Inventor of the Week Archive
for a different Invention or Inventor
Rudolf W. Gunnerman of Reno, Nevada has invented a safe, inexpensive, environment-friendly fuel that could revolutionize transportation and counteract the world's most prevalent source of pollutionthe 3 billion gallons of petroleum burned every day world-wide.
Gunnerman came to the US from Germany in 1949, with 21 years behind him and only $20 in his pocket. After much time and effort, his engineering skills and innovations, including a patented process for burning wood pellets (1976), made him a great success.
In 1987, Gunnerman began to apply his talent and his fortune to water-based fuels. Though it is proverbial that oil and water don't mix, Gunnerman invented a special emulsifier additive that overcomes that problem. He has created workable mixtures of alcohol and water, gasoline and water, diesel fuel and water, and most recently (1992) water and naphtha, an even cleaner-burning petroleum derivative. These are known collectively as A-55® Clean Fuels.
Gunnerman's fuels could reduce pollutant emissions an average of 50 percent, while improving efficiency in vehicles over 25 percent.* The fuels are safer than gasoline, being flame-resistant outside the engine. The A-55® Fuels can even reduce water pollution, since contaminated water produced by crude-oil refineries can be used as their water base. Gunnerman's fuels can be manufactured and distributed using current facilities, and can be used in any open-flame or internal combustion enginein fact, they can be used in most existing cars after only $300 of mechanical adjustments.
Gunnerman has had great success with the transportation and utilities companies already using his fuels. Oil companies also look with favor on his fuels, since they offer relief to the petroleum market in light of tightening emission regulations. He now holds seven US patents and many more from other countries; he has active or pending licensing agreements in Australia, Korea, Mexico, and elsewhere. Rudolf Gunnerman continues to move toward his goal of making his revolutionary fuels available to the world.
To read about another environment-friendly inventor, see our profile of Patricia Billings
*A-55® L.P. is the source for this information. The Lemelson-MIT Awards Program and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology cannot guarantee the accuracy of the statement.