EAST ST. LOUIS, IL, June 27, 2002 — Alton Southern Railroad today announced the completion of a three-month test of RxP, a fuel additive marketed by RxP Products, Inc. The purpose of the test was to determine fuel economy and particulate emissions in locomotive engines.
“We did a baseline test in April,” said Bob Cizek, Vice President of Industrial Sales for RxP Products, Inc. “Then we ran the engine with fuel containing RxP for a couple of months, then retested. The test showed an overall reduction in particulates of 26%, which backs up tests we did earlier with Terminal Railroad and Metro East Industries. This indicates a more efficient burn and is directly related to fuel economy improvement.”
Cizek said fuel economy improvement “under load” was approximately 2.56%, which would result in a considerable savings to the railroad.
“You could just see there was no black smoke coming out of the locomotive when it was working the hump [making up a new train],” said Dennis Korando, Mechanical Foreman of Alton Southern Railroad in East St. Louis. Korando was involved in the three-month test.
Fuel economy tests on locomotive engines usually focus on engines that are under load at different notches (RPM settings). The fuel is weighed at each notch with and without the additive to determine the true fuel economy. A 2.56% savings is approximately one gallon saved for every thirty-nine used. However, locomotive engines that work in a switchyard spend much of their time idling.
“There is much more to fuel economy than just the amount of fuel that can be saved when the engine is under load,” explained RxP Products, Inc. President, Don Woodward. “Only a small percent of the fuel is used to provide the power to overcome inertia, air drag, friction and rolling resistance, which are the forces that work against motion.
“Our technology works by increasing the thermal value of the fuel being used,” explained Woodward. “We call this the theory of radiant containment. Based on a recent test we know that RxP will increase the thermal value of biomass, which is about as basic a fuel as you can get, by 13.2%.”
Breaking it down to its very basics, fuel is converted into heat to power the engine. Almost 70% of this energy is lost to the mechanical process of operating the engine. Another 17% is wasted when the engine is idling. This leaves only 13% to actually run the engine.
“When an engine is idling, it is getting zero miles per gallon. However, if you increase the thermal value of the fuel by 13.2% you are actually using less fuel even when the engine is not moving. In other words you can sit there longer while idling. I think we can safely say that if we apply this 13.2% increase in thermal value to the 30% of the fuel that is used for power or wasted when idling you can say that RxP will increase the overall fuel economy by approximately 4%. This is a significant savings over the cost of using our additive and not related to restoring efficiency lost to an aging engine,” says Woodward.
Woodward also said that an undetermined amount of fuel is saved by the process of radiant containment on that part of the fuel that is wasted to the mechanical process of the internal combustion engine. If the theory is correct, the flame made during combustion is hotter inside and cooler outside. This provides more kinetic energy, used to actually push the piston down and create power, and less radiant energy, which is lost as heat penetrating the cylinder walls, etc. The engine runs cooler and the process of a more complete combustion eliminates carbon buildup inside the combustion chamber and exhaust system.
Decarbonization of the engine is the key factor in maintaining good fuel economy and RxP certainly does that, but this only restores the engine to its original efficiency. It is the increase in thermal value that actually increases fuel economy above what the engine would get burning fuel that does not contain RxP.
While the opacity tests were being conducted at Alton Southern, Intertek Testing Services Caleb Brett labs in Tampa, Florida analyzed a sample of diesel fuel. The analysis showed that RxP did not change the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard for diesel fuel, meaning it would not affect an engine manufacturer warranty.
“Seeing is believing,” said Korando. “When you look in the stacks of the engine, the interiors are completely white. Also, I inspected the injectors. They were white and clean. This can only be attributed to the use of the additive.”