Ions Increase Fuel Efficiency

Ionic Fuel Technology is a small public U.S. company (NASDAQ-IFTI) with a device that substantially increases the efficiency of any hydrocarbon fueled burner. This is proven, operational, commercial technology that can be used/retrofit with any boiler technology, regardless of/in addition to other (emissions control) equipment. To date, operations and sales have been almost entirely in the UK and Europe.

Payback is invariably less than 24 months, and sometimes as little as 6 months. In the case of rental, the customer sees a positive cash flow immediately.

They have not yet done a large utility boiler, although PowerGen is about to undertake a field test on a 250 tons (steam)/hr boiler. The only activity in the U.S. was an experiment with AES on a fluid bed pulverized coal (PC) plant which was not successful. In fact, PC remains a challenge for the company–they suspect the injected charge might be canceled by the intense electrostatic activity of the powdered coal.

The company originally applied the device on diesel engines, and was able to demonstrate 10% fuel savings. They weren’t able, however, to interest the diesel engine makers. The opportunity remains, and could be particularly useful for gen sets and locomotives. The company has a small unit that would be directly applicable.

After seeing a Sept. 2 press release, UFTO contacted the company’s chairman, Mr. Doug Johnston (New Canaan CT, 203-966-6004), and learned that IFT wants to identify a joint venture partner for the U.S.

The company does not have a website, but SEC filings are available on line, and the company can send an extensive information package. Current market capitalization is just over $5 Million, with the stock price under $1 from a high last year over $5.


The company announced on September 1 that Texaco successfully completed a long-term (2 year) evaluation of the system. The previously purchased unit was installed on one of seven boilers located at Texaco’s 180,000 barrel per day Pembroke Refinery in South West Wales. The Foster Wheeler boiler is rated at 175,000 pounds of steam per hour burning heavy fuel and refinery gas. The IFT system increased the boiler’s thermal efficiency by 4.5 percent resulting in fuel savings of the same magnitude. Additionally, annual emission of greenhouse gas (CO2) was reduced by 2,700 tons and nitrogen oxide (NOx) by over 6 tons. The reduction in “greenhouse gas” and NOx emissions contributes toward Texaco’s objective of progressively improving the refinery’s environmental performance.

IFT and BP Energy have signed a Business Alliance after successful tests at a BP Chemicals 250 tons/hr boiler in the UK. BP Energy has ordered a unit on behalf of a Scottish paper mill. The company also has agreements with a service and marketing firm in Belgium, a long term rental agreement with a brewer in Germany, and has received orders from BMW and a UK brewer. A large pharmaceutical company in the UK has been using an IFT system for more than a year.

The system does not involve water or steam injection, chemical injection or additive, or an electric or magnetic field.

—- (From the company’s 10-K) —-

The IFT System, which is attached to a customer’s heating or power generation equipment, produces negatively charged ions (“Ions”) by passing an air flow over a body of vibrating liquid and into the combustion chamber or air intake of the customer’s machinery. The ionized air supply accelerates the normal combustion process. As a result of the improved combustion, the amount of air and fuel supplied to the burner can be reduced while still maintaining a constant measure of power output. This reduction of air and fuel decreases fuel consumption as well as the production of NOX CO and CO2 and when burning fuel oil, fireside coking and particulate emissions are also reduced.

The IFT System is self contained in a cube-shaped metal cabinet. The System’s interior mechanism vibrates the surface of a liquid contained inside the cabinet. The vibrating liquid releases negatively charged Ions that are then delivered to the customer’s equipment through a connection placed either adjacent to the boiler’s combustion chamber or to the boiler’s air intake mechanism.

The System is available in eight sizes ranging from 15″ x 12″ x 16″ to 43″ x 3 1-5″ x 35″. Such sizes are suitable for boilers generating from approximately 1,000 lbs. of steam per hour to approximately 96,000 lbs. of steam per hour. Multiple Systems are used when either the boiler has more than one burner or the boiler’s power generating capacity exceeds the capacity of the largest IFT System. The System generally requires only a routine servicing every six months and may be leased or purchased.

