Polymers Make Your Car Better?

from the where's-our-resident-polymer-chemist? dept

Found over at Wonko is the following article about a new polymer that when put in your gas tank may increase your horsepower, increase your mileage, and decrease your emissions. I’m witholding comment until Techdirt’s resident polymer chemist (mhh5) checks it out and comments. Just think of what that could do to your trusty Ford Escort (you’ve been studying the wrong polymers!!).

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Comments on “Polymers Make Your Car Better?”

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mhh5 says:

No PhD yet..

But I’ll add my two cents now. The source of this article is reputable, BUT chemists are not automotive engineers. There are a few complications I can think of… Depending on the polymer and how much is needed to get the effects, I can imagine problems with solubility. MTBE and lead alkyls dissolve readily in gasoline, so they present no problems with fuel lines, etc. But barring any “engineering” problems, polymer additives should be cheap and easy to drop into existing fuels. However, it’s still a ‘short’ term solution since we’ll need to get away from petroleum products someday. (Polymers are also petroleum products, but consist of only about 5% of where petroleum ends up; most is burned.) So I’d still invest in fuel cell companies… All things considered, this could be good for the environment, but isn’t what I’d call a scientific breakthrough. If we were willing to pay more for gas, we’d just use 100 octane-rated fuel and get the same effects.

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