Soon after Herman was issued patents from the US Patent & Trademark Office, his work was mentioned in the London Times and the New York Times. |
In the October 2, 2000 issue of The New York Times, in an article entitled Patents...Amid public outrage over oil prices, how much progress on alternatives to fossil fuels? Alas..., Sabra Chantard writes: "In the last two years, only one patent has been issued that describes itself as a vehicle engine powered by alternative fuel...
The single patent was issued to Herman P. Anderson of Brentwood, Tenn. Mr Anderson developed an engine that runs on hydrogen gas, a fuel that has held some promise for years. Several other inventors have won patents using hydrogen to power small engines. But the gas is also problematic.
Because its mass energy density is low, hydrogen gas needs to be compressed to create useful energy levels. That makes it difficult to generate enough power to run a car. And though the gas is hard to ignite when it is cool, heating it can cause premature ignition and backfiring.
All of these faults are carefully described in the patent awarded last month to Mr. Anderson, his second patent for a similar technology. He says his engine overcomes the drawbacks of hydrogen with an adapter he installed between the sparkplug and cylinder in an internal combustion engine. The adapter contains a plug with a grooved surface and a protruding electrode. When hydrogen is forced through the adapter, it flows over the grooves and is mixed with oxygen taken in through a carburator. The grooves create a tornado of hydrogen and air that heads toward the engine cylinder.
"The stratified hydrogen-air mixture is compressed in the compression stroke of the engine via a piston and push rod, which are standard structures in an internal combustion engine," Mr. Anderson wrote in his patent. He uses a spark plug modified to create a hotter spark than necessary in conventional engines, so the voltage will be great enough to light the hydrogen.
He said his system would also "provide reduced or zero emissions of environmentally harmful gasses." Mr. Anderson received patent 6,119,651.
NY Times, October 2, 2000 by Sabra Chantard
From The Tennessean, Wednesday, November 29, 2000.
Brentwood inventor Herman P. Anderson, 83, has patented the hydrogen fueled engine that he has been working on for 18 years with help from Mark Beasley and other colleagues from Middle Tennessee State University. So far, their work has yielded a Murray lawn mower and a Chevrolet Cavalier equipped with hydrogen and gasoline hybrid engines.
Pictured above, the hydrogen powered race car developed at MTSU by Herman's colleagues Mark Beasley, Terry Young and Dr. Cliff Rickets. The car has set several world speed records for alternative fuel cars. For more info on Dr. Rickets and the alternative fuels programs at MTSU click the following link: MTSU |
From the Brentwood Journal, Wednesday, July 18, 1984
Brentwood man invents system
Car gets top mileage with water
By Bill Mitchum
Herman P. Anderson's 1969 Ford LTD gets 38 miles per gallon - of water.
That astonishing figure is the heart of a patent application for a hydrogen fuel supply and water injection system that Anderson has developed during the last two years at his Brentwood home on Hill Road.
Of course, there are several technicalities to explain. Anderson's system requires the mixing of hydrogen gas to mix with the water. The result he says, is in effect a "powerful steam engine."
"I could sell it now," Anderson, 67, said, "I've done a patent search on the improvements and there aren't any like mine on the market. The patent is pending without any infringements on anyone else."
The patent, which will take several years to process, wold be limited to any improvements Anderson makes on already patented hydrogen fuel supply systems - a point Anderson quickly concedes.
The existing patents differ from Anderson's application because they depend on refillable tanks of hydrogen connected to the carburator or manifold by pressurized lines.
The already patented systems also run only on hydrogen gas. Anderson says he has improved on that by injecting water vapor at the point of combustion to create a "steam engine" effect.
"The hydrogen as fuel is nothig new," the retired Air Force fighter pilot said. "It's the efficiency improvements that make this engine highly patentable. I'm generating my own supply of hydrogen right here under the hood."
The eight-cylinder Ford block can be switched from hydrogen fuel to standard gasoline with the flip of a switch on the dashboard demonstrating more flexibility than the existing hydrogen systems, Anderson noted.
Anderson has a long history of working with chemical and nuclear elements, yet has never taken formal training in the fields, he said.
He developed a welding rod that made the union of two types of metals easier and then sold the rights to the invention.
While living in Williamson County's Allisona Community in 1960, he developed a magnetic ion motor that uses radioactive particles as a power source, drawing interest from Arnold Engineering officials in Tullahoma.
"I'm basically self-taught and naturally interested," Anderson said.
Here is Anderson's account of the workings of his latest experiment:
Situated in a back corner of his car's engine compartment is a reservoir of ionized water, into which positive and negative electric terminals are placed.
When a charge is sent throught the water, the water molecules - H2O - split.
The oxygen atoms cling to the positive electrode while the hydrogen atoms, in an ionized state, are conducted through the solution to the negative plate.
There, the hydrogen atoms recombine under an electrical charge to produce H2 - hydrogen gas - which is collected and directed through a LP gas carburator into the manifold for distribution to the cylinders.
Also at the manifold, a fine mist of distilled water is injected.
"The water expands as steam when the gas ignites and gives the piston a good solid push all the wa down," Anderson said. "It's much more powerful than a gasoline engine."
Besides the increased horsepower, which has been measured on a dynamometer, Anderson contends that the engine runs about 20% cooler and produces only water vapor and nitrous oxide - laughing gas - as emissions.
The entire alternative fuel system has been intricately coordinated with the conventional carburator and timing system, making it possible to switch fuel sources while the engine is running, Anderson demonstrated with a toggle switch on the car's dashboard.
Anderson who sas he has been inventing since age 12, further demonstrated the engine by disconnecting the gasoline fuel lines and allowing the engine to deplete the fuel left in the carburator. He then switched on the electricity to the hydrogen gas generator and restarted the motor.
The automated system of colorful wires, tubes and water tanks under the hood of Anderson's green and white Ford sedan can be put together by anyone who has the right information and about $300.
The items that Anderson did not fashion himself from tubing and valves can be purchased from automobile parts stores that carry components for propane powered engines, Anderson said.
"That's why I waited so long to tell anyone about it," Anderson smiled. "I feel like I'm protected as bast as I can with my patent applications."
800 Clearview Drive
Nashville, TN 37205