Houston, TX

Device to prevent biodiesel from gelling at low temperatures

The Energy Institute High School InvenTeam invented a device to disrupt the formation of gel in B100 (100% biodiesel fuel) during cold weather conditions. B100 gels completely at 0˚ C making it unable to be used in freezing or near-freezing conditions. The invention diverts coolant, heated from the engine, towards the fuel tank in order to warm fuel. This system includes two 12 V devices – a control valve and a pump powered by the automobile’s electrical system. These devices use energy only when the main fuel pump draws more than 3 amps of current, which corresponds to a lab-tested threshold dynamic viscosity of approximately 2.8 mPa • s. The invention also incorporates a small rotary device located near the intake tube inside the fuel tank to agitate gelled fuel. This rotary device utilizes a 7-12 V motor that also operates only when fuel viscosity is at or above the stated threshold.

Recent Team Blogs

July 16, 2018
On behalf of Energy Institute High School, we would like to thank Lemelson-MIT for the opportunity and time the community has given to our InvenTeam. Throughout EurekaFest, we grew closer as a group and were able to meet wonderful students, teachers, and professionals from around the country. We...
May 8, 2018
We began our April by meeting with John Simon, an experienced engineer. He advised us to rethink our idea and introduced us to an antifreeze system. Due to a lack of equipment to make the necessary pressure and heat for a steam accumulator, we were unable to continue the idea given our time...
April 5, 2018
The month of March was a reflecting period for us, as we organized our next steps and collected feedback from the Mid-Grant Technical Review. We learned a lot from our audience regarding what improvements can be made on both the technical and financial side of our project, such as presentation...
March 8, 2018
The month of February was extremely important for us to make our project known to the Houston community. At the beginning of February, we attended and presented our project to the Houston Sierra Club, showing the feasibility and sustainability of our design. We presented alongside other young...
February 1, 2018
Our main focus of January was to prepare for the Sierra club event and Mid-Grant Technical Review which both take place in February (the 8th and 28th, respectively). We hope to get feedback from both presentations in order to improve our project before EurekaFest in June. Each subteam also had...
January 3, 2018
This December, the team attended our first Webinar, where we got to see and meet other teams across the country and voice any concerns and questions. From the start, Tony Perry addressed that the theme of the month was to “Build, build, build!” We updated the other teams about our...
November 30, 2017
During November, the club discussed traveling plans to EurekaFest, revamped our Constitution, designed our own InvenTeam shirts, and purchased important components to our invention. We are excited to continue our journey as we build our prototypes in the coming months. The first design...