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Harry H. ELMER

300 MPG Engine









Popular Science Magazine (August 1922): "Will Mystery Engine Run 300 Miles on a Gallon of Oil?"

Harry Elmer: US Patent # 1,484,554; "IC Engine & Method of Operating Same"


Popular Science (August 1922)

"Will Mystery Engine Run 300 Miles on a Gallon of Oil?"

Three hundred miles on a gallon of oil -- 10 times the mileage possible for the usual present-day motor!

Such is the astounding record claimed for a crude-oil engine developed by Harry H. Elmer, of Syracuse NY for use in automobiles, airplanes, ships, and lighting systems. In experiments, the engine has generated sufficient power to run a battery of 18 incandescent lamps on 1-1/4 pints of oil, costing less than a cent.

Because this mechanical marvel does not require a cooling system, government officials, it is reported, are studying the possibility of its use in dirigibles.

Among more than 300 radically new features claims for the engine, the most important are these:

It contains only 64 parts and has only three adjustments.

It has no spark, carburetor, wiring, nor any sort of ignition.

The cylinder has a bore of 3-3/4 inches and a 6-inch stroke, yet the engine, it is said, has developed 200% more power than internal combustion engines of the same size, and will pick up almost instantaneously from 100 to 2800 revolutions a minute.

How the Motor Operates ~

The new engine is described as a 4-cycle motor, the cycles being suction, combustion, expansion, and exhaust. The crude oil is led through needle valves into mechanism, where it is compressed by the upward stroke of the piston. On compression the oil is "cracked" by chemical process and the expansion of gases takes place. As the piston is forced down, the exhaust port is opened, and the incoming charge forces out the expanded gases

There is no combustion in the cylinder, though hydrocarbon gas, escaping the exhaust, explodes on uniting with atmosphere.

The engine has been operated with equal success on mineral, animal, and vegetable oils.


US Patent # 1,484,554

"Internal Combustion Engine and Method of Operating the Same"

Harry H. Elmer

(February 19, 1924)

This invention has for its object a method of operating internal combustion engines, and an internal combustion engine operating in accordance with such method, which engine is particularly simple in construction, powerful and economical and highly efficient in operation and durable in use.

Other objects appear throughout the specification.

The invention consists in the method and in the novel features and in the combinations and constructions hereinafter set forth and claimed.

In describing this invention, reference is had to the accompanying drawings in which like characters designate corresponding parts in all the view.

Figure 1 is a fragmentary front elevation embodying my invention;
Figure 3 is a cross sectional view through the cylinder.

Figure 2 is an elevation partly in vertical section taken at a right angle to Fig. 1.

Figure 4 is a plan view of the head of the cylinder;
Figure 5 is an elevation of the head;
Figure 6 is a sectional view, parts being omitted, taken on line 6-6, Fig. 4.







Figure 7 is an elevation, partly in section, of the concentric exhaust and fuel valves.
Figure 8 is an end elevation of parts seen in Fig. 7;
Figure 9 is a detail view of the body of the exhaust valve;
Figure 10 is a detail view of the plug at the inner end of the exhaust valve;
Figure 11 is an elevation of the fuel valve;
Figure 12 is an end view thereof;
Figure 13 is a detail view of the control valve within the fuel valve.







Figure 14 is an elevation or plan view of the air intake pipe with the throttle or shutter;
Figure 15 and Figure 16 are end views of parts seen in Fig. 14 showing the shutter or throttle partly open and wholly closed.

Figures 17 and Figure 18 are elevations taken at a right angle to each other of the fuel or atomizing nozzle located within the intake pipes.

This method of operating internal combustion engine comprises generally, filling into the engine cylinder a combustion supporting atmosphere. Compressing a combustion gas above the pressure of such compressed atmosphere, raising the temperature of the fuel at or above the ignition point thereof, and injecting the gas thus formed into said atmosphere, so that the gas burns in the compressed combustion supporting atmosphere and hence develops the power for operating the engine.

The method may further comprise vaporizing or atomizing additional fuel in the combustion supporting atmosphere, that is, carburizing the atmosphere, which fuel is ignited and burns by the burning of the combustible fuel injected into the compressed atmosphere within the cylinder and hence boosts or increases the power of the engine.

