National Geographic

VOICES Voices Icon Ideas and Insight From Explorers

Menu

Shaving Emissions

tow_23june08_479x210.jpgBy Shannon Arvizu

We live in an exciting time for alternative car technologies. Innovations to increase energy efficiency and decrease unhealthy emissions are emerging at a rapid rate. From the popular Toyota Prius to the sexy Tesla Roadster, new green cars use less (or no) petroleum while satisfying driver demand for top performance.

Purchasing a new green car, however, may not be the greenest choice – particularly if your current vehicle works fine. Proper maintenance of your car (such as properly inflated tires and regularly scheduled filter changes) helps, as does driving at a moderate speed (see fueleconomy.gov for more tips).

A new product on the market, Sabertec’s Blade, may also give your car a boost. The Blade is a small attachment that connects to your car’s tailpipe. It improves the air flow in the catalytic converter and acts as a filter, capturing toxic exhaust particles that would otherwise circulate into the air. It was originally developed in Curitiba, Brazil (known as one of the greenest cities in South America) for city bus use and has since been adapted for passenger vehicles.

So, just how much cleaner and more fuel-efficient can your car be with Blade? An extensive review by Automotive Testing and Development Services Inc. (an independent lab licensed by the California Air Resources Board) found that Blade improved fuel efficiency on a 2004 Honda Civic an average of 2.7 mpg/city and 5 mpg/hwy. Blade also reduced the CO2 emissions of this vehicle by up to 12 percent.

Blade works best on four -cylinder cars like Honda Civics or Toyota Corollas, but has also shown improvements in light-duty trucks, sedans, SUV s and hybrids. Keep in mind, however, that Blade will only fit on a 1 7/8s- to 2 -inch tail pipe and can be damaged by extreme driving. You can install Blade yourself or have an authorized installer do it for you. Blade retails for $199. For more information, see bladeyourride.com.

Comments

  1. John
    June 24, 2010, 7:13 am

    Well this is reasonable one. Instead of manufacturing all new green gadgets and gizmos that would ultimately empty our pockets, this sounds good and surely appreciable.
    san Francisco movers

  2. Linda
    May 25, 2010, 3:31 pm

    I hope much more techniques have to be adopted to enhance this idea of emission control. In addition to four wheelers, Blades should be designed for two-wheelers too. Good innovation!!
    Chicago Movers

  3. jake
    April 17, 2010, 3:18 am

    i am definately getting a blade after reading this
    rude jokes

  4. teppy
    February 12, 2010, 4:35 am

    for reducing vehicle emissions Toyota (toyota oem parts) conducted a mandatory vehicle emission and repair program (VEIP) known as vehicle emissions inspection program.

  5. teppy
    January 27, 2010, 1:34 am

    nice blog about emissions. thanks

  6. admiralbrown
    December 11, 2008, 9:52 am

    I watched the Sabertec’s video on how it works and it they don’t give any science, just vague generalities. They present theories and then their own solutions that sound “truthy”.
    1)The Blade somehow filters out particulates and “Toxic” emissions. Do we need to clean the Blade, or do the particulates just disappear.
    2)Somehow the Blade causes the catalytic converter to heat up faster to reduce start up emissions.
    3)Then the video mentions “Reversion” energy waves that it somehow reduces them.
    If it was this easy and cheap to reduce emissions and get better gas mileage then all the auto manufacturers would be using this type of technology.
    Sorry this reminds me of the Tornado from late night TV infomercials, gas line magnets and “Snake Oil” as ways of getting better gas mileage.
    There are guys putting a couple of ounces of acetone in each tank of gas and swear it increases their mileage. The acetone supposedly reduces the viscosity of the gas so that it flows and burns better. If it was that easy all the oil companies would be adding acetone.
    Sorry better science or at least some science is needed if they want me to believe. Faith is for religion, fact is for science.

  7. Anton's Profile
    October 30, 2008, 2:44 pm

    This is great!