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Name: Steve K.
Status: Other
Age: 20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: November 2002


Question:
I work for a Heating and A/C company. We were just introduced the FT Fuel Booster. It's a magnet that were supposed to put on the gas line. It's supposed to save us 5 to 10% on our gas bills. Does the magnet help on straightening the ions in the gas. We were told that it would and that the gas would be cleaner. I did a test on the Supply and Return air ducts. I got a increase of 5 degrees on the supply. The stack temperature went up about 4 degrees. This was all done in about 10 minutes. Can you tell me anything about this?



Replies:
Magnetic devices that purport to miraculously save fuel by aligning the fuel molecules have been around for many years. While I do not doubt that you honestly saw the effects you describe, to really judge the benefits of such devices they must be tested under carefully controlled conditions. In tests of many similar devices for automobiles conducted by the EPA, none has ever shown one iota of benefit when carefully tested. Additionally, the underlying theory of these devices is not supported by scientific evidence.

The results of EPA's testing of fuel saving devices may be found at:

http://www.epa.gov/orcdizux/consumer/reports.htm

Specifically, over the years EPA tested the following magnetic devices: Petro-Mizer, Polarion-X, Super-Mag Fuel Extender, and the Wickliff Polarizer. None were found to have any measurable effect on fuel consumption.

The report on the Petro-Mizer quotes Professor John C. Hilliard of the Automotive Laboratory at the University of Michigan discussing another magnetic fuel-saving device called the Moleculator. Professor Hilliard said, "Hydrocarbon fuels such as gasoline have hardly any dipole (separation of positive and negative charges), and for this reason, the fuel molecules would not align appreciably in this type of device. If they were aligned, the fuel dipoles would certainly be randomized subsequently - if not in the fuel line, then in the process of vaporization prior to actual combustion. Furthermore, even if such an alignment device did what the Moleculator's manufacturer claims this one does, there would be absolutely no advantage to any aspect of mixture preparation or flame propagation relating to combustion efficiency or vehicle fuel economy."

While this information pertains to automobiles, it should apply equally to other combustion devices such as furnaces. Automobile companies have invested billions of dollars in developing expensive technologies such as fuel injection and continuously-variable transmissions to improve fuel economy by a few percent. Companies that manufacture HVAC equipment have similarly worked hard to develop high-efficiency furnaces. If it were as simple as attaching a magnet to the fuel line to get comparable results, it would have been done a long time ago.

Andrew Johnson, Ph.D., P.E.


I am skeptical. Natural gas is mainly ethane, propane, butane. There are no ions present. None of these gases are affected by a magnetic field. I would not take responsibility for recommending such a device. I do not think I would come right out and say it is a fraud, but I would be very close.

Ask to see the data. Data collected by an uninterested third party -- preferably double blind -- so which furnace got the magnet and which did not is not known until after the experiment is over and the data analyzed. Tuning the furnace with respect to combustion parameters fuel/air ratio etc. I think would be more important.

There is a fad going on to use magnets for any and all types of illnesses, physical conditions, and now furnaces. Frequently there is no data to back up the claims, or the data is imaginary and/or fraudulent. Be cautious and ask, "SHOW ME YOUR DATA." Who, when, where, and what was compared. Anyone can print up a brochure that makes claims, get to the source.

Vince Calder



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