Monday, January 19, 2009

FlowAir "Adjuvant" from "Anything Into Oil?"

Looking at the design of the MDI FlowAir dual-energy engine, the first thing most people notice is the compressed air system in which pressurized air powers the motor by physically pushing the pistons. No big deal at first glance. This concept is relatively understandable.

The second noticeable thing about the MDI FlowAir dual-energy engine is its ability to operate using alternative adjuvant fuels, such as biodiesel and alcohol.

These fuels are referred to as "adjuvants" because these liquids help or assist in powering the engines.

The main motor process still requires compressed air to propel the engine, but the compressed air is preheated externally just before entering the piston chamber. This heating or external combustion of the adjuvant fuel, provides expansion for the compressed gasses and acts as a pressure multiplier, increasing the total applied pressure of the compressed air to the pistons. What we end up with is a
HYBRID compressed air AND external combustion engine,
the basic essence of the MDI FlowAir dual-energy engine.

There are a few geographical situations that almost require the use of adjuvant fuels with the FlowAir systems. The first obvious reason is one of compressed air storage logistics. The basic operating range for a FlowAir dual-energy vehicle is around 180km unless an adjuvant fuel is used to boost the operating range. This would not necessarily be a problem if there were adequate compressed air filling stations available for the FlowAir vehicles, but if there weren't any available, it would severely limit the vehicle's mobility in terms of combined time and distance. With adjuvant fuels the logistics of travelling great distances would be much simpler, especially if compressed air was not available as a fuel source within the immediate area.

The second reason for using adjuvant fuel is the necessity for heating FlowAir vehicles operating within colder climates. One of the basic problems of northern latitude transportation is passenger cabin heat for the vehicle occupants and the ability to defrost windshields. Without a heat source, it is impossible to travel in colder temperatures without compromising occupant safety and environmental comfort. Operating any vehicle at low temperatures is a hazardous endeavor in itself, especially when visibility becomes an issue.

But what kind of liquids could be used as adjuvant fuels? Realistically, anything that can burn would be adequate for powering a FlowAir engine: gasoline, diesel, vegetable oils and alcohols. But what about products of thermal depolymerization?

Um... Excuse me!?! Thermal WHAT?

If you have never heard of this process, you're not alone.

Thermal Depolymerization is a relatively new concept from a company called Changing World Technologies, Inc. whereby waste materials are transformed into alternative forms of usable energy. They use a Thermal Conversion Process (TCP) to effectively convert any carbon-based materials into smaller, more basic molecular units which are separated and reformed into liquid fuels, fertilizer products, and specialty chemicals.

I first heard about thermal depolymerization in a 2003 issue of Discover Magazine that featured the conversion of organic waste materials from a turkey processing plant in Missouri. This was the initial development stage of the TDP process:

Gradually the whole process began to be perfected and a viable system of converting anything from sewage sludge and shredded automotive PVC residues into usable energy and chemical end products developed:

Essentially this is the process of converting carbon based waste products to usable liquid fuels - ANYTHING INTO OIL. This Thermal Conversion Process (TCP) completely mimics natural geological processes by pressurizing and heating carbon based materials to their chemical break-down points and reforming them into complex carbon molecules such as oil and gas. This process not only effectively shortens the chemical transformation process down to a matter of hours, it is also extremely efficient. Heat is required for the conversion process, therefore waste gases are collected and used to heat the input materials to conversion temperature. The end result is an approximate 80% or better efficiency rate of waste to liquid oil conversion. The resultant light oil produced by the TCP process is biodiesel.

This type of liquid fuel would be an excellent adjuvant fuel for FlowAir vehicles because of the heat or energy content of this biodiesel. This energy dense liquid would not only burn exceptionally clean as a fuel, it would also remain quite viscous (having the ability to flow, or a low viscosity) at low temperatures, unlike corn and canola recycled cooking oils. The process is entirely energy positive and converts any organic waste material into usable energy-dense fuels and harmless solids. We could effectively eliminate our garbage disposal problems and possible begin mining old garbage dump raw materials for conversion use.

"But why bother to use the FlowAir concept in the first place?", you ask. Why not just continue on using internal combustion engines such as diesel for this type of development?

