Wonder Fuel

Composed of 1/2 Water, 1/2 Petrol
Becomes Newest Entrant in Alternate Fuels Race

An inventor's water-based fuel for gasoline and diesel engines has been taken up by a major U.S. engine manufacturer, Caterpillar, Inc., (Peoria, IL) with promising potential for reduced air pollution, higher fuel economy, and better auto safety.

Caterpillar, Inc., has formed a joint venture with exclusive rights to develop and commercialize the new alternative fuel technology. The technique enables internal combustion engines to operate efficiently on a mixture of water and carbon-based fuel.

Caterpillar's offshoot, Advanced Fuels LLC, will be an equal partnership with the inventor's company, A-55 LP (Reno, NV). Rudolf Gunnerman, 66, German-born chief executive of A-55, worked nearly 7 years bringing the process along. He holds full international patents.

A-55 derives its name from one of the new experimental fuels, an aqueous milky emulsion for gasoline engines of around 55% water by weight (43% by volume), mixed with 45% regular gasoline and a splash of the "secret emulsifier" which allows the water and fuel to mix and remain in that condition. A diesel oil counterpart is dubbed D-55 for the diesel cycle.

The new fuel is cleaner-burning, more environmentally friendly, and less flammable because of its high water content, which is emitted as steam in the exhaust. Practical demonstrations show it is flame resistant even with a blow-torch, until confined in a combustion chamber.

"The A-55 technology is one of the most promising developments to date," said Richard L. Thompson, president of Caterpillar's engine development division.

Gunnerman says that converting a gasoline engine to burn A-55 fuel could cost less that $500. His next project? Developing the "X fuel," a mixture of naptha (which costs 50% less than gasoline) and water, virtually eradicating the need for gasoline. For further information, contact A-55 at 702/826-8300.

(Bloomberg Business News/Business Week: 7/25; 8/8)

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