300 MPG Carburetors
is there such a thing?
For years, I've heard
stories of some guy who invented a carburetor which allowed incredible gas
mileage only to have the jealous gas companies come along and steal the idea, buy
it and sit on it or kill the guy. I've talked to many people who believe
such stories. I feel a closer look is in order.
NOTE: As of 4/24/01, Pantone has talked of a business relationship with Dennis Lee
1993 Geo Metro GEET
project. - as of 4/10/00, these people are trying
to replicate claims - as of 4/24/01, they just switched back to the original
system and were very dissappointed. More
discussion of the physics of high mileage carbs
Uli of Australia failed to get his GEET kit to ever work
: ------------- The following question was written to columist Cecil Adams -who loves to answer bizzarre questions
James Seabolt wrote: I understand the supply and demand theory very well. I
did mention in ( ) that Kerosene sells less than gasoline in the summertime but
higher in the wintertime. What I am getting at is this. After 100+ years of
technologic advances, why are we still driving cars that get ~ 30 mpg? Why is
it that maximum MPG increases every so many years ONLY after the EPA demands
it. If they demand that cars must get 50 MPG by the year 2000, then it would
happen. If cars got 100 mpg then we wouldn't use as much oil. Right? So isn't
it at the oil companies best interest to keep this information from us? I am
not a stock market expert but I am sure that you will find that the oil
companies own stock in the auto manufacturers. The technology is there. If GM
announced that they were introducing a car that got over 100 mpg, then it would
be an overnight "hit". But nobody will build a 100 mpg engine because
the oil companies own stock in the auto market. Why is it that 30 years ago a
FORD 302 may have only gotten 15 mpg (if that), but today the V8 powered
Lincolns get 30 mpg? If you owned a company that made cold relief medicines,
wouldn't you buy up a cure for the common cold? I think the evidence is
obvious. I also think that the U.S. government has been covering up the JFK
assassination as well as UFOs. Actually, this last sentence of yours explains a
lot, James. Let us get down to brass tacks, and listen to The Straight Dope.
Here's the answer given by Cecil Adams, author of The Straight Dope, a
syndicated column which explores questions a lot like yours. Their motto:
"Fighting ignorance since 1973. It's taking longer than we thought."
Question: "For years I've been hearing about fantastic carburetors that
can give your car up to 200mpg. But supposedly the automakers and Big Oil won't
allow them to come to market because they'd wreck the industry. The people who
tell you this are usually conspiracy buffs who offer it as an example of how
the masses are duped by the Illuminati, so you have to be skeptical. But still,
I wonder: is the 200mpg carburetor a complete fantasy, or does something like
it actually exist? Do you have one on your car?" - Mike Wells, Santa Barbara,
Answer: (by Cecil Adams)
Nah. My main energy-saving strategy is to go only places downhill from me,
so I can just put it in neutral and roll. This system has its limitations, but
it works better than "200mpg carburetors," which at best are a
fantasy and at worst a fraud.
Alleged high-mileage carbs are based on a beguilingly simple principle. Here's how one of my correspondents put it:
"Detroit carbs put gas in the engine by spraying it in; much of the gas goes into the cylinder still in droplets and burns incompletely. HIgh-mileage "vapor" carburetors pre-warm the gas using exhaust heat pumped through an in-line chamber. This enables the gas to evaporate quickly but thoroughly. More gas is burned and less goes out the tailpipe as pollution. Detroit seems to avoid these designs because they cost more. (Remember saving five cents per Pinto?) But better carbs are out there for the tinkering."
Someone also sent me a report that supposedly originated with the Carb Research Center of Oklahoma, which promotes vapor carbs. The report makes the astonishing claim that theoretical maximum fuel efficiency for a conventional auto is nearly 2,900mpg. It goes on to tell the story of the original 200-mpg vapor carb, invented in the mid-1930's by one Charles N. Pogue. Another reader says vapor carbs work but they have a big drawback: backfiring.
While I don't want to belittle blue-collar ingenuity, the vapor carb's inventors are trying to solve a nonexistent problem. According to John Heywood, a professor of mechanical engineering at MIT and an authority on internal-combustion engines, incomplete burning of fuel is insignificant in modern cars. Fuel combustion today typically exceeds 97 percent. While it's true cars aren't very efficient - only 20 to 35 percent of the fuel energy is converted to useful work - that's mostly due to heat loss (through the engine block, out the exhaust pipe) and unavoidable energy loss during burning itself.
