A team at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio will debut technology on Monday that increases the fuel efficiency of automobiles while at the same time reduces pollutants.
The high-tech gadgetry is currently installed on a bright blue Buick Regal that has been seen cruising the streets of San Antonio adorned with graphics.
Dr. Terry Alger, one of those who developed the system, said with fuel economy standards increasing, this kind of efficiency is needed.
"We improved the efficiency of the engine by anywhere from 10 to 15-percent," Alger said. “So it's basically the same as if you were operating with a higher octane gasoline.”
Alger and his team at SWRI have spent at least six years developing the technology.
A consortium of companies is funding the research, which has resulted in technology that goes beyond recirculating the burned gas from the engine.
“It's a concept we call Dedicated EGR,” Alger said. “And it improves their knock resistance, makes it burn faster, reduces the pollutants coming out of the end and in general increases the efficiency of the engine substantially.
Research began in a small lab in the facility, where scientists brought in an engine, began modifying it and finally were able to create components that could be installed in an actual vehicle.
The team believes this technology is closer to being mass produced and installed on manufactured vehicles than any other.
Alger said it will also be affordable. "We're working on them with a very close eye to making them mass producible and cost effective," Alger said. “The fact that we can do this with this high efficiency technology and not sacrifice any of our efficiency is a big selling point.”
Still, Alger says it may be five or ten years before automakers put them in vehicles.
"There's going to be a lot more work that needs to be done here." That after the big debut on Monday.