More specifically, the method consists in compressing a liquid fuel in a confined chamber communicating through a jet opening into the cylinder, compressing the fuel in such chamber by the compression of the compression of the combustion supporting atmosphere in the cylinder under the influence of the piston during the compression stroke, until under such pressure and the heat generated, the fuel in the confined chamber, vaporizes and the pressure generated therein is greater than the pressure of the combustion supporting atmosphere so that the gasified fuel jets into such atmosphere and burns therein. After the engine is started the liquid fuel is volatilized in the generator chamber by the heat of the cylinder walls and its pressure increased above the pressure in the cylinder, so that it jets into the cylinder and burns in the air therein. Hence this method of operating the internal combustion engines such as here illustrated, in its entirety, comprises volatilizing the liquid fuel by heating the same in the confined chamber by heat generated during the operation of the engine thereby raising the temperature of the volatilized fuel and raising the pressure of the same, subjecting, through the jet opening communicating with the cylinder, the volatilized fuel in such chamber to the compression of a combustion supporting atmosphere within the engine cylinder during the compression stroke of the piston and thus additionally raising the temperature and pressure of the same above the pressure of such atmosphere and thereby causing the volatile fuel to jet into and burn in the compressed atmosphere in the cylinder and also causing the fuel in such atmosphere to burn.

The engine here illustrated is of the four cycle type and comprises the cylinder 1, the piston 2 movable in the cylinder and connected in the usual manner by a connecting rod 3 to the crank shaft 4. The crank shaft operates cams through gears 6 and 7, 8 and 9 are the cams on the cam shaft, they being shown as mounted on a stud 5.

The cylinder here shown is provided with a detachable head block 10 which is formed with an air inlet passage 11 which follows a circuitous course and loops around the exhaust port, and acts to cool the exhaust and also to heat the incoming air or the incoming air containing the atomized fuel. The circuitous inlet also sufficiently cools the head block which is unprovided with a water jacket.

The cylinder wall is provided with a water jacket 17 which opens at 18 through the top of such wall, and the head 10 closes the upper open end of the water jacket 17 so that the water washes against the underside of the margin of the head.

The water is taken into the jacket at 19 at the lower end of one side thereof, and the jacket is provided with a lengthwise extending conduit 20, Figs. 1 and 3 here shown as cast integral therewith, this conduit terminating near the top of the jacket and communicating at its lower end with an outlet pipe 21 on the other side of the cylinder.

The head 10 is secured in position by screws as screws 22 extending through the head, and threading into threaded passages 23 in the cylinder.

24 designates the confined fuel generating chamber which communicates through the jet opening 25 with the compression chamber of he cylinder, this generator chamber 24 being located in the wall or the head of the cylinder between the inner and outer faces of such wall or head so that the fuel in the chamber is volatilized by the heat held in the cylinder walls or associated parts. The generator chamber is here shown as formed in the exhaust valve 26 located in the exhaust port 16, although such chamber must be formed independently of the exhaust valve. By locating the generator chamber in the exhaust valve, it can be heated to a maximum extent and the cylinder head cooled to the necessary degree without cooling the generator materially.

27 is a fuel valve for controlling the flow of the liquid fuel into the generating chamber 24. Preferably, the exhaust valve 26 and the fuel valve 27 are arranged concentric with each other, the exhaust valve 26 having a tubular stem 28 extending upwardly from the generating chamber 24 through the head or a suitable bushing 29, and having a collar 30 near its upper end which constitutes an abutement for a spring 31 located on a bushing for holding the exhaust valve against its seat.

The fuel valve 27 is provided with a head 33 within the chamber 24, the head having a conical face which seats on conical seat on a wall of the chamber 24. This fuel valve also has a tubular stem 35 sliding within the stem 28 of the exhaust valve and extending above the upper end of the stem 28.

A spring 36 is interposed between the upper side of the collar or spring seat 30 and a collar 37 on the stem 35 of the fuel valve, this spring tending to thrust the fuel valve upwardly into its closed position.

The head of the fuel valve 27 is formed with a duct or passage38 leading through its seating face, and this duct is controlled, that is, the amount of oil or fuel to feed through this duct is controlled or measured by a needle valve 40 extending lengthwise of the tubular stem of the fuel valve and threaded through a cap 41 at the upper end of the stem 85 of the fuel valve.

In order to prevent the generator chamber from becoming air bound and to facilitate the flow of fuel thereinto said chamber communicates with the outer air and in the illustrated embodiment, the air passage is provided by flattening the stem 35 on one side forming a passage 35a. Said passage 35a is thus controlled by the head 33 of the fuel valve 27.

The jet opening 25 is here illustrated as formed in a plug 42 inserted in the head of the exhaust valve 26.

The jet opening 25 is here illustrated as formed in a plug 42 inserted in the head of the exhaust valve 26.

