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Save the World Air (STWA) has developed magnet-based devices, including its Zero Emission Fuel Saver (ZEFS™), that it claims can improve vehicle fuel economy and reduce emissions. These devices are designed to be fitted as original equipment onto internal combustion engines or to be retrofitted onto existing engines. STWA asked the RAND Corporation to help develop a plan for assessing the technical basis required for successful commercialization of ZEFS. STWA also sought RAND’s advice in examining potential market opportunities for ZEFS. This report summarizes RAND’s analysis of these two issues, concluding the following. Application of magnetic fields has not been shown in the literature to lower the viscosity of automotive fuels. Along with empirical testing, establishing a theoretical basis underlying the effect of magnetic fields on fuel viscosity, surface tension, and atomization might provide useful information for developing and evaluating magnetic field-based fuel treatment devices. So far, the test results for use of the device are, at best, mixed. Should further laboratory analysis and in-use testing provide clearer and more positive outcomes, the market potential for the device will depend significantly on the advances realized from other technologies and regulatory policies and on its cost-effectiveness relative to other outcomes.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Understanding the Scientific Basis of the ZEFS

  • Chapter Three

    Results of Vehicle Tests

  • Chapter Four

    Identifying Markets for the ZEFS Device

  • Chapter Five

    Findings and Conclusions

  • Appendix A

    Selected Publications Relating to Magnetic Treatment of Fuel

  • Appendix B

    Results of Two-Sample t-Tests on Data from California and Thailand Testing Laboratories

The research described in this report was conducted under the auspices of the Environment, Energy, and Economic Development Program (EEED) within RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment (ISE).

This report is part of the RAND Corporation technical report series. RAND technical reports may include research findings on a specific topic that is limited in scope or intended for a narrow audience; present discussions of the methodology employed in research; provide literature reviews, survey instruments, modeling exercises, guidelines for practitioners and research professionals, and supporting documentation; or deliver preliminary findings. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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