The theoretical (and unobtainable) maximum efficiency for a small car like a Honda Civic is around 200mpg; for your big beaters it's much lower. Claims to the contrary are fraudulent, and I gather Professor Heywood said as much in a report he wrote for the U.S. Postal Service, which was investigating high-mileage carb vendors for fraud.
Carburetors in general are an obsolete technology now being replaced by electronic fuel injection, which offers superior emission control. Truth is, vapor carbs are the equivalent of the improved buggy whip. Forget 'em.
This is not to say super-high-mileage cars couldn't be built. On the contrary, there are plenty of proven energy-efficient technologies available, none of which has lacked for publicity or industry backing.
A recent survey in "Technology Review" listed ten experimental cars developed by seven major automakers that got highway mileage ranging from 71 to 110mpg. A few years ago Renault trotted out a rig that got 121 mpg on the run from Paris to Bordeaux. I'm told the gas mileage record for motorcycles is about 400 mpg, and if you really want to go crazy, a GM subsidiary recently built a solar-powered prototype called Sunraycer that doesn't use any gas at all. Weighing only four hundred pounds, it completed a 1,800 mile race at an average speed of over forty MPH. On the downside, it seats only one, has no trunk or luggage rack, and barely has room for a pair of fuzzy dice. But hey, life is full of trade-offs.
High mileage is never the result of a single miraculous component, such as a carburetor. Rather it's the sum of numerous small improvements. Among these are lightweight materials, low-friction tires, improved aerodynamics, flywheels to store and reuse energy now lost during braking, and "ultra-lean-burn" engines for more efficient city driving (already available in certain Toyotas sold in Europe).
Another improvement used in some high-mileage prototypes is the continuously variable transmission: instead of clumsily shifting gears, the cars shift transmission ratios gradually, typically using an ingenious (and conceptually quite simple) arrangement of belts and cone-shaped pulleys. Soon to come, it's believed, are ceramic diesel engines using turbochargers and perhaps stratified charge engines that combine the best features of gasoline and diesel technology. While 200mpg is pushing it, the experts think 110mpg cars are within range of current technology.
Sounds great, you say? Well, don't rush down to the auto showroom just yet. It may be years, if ever, before the new technology becomes widely available. That's not because automakers are conspiring to withhold it, but rather because they doubt the public will buy it. People today are less concerned about energy efficiency and for good reason: corrected for inflation, gasoline today costs less than it did in 1973. Fuel efficient cars tend to be little cars, and the size trend in recent years has gone the opposite way (just look at mini vans and off road/utility vehicles!).
The only reason gas mileage has improved at all in recent years has been government mandated fuel economy standards, and God knows some recent administrations did everything they could to frustrate those. The super efficient cars now on the drawing boards don't figure to be cheap, and unless gas prices skyrocket, the fuel savings probably won't cover the higher cost. Barring a sudden burst of altruism on the part of the car-buying public, chances are you won't see ultra highmileage cars for sale until we're down to the last two gallons of Arab oil.
Transcribed from "Return of the Straight Dope" by Cecil Adams. ISBN 0-345-38111-4 --
I've heard a complaint about Geet from Tony Cooper from email@example.com:
I read your recent
link about the independent? test of a GEET device by Prof. Shields. Quite
intruiging, especially the claim that when a 50/50 gas/water mix was used no
water was consumed. I would have thought that some water vapor would have been
carried into the engine, anyway what I want to ask is has anyone seen or have a
copy of the plans that Paul Pantone advertises on his website. http://www.Friend.ly.Net/GEET I twice
e-mailed asking where i could purchase a set of plans for a car conversion
[$175] but as yet received no reply. Prof. Shields seems to have had the same
problem, i quote: "After several unsuccessful attempts by A.E.R.O. to
purchase advertised plans for the much-touted "GEET" device, one of
our researchers obtained a copy of Pantone's patent." I downloaded a copy
of the patent which is linked in his website and it looks quite simple to
construct so if his advertised plans are not forthcoming i will build one from
the patent drawings and hope to finetune it as needed. I have a downdraft
gasifier that i built and hooked up to a stationary 4cyl. Toyota gasoline
engine. The engine runs fine on charcoal as the filters can easily handle the
low tar dust. When run on wood the high tars are much more in evidence in the
filters of course. Now what i would like to try is routing the wood gas
directly to the engine via a GEET device. If this could be found feasible and
the traditional cumbersome system of cyclones, cooler,filter could be
eliminated, then the oportunities for using the gasifier in a
pickup truck would be really improved, not having to carry all the gas cleanup equipt. around.
to me that the GEET device like several other FE gizmos has some merit although
perhaps it's not all that is claimed by Mr Pantone. His unwillingness to reply
to people Prof. Shields and me [an eternal FE optimist] when i want give him
175 bucks for his advertised plans doesn't do much to inspire confidence in his
Maybe someone at GEET or on your list will read this and help me out??
