Viscon , Arnold found that the polymer,
polyisobutylene, is a non-toxic, environmentally benign, pure food
grade polymer developed in the 1930s during research and development on
synthetic rubber. It is currently used as a component in fuel and oil
additives (to add lubricity), paint, adhesives, caulk, coatings, and
even in chewing gum.
In the fuel additive application, it is used in extremely low
quantities, 5 ppm in diesel and 10 ppm in gasoline.
The EPA required no testing for the fuel aftermarket and classifies the
product as a fuel complement (more like a constituent) rather than a
fuel additive.
"The polymer has a 50-year track record of use in internal combustion
engines in lower molecular weight forms.
"Once exposed to combustion, the polymer dissembles into 4- and
8-carbon chains, the same base units of the fuel constituents, and is
totally consumed.
"I contacted the manufacturer and talked with Jerry Trippe, the primary
developer of this polymer technology," Arnold said. I had no way to
verify the claims regarding emission reduction, but it was explained
that the polymer also helped fuel efficiency. I bought some product and
began testing it in my own auto, some friends' vehicles, and eventually
buses, trucks, and even locomotives at Guilford Transportation."
Arnold's Testing Gets
Manufacturer's Attention
"When the manufacturer found out what I was doing, they began to
provide me product at no charge and, in return, I provide them with
results on my limited field trials.
"Generally improvement in the range of 5-12 percent was seen in diesel
applications, but about a year ago some very dramatic results were seen
in trials conducted with Downeast Energy on newer model fuel delivery
trucks powered by the International DT466 engines.
"With this information in hand, it became easier to arrange additional
trials including those conducted locally over the last several months.
"Good results have also now been seen in late model trucks powered by
Cummins, Isuzu, and Mercedes engines."
These results involving the newer model vehicles have surprised even
the manufacturer of the polymer technology.
"I believe that innovations and technical advances made by engine
design teams working to meet impending (2007) emission strictures are
significantly leveraged when the combustion environment is optimized
using polymer," Arnold said.
Possible explanations include: enhanced onboard computing capacity and
more refined programs, high pressure digitally controlled, common-rail
fuel injection systems, emission gas recycling techniques, and variable
speed turbochargers some having adjustable vanes.
Not all vehicles show improvement. Three school buses (BRSD), a rubbish
truck (Giles), and a seafood delivery truck (Mill Cove Lobster)
exhibited no benefit using the polymer.
"The polymer technology is novel in that, in stark contrast to the
hundreds of other additives on the market, it does not function as a
reagent in combustion chemistry, Arnold said.
"The polymer is indeed a chemical, but it serves only to alter the
physical behavior of the fuel and it actually functions more like a
mechanical device in that exerts physical control over the size and
rigidity of fuel droplets during aerosolization.
Can I Get Some For My Car?
"It is a simple and elegant approach to controlling combustion and
reducing exhaust emissions and, serendipitously, it appears to
dramatically reduce fuel consumption," Arnold said.
If you would like to participate in the community-based trial using
your truck, bus, boat, auto, or piece of equipment e-mail Gary Arnold
at and log onto
formatting link
to post
your results.
Reporter Joe Orchulli II, driving a 1992 Plymouth Voyager mini-van
reported his gas mileage improving from 17.33 mpg to 21.33 mpg and
obtained 24.44 mpg on a recent highway trip using the polymer.
Reply to
Loading thread data ...
I'm not sure what you expect from this forum? A quick search indicates that this topic is being researched by a number of universities and even (heaven forbid) big oil companies such as ExxonMobil.
You can buy PIB as a fuel additive from FRAM and Torco now if you so desire at about ~$7/qt. From what I've read PIB typically increases MPG by about 5-10% in most cases depending about the vehicle, driving styles, etc. I'm not sure what the dilution ratio is for the FRAM and Torco products but it better be fairly low to make it worthwhile ecomonically.
From what I gathered PIB works differently than ethanol or MTBE. Ethanol and MTBE work by being a secondary oxygen source and hence help to provide more complete combustion. PIB works by increasing the viscosity of the fuel and preventing droplet sizes that are too small (< 50 microns). Small droplets burn prematurely and lead to poor engine efficiency. Too much PIB in the fuel and the viscosity of the gasoline will become too high and it will be difficult to pump (especially at low temperatures) and can lead to clogged fuel injectors. So like everything there is a proper balance.