The answer is quite simple; this is ultimately a question of efficiency. There is absolutely no possible way of maintaining our current fossil fuel usage rates world wide. Our current energy system will not come close to being able to maintain current production rates of gas and oil. Even with potential TCP facilities around the world, there is still have one major factor against current society, and that is TIME! These conversion facilities are energy intensive and costly to set-up and maintain so that even though they could generate a net energy output from the conversion process, it would take a very long period of time to construct each individual facility and this is a luxury that we don't have readily available.

So realistically, we still require shifting from oil-based economies just to be able to survive. The FlowAir technology is one of the basic tools allowing us to effectively utilise renewable resources. Wind and solar power can charge compressed air vehicles and equipment without having to rely on fossil fuels, and this type of system will be flexible enough for immediate implementation during the initial stages of our current infrastructure transition and replacement. The FlowAir dual-energy technology is an excellent choice because of the flexibility it provides for both transportation and power generation. Not only will renewable energy technologies like wind and solar be required for this transition, but some liquid fuels or "adjuvants" will also be required for special circumstances, depending upon climate and infrastructure availability.

As long as adjuvant fuels will be required for energy and transportation, it is a big possibility that the TCP process of converting ANYTHING INTO OIL will help us along the path of change...

AND hopefully in the near future we will bare witness to companies like MDI, IndraNet Technologies, ITMDI-Energy and Changing World Technologies working in unison to bring about the future of sustainability in our world....

...I think our children would appreciate the effort.

Welcome to the next generation of change.

More information on Changing World Technologies, Inc. and their Thermal Conversion Process (TCP) is available at:

Interview with Brian S. Appel, Charman and CEO of CWT:

Other reference materials:


  1. I Noticed a quotation on the Changing World Technology website from a supporter named Senator Barack Obama...

    Obviously this technology has attracted some very large scale political attention.

    To combine this TCP technology with the ITMDI-Energy model would be very interesting indeed... Together, these ideas could really advance the concept of long-term sustainability on so many levels...

    It's time to replace our failing fossil fuel economy with a new generation of technical innovation, but the real question is:

    "Are we up to the challenge...?"

  2. From:



    2008 oil recap. and what is next by Steve Austin - 2009/01/05

    It took only 5 months for the price of oil to plummet from $150 to under $40 in the second part of the year. Meanwhile oil consumption did not even decrease 10%, so what is the real cause of this collapse you may ask?
    Hedge funds. Let me explain.

    During the first part of 2008, Western economies were already slowing down noticeably and hedge funds gradually pulled trillions of dollars out of the market and parked them in energy ETFs. At the time Chindia's insatiable thirst for oil and the "decoupling" of east/west economies had many believe commodities were a "sure thing", a sound enough tangible insurance to protect overinflated assets scavenged from made-up bubbles. On top of that, by using leverage, profits were multiplied as oil went up, not a bad deal in a recession.
    But when the banking industry collapsed, hedge funds had to raise cash by "deleveraging", liquidating their leveraged energy ETF positions sending the price of oil tumbling. Anecdotally shorting of banking ETFs was suspended by the US Securities Commission during that time but not shorting of energy prices, and the leverage mania soon found an escape route in utrashort oil ETFs, compounding the speed of this downward spiral. By December 2008 the oil price had collapsed 75% and frankly, who would complain about cheap gas these days?
    As we enter 2009 the oil landscape has reversed dramatically from a year ago. The price of oil is lower than production costs and new exploration projects are being cancelled. China flush with cash is currently buying all the oil it can get its hands on to pump into its strategic reserves. Once arrogant OPEC countries are willing to sell oil at any price to fund government programs and prevent political instability.
    One constant however is the depletion of major oil fields, worse than predicted at 9.1% year over year as we close 2008. It's a matter of when not if the economy recovers and when it does, expect a strong bounce back in the price of oil.

  3. Very interesting!
    I have thought for many years that our kitchen waste and even what we leave in the toilet could be put at use in stead od being bconsidered as a nuisance. There is a cultural centre/theatre hall in the Netherlands that is fueled by the excrements of its visitors, and a whole village of 700 homes that gets its electricity and heating from 100 cows' droppings, in a farm nearby.
    Thank you!


Comments are always appreciated, yet moderated! All new comments will be reviewed before being posted, time permitting. Thanks ~ author...