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Introduction to one of the four states of matter where particles can slip past one another and take the shape of their container

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Save Money and the Environment Too

Save Money and the Environment Too


Credit: Airman 1st Class Andrew Lee
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pumping_gas.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

It may not end all your trips to the pump, but it should make them less frequent. What is it? It's an “electrifying” new way to get more miles per gallon of gas or diesel fuel. As a bonus, it makes burning these fossil fuels less polluting as well.

News You Can Use

  • The idea behind the new device is making the fuel less viscous. This results in smaller droplets of fuel being injected into the engine. Smaller droplets burn more efficiently and cleanly.
  • Credit: eutrophication&hypoxia
    Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/48722974@N07/4478993066/
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    This technology will also reduce pollution by increasing the amount of fuel that is burned cleanly [Figure2]

  • What is the device? It’s a small component that produces an electric field, using current from the car battery. Fluids, including gas and diesel fuel, get thinner in an electric field. For a better appreciation of electric fields, explore this interactive animation: http://www.falstad.com/vector3de/

What Do You Think?

Learn more about using an electric field to improve fuel economy at the link below. Then answer the questions that follow.

  1. Define viscosity.
  2. Describe an electric field.
  3. Why does “zapping” gas or diesel fuel with electricity make it less viscous?
  4. Why does less viscous fuel result in smaller injected fuel particles?
  5. Explain why smaller injected fuel particles burn more efficiently and cleanly.
  6. Why is the new fuel-saving device relatively cheap? What is another pro of the device?
  7. What do you think? Is increasing fuel efficiency with an electric-field device a good way to conserve nonrenewable energy resources and reduce pollution? Why or why not?

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Airman 1st Class Andrew Lee; Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pumping_gas.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: eutrophication&hypoxia; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/48722974@N07/4478993066/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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