Tests are currently underway to test the effectiveness of a polymer petrol additive designed to increase mileage and engine power whilst cutting pollution.
Polyisobutylene, described at the 220th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, may be able to produce a 10% increase in horsepower and a 20% increase in mileage.
Paul Waters, scientific advisor to General Technology Applications, added that polyisobutylene may bring about a 70% decrease in emissions of carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides.
Polyisobutylene is said to be capable of changing the physical properties of petrol, differing from oxygenates such as MTBE.
Waters added that when petrol is sprayed in an engines combustion engine smaller hydrocarbons separate from larger ones causing the latter to burn incompletely.
General Technology Applications president, Jerry Trippe, believes that small quantities of polyisobutylene may reduce the separation of larger and smaller molecules allowing petrol to burn more evenly at a lower temperature.
Trippe also claims that fewer hydrocarbons will be left unburned because petrol containing polyisobutylene will burn more evenly. This development may lead to more energy being made available in the engine.
The polymer has been designed to work in all types of petrol and diesel engine.