There is a company in Bowling
Green MO that sells plans for a vapor
carburetor and also has a vacuum controlled fuel presure regulator. They can
be reached at;
H & A
Bowling Green, MO 63334-9350
They adevertise on a fairly constant basis in the classified section of POPULAR SCIENCE magazine.
-note by Eric: Tony, the high mileage carb people never called me back
after promising to demonstrate at least a 50 mpg carb on an old car - they do
make a lot of money selling books and spend a lot of time going around talking
about it. 6/25/99. Note, Chris Arnold reports he didn't get one of these
things to work and was never given a promised refund: DuPagejlrs@aol.com.
David is willing to help test any carb that gets high mileage
From: "Jeremiah Senner" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I just road tested my last version of the GEET system on my Geo
Metro, this weekend. 449 miles, 8.93 gallons of 87 octane.
That is worse than the previous version of the system did!
hmm... 1993 Geo Metro GEET project.
David Sligar reports:
I installed the GEET on a
1976 Cadillac DeVille with its 500 cid V8 engine -- surely a worst case example
of a gas guzzler! The system entirely replaced the Rochester Quad 4
carburetor. I drove the car from Colorado Springs to Denver and back one
day, and got mileage about 15% better than the carb. mileage -- i.e.,
about 12 mpg. Hardly impressive, but still far from an absolute failure.
Given the simplicity of Paul's air-fuel valve design, it was not surprising to
me that the driveability in town was awful, verging on unsafe. On the
highway at constant speed, there was no problem. The major issue with the
setup as I ran it had to do with the bubbler. Whenever the engine pulled
a vacuum, the bubbler would swamp and would dump pints of liquid gasoline
directly into the intake line. Given that fact, my marginal improvement
in mileage on the Denver run (about 130 miles total) was impressive.
Paul's cross country tour was not done with a bubbler, but with one or two
small carburetors doing the vaporizing. I think there is something
interesting going on with this system. I have for now run out of time and
money to persue refinements, but I thought my experience would address at least
partially some of
your questions. Best regards, David Sligar
Apparently the GEET kits can
slightly improve gas mileage on an idling engine by vaporizing the fuel.
I'm not aware of any cars running well with this that can really be
demonstrated. GEET demonstrations are said to be short because the
reactor part of the mechanism quickly gums up - especially when they throw
non-fuel materials in. The reforming of fuel and vaporization of it have
been known since 1920. There are many patents on this sort of thing
predating GEET. Most such patents are available for anyone to use because they
expired years ago. The problem is that GEET systems just don't work well
over a varying load, you greatly reduce a cars power with them, you void the
warranty and it is illegal to sell unapproved carbs in California (maybe other
This page has been hit times. since Jan 1997
- a great overview of high mileage urban legends
http://www.epa.gov/region02/air/inset.htm - story of bogus mileage device called "Fuel Stabilizer"
www.GEET.com or www.raptor-tech.com
MPG Extender home Pogue Carbs
An independent investigation of Geet Carb Claims
· Order the book "SECRETS OF SUPER MILEAGE CARBURETORS" -This is from a Dennis Lee dealer.
· I really consider George Wisemans work in high mileage to be most promising.
· very long list of wonderful products to allegedly make your car run far better most sound like scams to me
· mainstream Society of Automotive Engineers
· GET 113 To 138 MPG. - a new claim as of 10/14/01 - I'm going to see if independent people have verified it
· Magnotherapy -they actually address the skeptic point of view
· biggest page on this stuff they won't link this one.
· Grant Goldade claims to be willing to allow one of these to be tested. You can contact him at: email@example.com - I've negotiated with these people for an open test in front of press people since 3/97. As of 4/98, I've concluded they don't really want independent people to test their claims.
· Jeremiah has the following report on his Geet attempt: 1993 Geo Metro GEET project.
· Energy, Physics, and Soda Pop - a review by Wired magazine of a Geet demo
Creator of this
page- get on an email list which includes
discussion of topics like this
pages exposing Joe Newman and Dennis Lee who some people suspect of leading a nationwide scam. Also, Mills (who may be legit?) Amin and Tewari Tom Bearden’s MEG device A rational review of meg claims and Randi’s info and my info
Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org I'm happy to publish critical responses to my claims.
This page can be found at: http://www.phact.org/e/dennis27.htm