One of the problems dogging carmakers is that incomplete burning of fuel depresses mileage as well as raises toxic emissions. Now, Charged Injection Corp., a tiny company in Monmouth Junction, N.J., has a technology that could boost combustion in both auto and jet engines -- increasing fuel efficiency and lowering pollutants by up to 15%.
The device is an electron gun that can be incorporated into the fuel-injection system of cars and planes. Using a small electric current, the charger shoots electrons into the fuel. This creates an electromagnetic field -- spreading gasoline, aviation, or diesel fuel into self-repelling, uniform droplets. Because the droplets are identical and much smaller than the pockets of fuel typically fed into engine cylinders, they are burned more efficiently. A major aerospace company will test CIC's system in jet engines -- and the company is talking with several carmakers about similar ventures. Commercial products using the technology could be on the market by 1994.