As fuel prices continue to rise it is essential that the world uses less, is very much more efficient while also cutting emission rates, thereby reducing air pollution and greenhouse gases.
There is one early-stage company that is developing products that look to reduce those toxic emissions from the use of all liquid hydrocarbon fuels. At the same time its aim is to provide higher efficiency in fuel consumption.
When too little oxygen is available there is inefficient burn, causing greenhouse gases and increased particulate matter to be produced.
That UK-based company is the SulNOx Group, it is a greentech company which has declared that its mission is ‘to provide immediate and tangible progression towards carbon neutrality for hydrocarbon fuel users – saving money whilst saving the planet.’
Slow developer that is now speeding up
It has taken some time, but it is becoming apparent that this £18.5m capitalised company is really getting its act together.
After a number of fund-raising rounds over the last few years, its management is beginning to see just how good its market potential really is on a global basis.
The company has developed its technique from an original formulation which was invented in the early 1990s by James Redman for use in the printing industry in South Africa.
As an owner of a small printing company, he saw emulsification as a way of washing ink from the printing plates and he developed a formulation using locally available ingredients.
After his printing business closed down, the emulsifier formulation was left in Redman’s ownership.
Developing emulsifier for fuel
Some years later it occurred to him that the same formulation could well be adapted to emulsify fuel.
In 2012 he introduced the concept to the original founders of SulNOx, who identified that it could have commercial potential.
Tests of the initial emulsifier technology showed that it could be added to Heavy Fuel Oil with additional water and without engine modification.
This was shown to improve the fuel burn and therefore, combustion efficiency, leading to reduced fuel consumption and reduced toxic emissions, particulate matter and other air pollutants.
The company’s unique chemical formulations help to reduce maintenance costs on engines, to extend the life of engine oil and lower viscosity.
Patents applied for across the world
Patents have subsequently been applied for in over 70 countries around the globe.
The range of SulNOx Group’s green products includes the revolutionary SulNOxEco™ Fuel Conditioners, which improve combustion in light fuels including gasoline, regular diesel, marine diesel oil, marine gas oil, biofuels including hydrotreated vegetable oils and kerosene.
Industries currently benefiting from using SulNOx include haulage, van fleets, shipping, oil companies, fuel storage and distribution, waste/reclamation, mining, generators, agriculture and construction.
Created from natural, biodegradable ingredients, SulNOx additives emulsify water and increase lubricity and oxygen, therefore making fuel burn cleanly and more efficiently.
In essence, using its products means a more complete burn of the fuel, converting current waste particulate matter into useful energy while lowering emissions.
Most 'traditional' fuel additives are made from waste distillates and solvents, which gives false efficiency. SulNOx benefits from added detergents and surfactants, which help to condition the engine and other components and keep them in prime working order.
The presence of water can have damaging effects on engines, filters and other critical parts, as well as issues from storage such as diesel bug.
To solve this pervasive problem, the company invented the SulNOxEco™ Fuel Conditioners, which take water already present in fuel and perfectly disperses it throughout the fuel.
These microscopic water droplets then vaporise in the combustion chamber, exploding large fuel globules into smaller droplets, increasing the surface area of fuel available to mix with oxygen.
The SulNOx formulation also releases additional oxygen to improve combustion efficiency, thereby reducing emissions and fuel consumption.
Additionally, the detergent properties remove deposit build-ups, clean the filters, fuel lines, exhaust gas recirculation systems and other engine parts whilst adding 30% lubricity into the fuel, reducing wear.
Significant reductions in SOx, NOx, CO, CO2 and particulate matter are realised, along with improved fuel economy and reduced maintenance costs said to be by 8-10% in Euro 6 and older commercial vehicles.
International distribution possibilities
In the last year the group has worked strenuously upon opening distribution partnerships on a global basis.
The sales pipeline is believed to be building up, the company has over 750 customers currently involved in the order process.
