This just in from the Science Fiction Technology Naming department… scientists at MIT are building a pollution mitigation device for diesel engines called a (wait for it) plasmatron fuel reformer. It works like this: some of the diesel fuel passes through the reformer, which forms a hydrogen rich gas, which is then combined with the diesel exhaust to lower the noxious nitrous oxide emissions. But that’s not the important thing. What really matters is, who came up with that fabulous name? I guarantee you the plasmatron reformer was named by someone with a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf crammed with paperback science fiction (“If you can just shut down the tractor beam, I should be able to knock the plasmatron fuel reformer offline.”). I hope this technology cuts pollution levels and all, but these guys deserve an award for the name alone.
2 thoughts on “Plasmatron reformer”
Hey…I know those guys. As for the name, the plasmatron has been around for a long time. This just takes it and runs fuel through the plasma to break out the hydrogen, hence a plasmatron fuel reformer. Makes perfect sense to me. Not sure how the combustion end works, but it looks like they are seeing 50% improvements in gas mileage. Pretty cool.
I’d like to know more information about this, I am a unversity teacher in wuhan university, China.
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