After a rainy night at the soccer field --where my 9 year old's team won their 6th game in their last 7 and the one loss came after blowing a 4-0 lead--I sat down to watch my 'tape' of Mythbusters from Wednesday--forget the internet, and PCs, I'm now convinced that DVR/TIVO is THE greatest invention of my lifetime.
Last night, Adam and Jamie set out to bust the myth that oil companies and car companies are in cahoots to keep fuel efficiency down. Even though they tried to use their version of science, in the end they used an economic argument to disprove the myth.
They actually set out to test whether aftermarket packages--or underground devices--can significantly increase fuel efficiency. They looked at magnets, acetone as a gas additive, super duper carburators promising 300mpg, a home-made fuel cell, vegtetable oil, and even straight hydrogen as a fuel. So what worked? Well nothing--sort of.
The magnets, acetone and super carburator all reduced gas mileage. The home-made fuel cell produced tiny hydrogen bubbles from water, but nowhere near enough to even start a car let alone run it. The vegetable oil worked fine as a substitute for diesel, but not to increase fuel efficiency (it was about 10% less efficient). Pure hydrogen gas blown into the carburetor of an early 80's car did run the car--so hydrogen gas would work as a fuel in an internal combustion engine, except for the small explosion problem.
Anyway, in the end, they found that none of the devices increased fuel efficiency thereby 'scientifically' busting the myth. Then Adam casually dropped this line:
"Look, if there were a cheap way to dramatically increase fuel efficiency, someone would have taken advantage of it by now."