A RAND Corporation report issued today says Save the World Air Inc. would need to conduct further laboratory studies and in-use testing to determine the effectiveness of its Zero Emission Fuel Saver (ZEFS) technology that is intended to reduce tailpipe pollutants and increase fuel efficiency in gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles.
"RAND's analysis of laboratory testing data provided by Save the World Air that deals with the performance of the ZEFS device installed in vehicles found at best mixed results from the tests and therefore could not confirm the effectiveness of the technology in actual use," said Michael Toman, director of the Environment Energy and Economic Development program at RAND, which carried out the study.
Save the World Air -- based in North Hollywood, Calif. -- says that the magnets in its ZEFS device change the viscosity of fuel when it passes through the magnetic field. Such a change would help increase fuel economy and reduce pollutants by improving the combustion of fuel, according to the company.
The RAND study said the existing technical literature does not contain credible reports that the application of magnetic fields to either gasoline or diesel fuel oil will reduce the viscosities of these automotive fuels.
The market potential for the Save the World Air ZEFS device will depend both on demonstrating positive results from the technology and competition posed by other competing technologies, according the report by RAND, a nonprofit research organization.
RAND was hired in 2002 to assist Save the World Air in developing a plan to assess the technical basis for its ZEFS device and understand the potential market for the device if a technical basis were established.
RAND outlined a research and evaluation program for Save the World Air to examine the theoretical basis of the ZEFS device and to test the impact of the device when installed on vehicles.
Researchers at Temple University, who were funded by Save the World Air as a result of a competitive grants process administered by RAND, have reported findings indicating a potential connection between magnetic fields and fuel viscosity. However, that laboratory work has not yet been independently reviewed and published by the Temple University research team, and it does not settle the issue of how magnetic fields might affect actual engine performance.
RAND researchers did not review additional 2007 tests conducted on motorcycles by a California laboratory for Save the World Air after RAND's work was completed.
The study, titled "An Approach to Assessing the Technical Feasibility and Market Potential of a New Automotive Device," is available at www.rand.org
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