Typical performance results of the System reveal a reduction in NOx. emissions [up to 6%], a reduction in CO emissions ranging from 6% to 80%, a reduction in CO2 emissions ranging from 2 1/2% to 7%, a reduction in particulate emissions ranging from 6% to 40% and a reduction in fuel consumption ranging from 2 1/2% to 7%. The exact performance of the System depends upon the customer’s existing equipment and desired objectives; customers may achieve less favorable results or no improvement if their equipment requires repair or if fuel and air flows cannot be closely controlled. If NOx and CO emissions have been reduced by the use of other equipment, the System may be used to reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. CO2 emission reduction correlates directly with the fuel savings which the IFT System provides.

Final Meeting SEAB Elec. Reliab TF

From Paul Carrier, Task Force Staff Director (

Here is the draft agenda for the September 29 meeting of the DOE Task Force on Electric System Reliability. It is anticipated that the Task Force will conclude its work at this meeting with the approval of a final report.

Secretary of Energy Advisory Board – Electric System Reliability Task Force
Tuesday, September 29, 1998, 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM.
Georgetown University Conference Center,
Salon H, 3800 Reservoir Road, NW, Washington DC 20057

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richard C. Burrow, Secretary of Energy
Advisory Board (AB-1), U.S. DOE, (202-586-1709

The electric power industry is in the midst of a complex transition to competition, which will induce many far-reaching changes in the structure of the industry and the institutions which regulate it. This transition raises many reliability issues, as new entities emerge in the power markets and as generation becomes less integrated with transmission.
The purpose of the Electric System Reliability Task Force is to provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board regarding the critical institutional, technical, and policy issues that need to be addressed in order to maintain the reliability of the nation’s bulk electric system in the context of a more competitive industry.

Tentative Agenda
Tuesday, September 29, 1998
8:30 – 8:45 AM Opening Remarks & Objectives — Philip Sharp, Task Force Chairman
8:45 – 10:15 AM Working Session: Discussion of Draft Report –Facilitated by Philip Sharp
10:15 – 10:30 AM Break
10:30 – 11:45 AM Working Session: Discussion of Draft Report –Facilitated by Philip Sharp
11:45 – 12:00 PM Public Comment Period
12:00 – 1:30 PM Lunch
1:30 – 2:30 PM Working Session: Approval of Final Report –Facilitated by Philip Sharp
2:30 – 3:30 PM Closing Comments by Task Force Members
3:30 – 3:45 PM Closing Comments by DOE Representatives
3:45 – 4:00 PM Public Comment Period
4:00 PM Adjourn
This tentative agenda is subject to change. The final agenda will be available at the meeting.

Rel. TF Paper-Federalism in Transmission

Another paper from the DOE Reliability Task Force just arrived. I have then pdf file if you want it — should be posted shortly on the SEAB website.

| ** UFTO ** Edward Beardsworth ** Consultant
| 951 Lincoln Ave. tel 650-328-5670
| Palo Alto CA 94301-3041 fax 650-328-5675

Issues of Federalism in Transmission System Reliability
A Position paper of the
Electric System Reliability Task Force
Secretary of Energy Advisory Board
July 9, 1998

Our federal system shares institutional responsibility for ensuring North American grid reliability; this paper addresses the role of state and regional authorities. Our focus is issues of siting and non-federal price regulation that have significant reliability implications. We address both constraints and opportunities. We also acknowledge an important threshold issue: whether the grid itself retains natural monopoly features that justify a continuing government role in regulating the prices of grid services.

If, as some believe, grid construction and maintenance lack compelling natural monopoly characteristics, regulated systems of cost recovery may not long endure at state or other levels. Acknowledging this viewpoint, the Task Force nonetheless believes that this sector’s monopoly aspects remain robust enough to justify improving rather than dismantling price regulation. And we are concerned that state and federal regulation is not doing enough to promote and shape sound investments in grid reliability.1 We also support an increased role for regional institutions that can help states resolve issues that transcend their individual boundaries.

