Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Sergeant Fletcher Fuel Scavenger

Grind automotive exhaust and pour it into my intake manifold
  [vote for,

Today, I made my 27 mile commute on my motorcycle. That in itself is only vaguely remarkable, as I've been doing this more and more often.

However, the freeway was largely a parking lot today, so I did almost the entire ride on the white line, going anywhere from 10 - 25 miles an hour while traffic was stopped or crawling.

Not that pleasant an experience, at least not for me. I'm out of practice at such games, but I knew it would have to be done sooner or later, and today was the test. I passed (play on words?) but I'm not so certain about my blood pressure.

But that's not why we're here. We're here because it reminded me of a halfbaked idea I had recently, and it's time to get it up on the board.

Sergeant Fletcher was an archer with the Assyrian cavalry in 865 BC who was well known for his ability to reliably put an arrow into a small specific zone in the backside of his opponents horse. While our current military was searching for an appropriate nomenclature for the in flight refueling system developed for aircraft, somebody told the tale of his skill and the name, like the arrow, stuck.

But that's not what this idea is about. This idea is about all those cars sitting on the freeway, burning fuel with no place to go, while road crews worked feverishly to remove a jackknifed semi trailer from lanes.

My bike was low on fuel as well, but I knew I had enough to get to work as long as I kept moving. But if I'd taken my car, I'd be sitting still, possibly behind one of those pre 1971 vehicles that are smog exempt in California, breathing the oil and unburned fuel that that generation of technology spews by design. I passed a few of them and the petrol scent was heavy.

With the Sergeant Fletcher automotive adaptor, the snorkel hose with the elizabethan collar is manually deployed by the driver and appoximately positioned.

The final approach to docking with the blackened tail pipe of the 1969 El Camino, pumping a pint of petrol through the Holly four-barrel every mile, is handled by the automatic positioning sensors, the design of which was cleanly ripped off from a combination of the smog sensor they put up your car's tailpipe when you go to get it certified every other year, and the feedback system from one of those claw toy vending machines crossbred with an electronic typewriter.

Once the docking collar is in place, the waste fuel and oil that the Ford F-250 is dribbling out it's worn out muffler extension feeds into the air intake on your late model partial zero emissions Toyota Serena. Your engine computer reads the now richened mixture and adjusts the fuel injectors to compensate, since it has been hardwired to only provide enough fuel for the moment.

If the contact is lost with the fuel donor vehicle, your car compensates until you can re-establish fuel saving contact with the 1935 Chevy flatbed in front of you, resulting not only in improved fuel economy but double efficiency on the air pollution index, since you are removing the excess petrochemicals that the 1956 Chevy was burping out and then running them through your own catalytic converter before passing them on to the atmosphere.

normzone, Jun 02 2014

No doubt a waste of fine petrochemicals as well... http://www.cbs8.com...-traffic-on-sb-i-15
[normzone, Jun 02 2014]


       You definitely need to mix that waste gas with fresh air before you try to burn it. The waste gas is seriously oxygen-depleted; that's a significant reason why it contains unburned hydrocarbons.
Vernon, Jun 02 2014

       I did not mention it, mea culpa, but thanks for pointing that out. I'm relying on the sketchy-at-best connection to the donor vehicle to allow some free air intake. I guess an additional in-stream 02 sensor and a burp valve would help.
normzone, Jun 02 2014

       Okay, here's maybe a dumb question. Traditionally a throttle worked by restricting the air into the engine, so at low power, there would be lower than atmospheric pressure in the cylinder after intake. Is that still true of modern engines? It seems like they could just let the full amount of air in but add less fuel, but maybe then you'd be running too lean and producing NOx. Since pulling a partial vacuum is a waste of energy, this idea has the benefit of reducing the power output of the engine by mixing in oxygen depleted air rather than restricting the airflow.   

       One issue is that your or my efficient little Toyota engine doesn't use nearly the volume of air that the truck in front is producing. Luckily there are a lot of efficient engines all around you, so whoever makes the connection should be sure to share excess exhaust with other nearby cars. And even if there aren't any inefficient cars around, could the throttle issue allow cars to idle more efficiently if sucking in some amount of hot oxygen-depleted air from a nearby car?
scad mientist, Jun 02 2014


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