Indian Oil Co. Goes Global
“Detroit” is No Laggard

ArvinMeritor / MIT Plasma Fuel Reformer

ArvinMeritor, an $8 billion (sales) auto supplier, just rolled out a suite of clean air technologies for commercial and light duty diesels and gasoline engines. Material from its technical briefing is here.

ArvinMeritor aims to take leadership of the emerging systems market for the undercarriage -- in other words, packaging undercarriage (exhaust) systems for easy (and widespread) use in different vehicles. This new portfolio of clean air solutions can be packaged for every engine builder and truck OEM.


Of particular long-term significance is the official release of the Plasma Fuel Reformer. (Image at right, Click to enlarge.) The Plasma Fuel Reformer uses an electrical plasma (a strong, continuous “spark”) to combust partially a mixture of air and the vechicle’s hydrocarbon fuel -- diesel or gasoline.

Because there is deliberately insufficient air to support combustion, the fuel dissociates to create a hydrogen-rich gas rather than burning. That hydrogen-rich gas can be used to improve or even enable the operation of other exhaust emission systems.

The Plasma Fuel Reformer stems from work done by and licensed from MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center . Seven years in development, the Plasma Fuel Reformer -- or Plasmatron as MIT called it -- could have an enormous impact on emissions and fuel efficiency. From MIT in 2003:

The team is finding that the device could make vehicles cleaner and more efficient, with a potentially significant impact on oil consumption.

“If widespread use of plasmatron hydrogen-enhanced gasoline engines could eventually increase the average efficiency of cars and other light-duty vehicles by 20 percent, the amount of gasoline that could be saved would be around 25 billion gallons a year,” [Daniel] Cohn [one of the leaders of the team and head of the Plasma Technology Division at MIT’s PSFC] said. “That corresponds to around 70 percent of the oil that is currently imported by the United States from the Middle East.”

The Bush administration has made development of a hydrogen-powered vehicle a priority, [John] Heywood [John Heywood, director of MIT’s Sloan Automotive Lab] noted. “That's an important goal, as it could lead to more efficient, cleaner vehicles, but is it the only way to get there? Engines using plasmatron reformer technology could have a comparable impact, but in a much shorter time frame,” he said.

The work was funded by the Department of Energy’s FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies Program and by ArvinMeritor.

ArvinMeritor expects the Plasma Fuel Reformer to be in production in 2010. Currently the device is undergoing in-vehicle testing on heavy and light trucks and buses. ArvinMeritor is also exploring using the device in gasoline engines to support ultralean turbocharging, with resulting emissions reduction and fuel efficiency. To that end, it is partnering with Ingenieurgesellschaft Auto und Verkehr (IAV), a German automotive research and development provider.

A good background piece on ArvinMeritor and the other approaches to emissions reduction is here.


S.K. Taneja

Lean turbocharging has already been developed years
back for petrol cars with excellent results. If interested, may like to respond.


For the U.L.M.!


FOR The U.L.M.!

Jesus Mena

I will to hae more data of this technology.

victor scott

I have made a small electolizer,Hydrogen generator, for about $100.00 that will increase fuel milage from 15 to 40 percent. and reduces the emissions to way under the EPA regulations. I put it on my 1990 Mazada it went from 22 miles per gallon to 36 miles per gallon. SO all this high tech stuff is really not useful at the price they would want.

Jorge Olaves

How can I get a Hydrogen generator for my car?, how much does it cost? and what else is needed to install a system in my car a Sienna Toyota 2000 Van?

Thank you.

david merrion

Have you published technical papers on this devise ie: SAE papers?

Robert Harris

I've a much better question for all interests!

#1. Other than -"sellers & promoters"- i've read little or nothing from *legitimate* technical/research sources attesting to the validity of currently available, hydrox-type (A-B or C) units and there [claimed] great performance levels!?!

If *you* have, please share your information.

#2. Discovery Channels "very" popular *Myth Busters* series has been on TV for several seasons now.

What better forum - to validate (or de-bunk) the; increased fuel mileage, power boosting, in additions to - cooler, smoother, quieter running engine benifits claimed by near every Hydrogen booster maker/seller peddling wares on the Internet!

"Where are the 'REAL' serious testimonials to back all these stories up?

Dan Wagner

Myth Busters are hardly a reputable test ground. I watched a show once where they were replicating a Bedini motor generator and they didn't even have the sense to put any magnets on the flywheel. I stopped watching the show after that. The information is out there if a you take the time to investigate. Google Brown's gas or fuel cells. ( No WWW )is a inexpensive place to buy your PWM circuit $22. Smack boosters are also easily assembled. Look for Smack PDF on the net. Anyone who is competent can easily build one and yes, they work.

Mike O'Brien

The Future is in our hands. Lead, Follow or get out of the way. Come election time, Vote or keep silent and No Whinning. "THEY" are not about to do anything that is not profitable for them or that they can not regulate. You must buy a hydrogen kit and experiment yourself!

I saw one of those water4gas units. Then I made my own style that produces way more and it worked so well on my little car that I put three of them on my 3/4 ton, 454 Chevy Suburban. I used a few well known tuning tricks, added a few of my own and it went from 8mpg to 16mpg! I just added another device that works on the PCV system. It makes the gases clean and actually burnable. We'll see what the new mpg will this week. Now we can laugh at the new Chevy ads with the 20mpg Tahoes and thousands of dollars! Keep'em...who needs em'. There are so many gas saving devices out there that do not work and so many that do.

My partner and I started a company to maximize the mpg of every vehicle we encounter and our kits are very reasonable. If you do not buy one from one from someone else, or better yet, make one yourself. Start keeping that money in your pocket instead of theirs. More to follow.

The comments to this entry are closed.