Our paper is organized in four sections below. In section I, we begin with a critical review of state and local responsibility for transmission siting and evaluation of transmission alternatives. In section II, we then explore state roles in cost recovery and incentives for transmission enhancements, including but not limited to new transmission. The third section addresses states’ participation in existing regional reliability organizations. The final section is a summary of the papers recommendations.

DOE Reliability TF paper on T&D

The Department of Energy’s Electric System Reliability Task Force has written a position paper, “Incentives for Transmission Enhancement”. The report indicates that a need exists for the construction of more power lines to relieve congestion, and that regulators should provide incentives for their construction. In the report, the Task Force reviews the nature of transmission and the challenges facing transmission companies in a deregulated electric industry. The report concludes that the main concern facing grid reliability is the need for stronger state and federal-level regulation to promote sound investments.

The report and earlier materials are available on line:

Electric System Reliability Task Force – Minutes and Reports

Ninth Meeting – Minutes from the ninth meeting (May 12, 1998).
Eighth Meeting – Minutes from the eighth meeting (March 10, 1998).
Seventh Meeting – Minutes from the seventh meeting (January 1998).
Sixth Meeting – Minutes from the sixth meeting (November 1997).
Fifth Meeting – Minutes from the fifth meeting (September 1997).
Fourth Meeting – Minutes from the fourth meeting (July 1997).
Third meeting – Minutes from the third meeting (June 1997).
Second meeting – Minutes from the second meeting (March 1997).
First meeting – Minutes from the first meeting (January 1997).

Incentives for Transmission Enhancement (in PDF) (August 1998)
Transmittal Letter to Walter Massey, Chairman of SEAB (in PDF)
Technical Issues in Transmission System Reliability (in PDF) (May
Transmittal Letter to Walter Massey, Chairman of SEAB (in PDF)
Ancillary Services and Bulk-Power Reliability (in PDF) (May 1998)
Transmittal Letter to Walter Massey, Chairman of SEAB (in PDF)
The Characteristics of the Independent System Operator (March 1998)
Transmittal Letter to Walter Massey, Chairman of SEAB
Table: Roles, Functions and Relationships of Various
Institutions with ISOs
Task Force SRRO Letter Report (November 1997)
Task Force Interim Report (July 1997)
Transmittal Letter to Walter Massey, Chairman of SEAB

For more information on the Electric System Reliability Task Force, please contact:

Richard Burrow
DOE, Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (202) 586-7092

VSAT satellite datalink

The following note is from an acquaintance of mine at Lockheed Martin Telecommunications, in Sunnyvale CA. If you are interested in more information, or would be willing to be interviewed, please contact Doug Graham directly.

VSAT stands for Very Small Aperture Terminal, referring to 18 inch dish antennas.


VSAT Survey

Lockheed Martin is contemplating deployment of a geosynchronous (GEO) satellite network which will offer bandwidth-on-demand asymmetric services suited to high rate or bursty data traffic. We have retained the management consulting firm KPMG to assist with a market survey of potential users.

The satellite network will be interoperable with terrestrial wireline and wireless networks and offer service at datarates of 27 Mb/s (Mega bits per sec) outbound to selected user terminals (i.e. multicast) and 2 Mb/s return (i.e. backhaul) from each user terminal to a central ground station hub. Hubs can be either dedicated to a single user or shared with multiple users. User terminals will have antenna diameters of about one meter. The system will provide user-selectable security and Quality of Service attributes for both data and video services.

One of our hypotheses is that there are niche markets in a number of industries where a 2 Mb/s backhaul channel has value. Applications could include: central monitoring of multiple remote (moveable) video surveillance units, SCADA data (or data-time histories) aggregated from multiple sources, alternate trusted path for backup control or disaster recovery and collaborative work involving constant transfer of large data files between colleagues at dispersed locations.

Would you be available for a brief 45 min interview by KPMG and Lockheed-Martin business development staff? Time and location at your convenience. In return, we would be willing to share the results of our primary research study.

Sincerely, Doug Graham, Partner Development Manager,
408-543-3326, pgr 800-725-5079,