62. AutoCat: More Energy—Less Pollution
The combustion engine, a major contributor to global warming and health issues, will be around for a long time. It is estimated that over 1 B passenger cars travel the roads of the world today. In 2012, the number of petroleum powered vehicles—increased! The U.S. transportation industry consumes 200 B gal of fuel each year, contributing 30% of the U. S. greenhouse gases. U.S. forces burn more than 5 B gal of fuel annually in military operations.
The market opportunity based on demand for fuel efficiency and reduced emissions is driven by the confluence of increasingly stringent regulations, rising mfg expenses and increasing cost of operating vehicles. New CAFE standards require automakers to increase the average MPG of their fleets by 30% from 2011 through 2016. These mandates come on top of new EPA emissions standards for autos, trucks, generators, power plants, boats, ships, garden equipment, construction and agricultural equipment. At the same time, fuel costs are volatile.
InTheWorks, Inc. (“ITW”) offers breakthrough design innovations to improve the energy efficiency of the combustion engine by 5-10%, eliminating up to 99% of currently regulated emissions, while exceeding the EPA’s published schedule through 2025. The patented technology is the next generation catalytic converter. Sustainability is foremost with product manufacturing embracing “cradle-to-cradle” design and product life-cycle. Jonathan Koomey, author, PhD, consulting professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University and Senior Fellow at the Rocky Mountain Institute says, “a significant game-changing innovation”.
Since their invention in the 1970’s catalytic converters historically come with a downside—they restrict exhaust flow, robbing the engine of power and efficiency (3%). Their purpose is “emissions control”. To the best of our knowledge, no one else is innovating the catalytic converter to achieve energy efficiency. The Company’s disruptive technology optimizes the efficiency of catalytic converters, allowing them to light faster, burn uniformly and accelerate exhaust gases. ITW technology improves airflow; addresses regulatory pressure; supplies consumer demand for improved fuel efficiency, and supports manufacturers who are continuously challenged to manage limited resources.
Powertrain Electronics, LLC, a third party consultant, has verified the technology. U.S. patent #7,807,120 was issued on October 5, 2010 covering all claims, and international patents have been awarded.
The innovation is a unique exhaust gas recirculation and pressure buffer chamber. The novel design allows a portion of an engine’s exhaust flow to superheat the catalyst quickly and uniformly, which accelerates the exhaust through the unit. The buffer chamber also absorbs pressure pulsations from the engine’s exhaust cycle, helping to balance exhaust gas pressures inside the cylinders and thus overall exhaust gas flow into the catalyst system.
The catalyst converts a very high proportion of harmful exhaust gases to safer gases and elements, reducing regulated emissions–CO (carbon monoxide), NOx (oxides of nitrogen) and VOCs (volatile organic compounds or non-methane organic gases, and reduces the engine’s heat signature, fumes and produces a noise cancellation. The net result is a highly efficient catalyst that improves the engine’s operating performance.
The engine represents the largest source of energy loss in an automobile. According to the DoE, the energy efficiency of the piston engine is currently only 38% for gasoline and 42% for diesel engines. ITW technology makes cleantech innovations greener; i. e., even hybrid automobiles can become more energy efficient, improve their performance, and further reduce their pollution.
At InTheWorks, Inc. we are excited with each new day, driven by our mission “More energy—Less pollution©” that has its own triangulated purpose: To save the planet; build exceptional profit by developing and licensing sustainable clean tech advancements; and provide consumers with increased energy efficiency that reduce overall environmental impacts. We offer earth-friendly drop-in technology that saves money. Our passion comes from pursuing innovation, excellence, and sustainability. Our values include: integrity, respect, sustainability, passion, innovation, courage, and teamwork.
Our passion and values resulted in our first product design, the AquaCat™. The AquaCat™ is a water-cooled catalytic converter for stern drive and inboard marine gasoline engines. As a marine application, the technology has achieved fuel savings of more than 10%; a 3% increase in power; and up to 99% reduction in CO, NOx and VOCs. Our second product design, the AutoCat© has achieved similar results for gasoline automobiles.
The innovative ITW products have been tested as prototypes. A comprehensive test plan and additional third-party validation is the current roadmap for commercialization of the gas platform, and similar R&D plans include the diesel platform.
Due to the global environmental, economic, health, and national security impacts of this simple, drop-in, scalable technology: the EPA, NREL DoE national lab, several DoD branches, and Florida Institute of Technology, a research university, are in discussions with ITW to allocate resources to assure the rapid commercialization of this novel technology.
ITW has met with General Motors and other auto and truck manufactures who are waiting for a commercial solution. Multiple billion dollar companies in the supply chain are ready to license the technology and take it forward. With support from regulators, politicians, capital markets, and industry, there are few obstacles in the way of executing on a solid go-to-market plan. The ITW technology is scalable, implementable, transformational and crosses every industry globally that seeks solutions to reduce harmful emissions and improve fuel efficiency.
Why it should be recognized:
ITW’s technology, if adopted by the U.S. transportation sector at 10% improvement in fuel efficiency, could reduce U.S. fuel consumption by 20 B gal, impacting national security, and eliminating 3% of the U.S. GHG. This can be done by quickly migrating to ITW’s design, which is a superior, lower-cost solution over existing products. Other solutions are very capital intensive and require investments in significant infrastructure.
With the ITW solution, original equipment manufacturers benefit by reducing costs for regulatory compliance; increasing fuel economy (regulations and improve consumer demand). The improved performance from the ITW technology is achieved using 16% less catalyst precious metals, thereby reducing costs and improving global sustainability.
The U.S. Department of Transportation estimated in 2008 the auto industry will spend at least $46 B to make their fleets 30% more fuel-efficient by 2016. In a January 2011 letter, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (“AAM”), the car industry's main trade group, wrote that the new CAFE standards were, "...by far the most expensive regulations auto makers face." The group said the regulations will cost the industry more than $50 billion. The AAM also warned that the 62 mpg proposal would boost the price consumers pay for a car by as much as $6,400, resulting in a possible 25% drop in car sales and the loss of 220K auto jobs. With ITW’s innovation, the industry could potentially meet 1/3rd of their mandate.