A vapor carburetor is an invention meant to vaporize gasoline before it goes through the engine so that it may burn more efficiently and completely. The vapor carburetor is mainly theoretical. Some say that if it could be built, it may increase fuel mileage in automobiles by 200 miles per gallon or greater.
To understand this type of carburetor and how it could work, it is first necessary to have a basic understanding of what a traditional carburetor does. The job of a carburetor is to ensure there is a proper mixture of gasoline and air into the engine so that combustion occurs efficiently. Too much air and the automobile could not run or damage the engine in trying to run. Too much fuel and it will run rich, leading to the vehicle running rough or flooding out and stalling.
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The carburetor is no longer used in most newer cars. It has been replaced by fuel injection systems, which are said to be more efficient and lead to improved fuel mileage and lower emissions. However, in many other small-engine applications, such as lawn mowers, chain saws and other types of equipment, carburetors are still in use.
The vapor carburetor was said to be invented by Charles Nelson Pogue between 1928 and 1935 and is often referred to as the Pogue carburetor. Early reports on the carburetor suggested it could get as much as 200 miles by only burning a single gallon of fuel. These reports were backed up by claims from different Canadian car dealers about greatly improved fuel mileage.
This has led some to wonder why the carburetor is not in use today. The reason is simple. The carburetor, if it ever existed, was never able to get the type of fuel mileage it claimed.
Since the story first appeared decades ago, rumors have continued to spread about the invention. Some say major oil companies, afraid of such an invention, quickly buy all the patents for vapor carburetors. This effectively keeps this carburetor from being offered to the masses. However, these theories have been proven false time and time again. Still, they make good conversation for conspiracy theorists.
Engineers say that a vapor carburetor, even if it were built and put into widespread use, would never get the kind of fuel mileage being claimed. Today, fuel combustion in gasoline engines exceeds 97 percent. This means any improved carburetor would, at best, only be able to offer a 3 percent improvement in fuel economy. Instead of more efficient combustion, automakers are looking at other ways to improve fuel economy.