We departed from Detroit, MI on July 31st 2007 and Ended up in San Francisco. CA a few days later
“Dr. Shawn Grannell at the western end of the 2,500 mile ammonia powered trip across America. August 2007”
How it works
One great thing about how our cars and trucks work now is how little we need to know in order to operate them. We put some gas or diesel in the tank, get in and drive away. How many people driving around really know or care how fuel injection is different than a carburetor? Not many. Driving the NH3 car is not really any different as a driving experience....but when you stop to fill up, there are two fuel tanks...one for gasoline and one for NH3.
Why two fuel tanks? Although we've become accustomed to gasoline, it's a remarkable substance. It carries a tremendous amount of energy in a small volume, and it's flammable...it bursts into flame or explodes easily under the proper conditions. The perfect conditions for gasoline are in a spark ignited internal combustion engine. Ammonia is a much less active fuel. It doesn't combust easily on its own. But, with a small amount of combustion enhancer (gasoline, diesel or pure hydrogen) mixed in, it burns and releases enough energy to drive the engine.
The technology that makes the NH3 Car possible is the control system that manages the perfect mixture of fuel for the amount of work the engine is doing (the load). At start and idle, the engine requires the flammable properties of gasoline, but as the vehicle accelerates (increasing the load) the fuel mixture transitions to predominately ammonia.
The Result: A vehicle you can drive just like you drive your car today, but with a radical reduction in carbon and greenhouse gas emissions.