07 August 2007

Solutions Not From Washington

All those folks who think all that is great and good comes from The State should consider news like this and recall it when they step into the voting booth.
In laboratory tests, these new boric acid suspensions have reduced by as much as two-thirds the energy lost through friction as heat. This could result in a four or five percent reduction in fuel consumption, according to Ali Erdemir, senior scientist in Argonne’s Energy Systems Division.

Four to five percent reduction in fuel use is nothing to sneeze at, given current gas prices, but I would think that it would also (much more) dramatically reduce engine wear, if it really reduces friction losses that much.

I think that we're in an era now in which cars become obsolete or unfashionable long before their engines (and probably transmissions) wear out. This breakthrough, if it works as advertised, will simply advance that trend.
So manny member of congress bang the gong of increased CAFE every session. That's both without imagination and any basis in thermodynamics. If only they'd read stuff like this, or Popular Mechanics or something not written by their political contributers they migth have an option to that one-note gong.

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