That said will we find PIB in our gasoline in the near future? Maybe but if not it will not be because of some grand conspiracy by the oil companies but because it fails the cost/benefits test.
Larry Effler
Reply to
Larry Effler
Not sure where you are going with this. It seems that everyone agrees that PIB can be used as an additive. It is obvious that it has been researched and approved for use in gasoline and diesel fuels. The raw material is somewhat pricey, but additive levels are low, so overall cost should not be susbstantial on a per gallon basis. Iguess that it comes down to supply. Can enough be made to support the volume of gasoline consumed? Adding it at home is not for everyone.
Now thinking longer term, fuel additives are a dead-end. What comes after gasoline?
You may want to rethink your approach with people as it obviously impedes acceptance of your ideas.
Bobby wrote:
Reply to
"Bobby" wrote in news:
GTA has been working on commericalizing their PIB additive since the early 1990's, and presumably spending money to do so. They got their EPA approval in September 2005. I think 10+ years of research and investment is clear evidence that PIB _is_, in fact, "expensive and complicated" to commercialize. Is it "too" expensive and complicated..? Remains to be seen, but thats probably a better topic for an accounting forum. ;)
You mean the same "modern day scholars of technology" who've been working for the past 10+ years on Viscon at GTA, UMich, and American University? Doubt it.
This is confusing. The oyster farmer handed out samples of someone else's (EPA-approved) fuel additive. How would that qualify him for a Nobel "Peace" prize? Its a generous guy, sure (or is vested somehow in GTA's success), but he's no Ghandi.
If "Peace" was inadvertent, and you meant he is due some prize for his "scientific" endeavors, how does handing out free samples make you a scientist? I got a free sample of Sudafed PE Quick Dissolve Strips at Wal-Mart this past weekend. Does that make the blue-vested old lady who handed it to me a pharmacist? Doubt it,
Regards Dave Z
Reply to
You science guys always say the same thing. You are what are called naysayers.
Tests show increases of up to thirty percent from using PIB. But lets say it is only 5-10% like you say. That's 5-10 percent more gasoline for the world. Do you have any idea how much energy that is?
And it is supposed to reduce tailpipe emissions by 70%. But lets cut that by a third too to suit your argument. That's over 20% reduction in automobile pollution. The President signed an energy bill last year that forced gasoline to contain 10% ethanol. I am not going to give you a lessen in ethanol as a fuel additive. It is a loser in so many ways it's ridiculous. But it does cost gasoline mileage and increases pollution. A lot of highly populated communities have to have expensive specially refined gasoline that is so clean, it can handle what ethanol will do to it so that it doesn't poison communities.
Ethanol is supported by ADM, Archers Daniels Midland. They throw a lot of money around Washington. MTBE has a worse track record than ethanol is striking up right now. Ken Lay, Bush 41, and Enron were MTBE's parents. We all know how much money Enron spent buying the powerful capital city in the world.
PIB in gasoline has no big money supporters. The only people who would have an interest in PIB in gasoline are the people who are buying fuel for their cars. But they don't know anything about it. So I reached out to experts in this field who might see a benefit in PIB being added to gasoline that might help me put pressure on people in Washington to stop ripping us off and give us something that works for all the money the oil companies are ripping us off for.
I guess you think that anyone who thinks that big money runs Washington DC is a delusional conspiracy theorist. I guess the fact that the Republicans just lost the House and Senate because of the Presidents handling of Iraq and corruption in Washington must make you feel on top of the world being as you are one of the few people that made it through this election process without becoming delusional enough to think that big money plays a role in how the world works.
I am glad the scientific community can keeps its decorum while the rest of us run amuck of reality.
And by the way, whenever one of you responds thinking I don't know what I am talking about, all you ever reference is news articles or what is put out for popular consumption on the issue. You never dig deep looking for unanswered question. But that is what I do. I did all that already. Then I came here looking for support and all I get is your whining. And your arguments never make sense.
Polymers have a lot of toxic fumes. I think you guys are working in toxic environments for too many hours a day. Your minds are weak. Try astragulus root powder or cordyceps mushrooms. They will flush out your kidneys and help you get your mind right. Then we can talk.
Reply to

Site Timeline

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.