Showing the international appeal for the group’s products, it is said to be discussing and securing orders from customers, introducers and distributors, not only in the UK but also in the USA, Mexico, Germany, Greece, Canada, Japan, Australia, Chile, Nigeria, the Philippines and India.
Global marketplace – transport, marine, power and other sectors
It is said that the world burns some 100m barrels of oil a day. One of the biggest users of oil is the marine sector.
Heavy fuel oil is a by-product of the crude oil refining process containing the residual contaminants removed from the lighter oils. This makes it much cheaper than other lighter marine fuels and is the main reason it is deployed in marine engines.
HFO is predominantly used in shipping and by fossil fuel-burning power station operators. It is estimated that there are as many as 50,000 commercial ships in the world, of that number it is possible that half use HFO.
Understandably shipping represents one of the company’s biggest markets.
One large bulk carrier ship is thought to emit similar quantities of air pollutants in a year as those produced by 50m cars.
Heavy fuel oil can contain up to 3,500 times more sulphur than vehicle diesel.
Internal tests show HFO blended with SulNOx burns more cleanly leading to a 7% better fuel efficiency, to a 20% reduction of soot and smoke emissions, the reduction of carbon-build up and fouling in engine components, a reduction of sludge in fuel tanks, leading to reduced maintenance and replacement of parts.
The Carbon Intensity Indicator regulation is due to come into force in January next year, with the industry expecting as much as 70% of the global shipping fleet not being compliant and now urgently seeking solutions to reduce emissions and fuel consumption.
Many ship owners are talking of having to reduce vessel speeds to become compliant, which obviously comes at great commercial cost.
However, with the proven improvements in fuel efficiency, power and torque from using SulNOx in fuels, that offer immediate, green solutions and the company is already seeing increased client interest.
Global Economy Initiative
The International Energy Agency last November issued its Global Economy Initiative.
In that report it stated that the world “requires a rapid acceleration in the fuel economy of vehicles” – well that is just where SulNOx looks to help.
One such example of a company using a SulNOx developed innovative fuel conditioner product is Besblock, a Shropshire-based construction industry organisation.
Impressively it has seen a significant reduction in fuel consumption and maintenance costs across its transport fleet over an 18-month period. Consumption improved by between 5% to as much as 8%, reducing emissions considerably.
The motorsport sector is another useful example.
The Legend Cars National Championships kicked off at the start of last month, with the group having tied up an agreement that all cars lining on the grid for the series will using SulNOx fuel conditioners to reduce the vehicles’ impact on the environment.
There are some 45 races in the series concluding at Brands Hatch in early November, with all of the cars racing to be SulNOx liveried.
Parliamentary Select Committee sees benefits
In reply to a UK Parliament-appointed Transport Select Committee subject concerning the UK’s future fuel policy and sustainability targets, the group has highlighted its new, risk-free, route to immediately contributing to decarbonising the UK’s hydrocarbon liquid fuel consumption.
Its products create significant environmental and economic benefits, delivering on the committed decarbonisation targets by decreasing UK road emissions equivalent to removing 5m cars from the roads.
Ben Richardson, the company’s Chief Executive, stated that
“By taking what is a relatively simple step, such as adding SulNOx to your fuel when you fill up, you could make a significant difference. The amount of each ‘emission’ depends on the quality of combustion. When too little oxygen is available there is inefficient burn, causing greenhouse gases and increased particulate matter to be produced. SulNOx, amongst other things, increases the amount of oxygen available to the fuel promoting cleaner combustion.”
The group is getting a US quote, widening investor appeal
The SulNOx Group, which started in 2013, has some 94m shares issued, with hundreds of private investors as shareholders and recently joined by a number of investment professionals and institutions.
The group’s shares are quoted on the APEX segment of the Aquis Exchange, under the SNOX code.
However, an indication of its perceived potential is identified in its recently stated aim of obtaining a US OTC Market quote for its shares.
That will not only help equity dealing interest for investors with such a widening market, but a US quote will also help to heighten the group’s profile quite considerably, especially as its development and global acceptance grows apace.