The stem 35 of the fuel valve 27 is connected to a suitable fuel supply or feed line, and as shown in Fig. 2, this stem is provided with transverse passages 43 opening into a chamber 45 surrounding the stem 35 and communicating with a passage 46a connected by a pipe 46 to a suitable tank or other fuel supply.

The chamber 45 is here shown as supported by a bracket 48 mounted on the head 10 of the cylinder and secured thereto in any suitable manner as by cap screws 49. Also, a suitable needle valve 50 is provided for regulating the flow of fuel from the pipe 46 and passage 46a into the chamber 45. The stem 35 of the fuel valve 27 slides in the bracket 48 through the chamber 45, and hence the valve stem is guided by the bracket.

The inlet 11 is provided with a suitable inlet pipe 51 having throttle means at its outer end and also means is provided for conducting the fuel into the intake 51, this means being here shown as an atomizing nozzle 52 arranged in the intake pipe 51 and connected to the fuel supply pipe in any suitable manner, as by a pipe 53 connected at one end to the passage 46a of the bracket 48 and at its other end to a nipple 55 on the nozzle 52.

The feed of the fuel to the nozzle is controlled by a suitable needle valve 56 associated with the nozzle 52. The nozzle as here shown terminated in a jet opening 57 arranged to project the jet against a spray plate 58 carried at the lower end of the nozzle.

The throttle at the outer end of the intake pipe 51 may be of any suitable construction, and as here illustrated, comprises a register or shutter 59 movable by a suitable lever 60 about an axis 61 and having openings as quadrantal openings 62 arranged to be brought into and out of alignment partly or wholly, with similar openings 63 in the end wall of the casing 64 for such throttle.

The exhaust valve 26 and the fuel valve 27 are operated form the cams 8 and 9, and the means for operating them comprises the cams 8, 9, rocker arms 65 and 66 mounted on an axis 67, like ends of the rocker arms pressing against the collars 36 and 37 respectively on the stems of the exhaust and fuel valves 26, 27, and the other ends of the rocker arms enacting with lifter rods which coact with cams 8 and 9.

As here shown, the lifter rods were concentrically arranged and the lifter rod 68 for the rocker arm 65 is tubular and the lifter rod 69 for the rocker arm 66 slides in the tubular lifter rod 68.

The rod 68 is guided in the suitable bracket 70 supported on the engine base and also this rod is formed in sections adjustable lengthwise relatively to each other as by a turnbuckle or other right and left hand screw thread connection.

In operation, during the suction stroke of the engine, a combustion supporting atmosphere or air is drawn into the engine cylinder. Also, the fuel valve 27 is opened to permit liquid fuel to pass through its hollow stem 35, the duct 38, into the generator chamber 24. During the compression stroke of the piston, the air is compressed in the cylinder and the pressure transferred through the jet 25 to the fuel within the generator chamber 24.

The pressure at first in the cylinder and in the generator chamber 24 is equal, but the fuel becomes hearted and expands under the pressure until the pressure in the generator chamber 24 is greater than that in the cylinder whereupon the now volatilized and heated fuel jets through the jet opening 25 into the cylinder and as its temperature is above the ignition point it burns in the combustion supporting atmosphere and creates the power to impel the piston on its power stroke.

At the end of the power stroke the exhaust valve is opened so that during the exhaust stroke the cylinder is scavenged. After the engine has been started the liquid oil in the generator chamber 24 is quickly volatilized by the heat of the exhaust gases and the heated cylinder so that the amount of fuel to be passed into the generator chamber can be cut down if desired by turning the needle valve 40.

To increase the power of the engine when necessary, that is, to boost the engine, the needle valve 56 can be opened more or less permitting atomized fuel to enter the cylinder with the incoming air or combustion supporting atmosphere. This booster charge is ignited by the burning of the charge from the generator chamber 24. At certain speeds and loads the booster charge is not used, and the booster may be used for quick acceleration or for peak loads.

When the booster charge is used, the engine is controlled by operating the throttle 59. For further reduction the valve 56 is operated to control the amount of fuel going into the air inlet 11: and for further reduction the initial charge to the generator chamber 24 is controlled by operating the needle valve 40.

The charge in the generator chamber may be sufficient to idle the engine, that is, to keep it running with the ordinary load or with no load. It is sufficient, however, that this charge be enough to create power to idle the engine and the booster charge taken in through the air inlet 44 relied on to create the power to do work. Also, when the engine is started and the idling charge taken in, the valve 38 Can be entirely cut off and the engine running solely on the booster charge taken in through the air inlet 11. During such operation, it is probable that, during the compression stroke, some of this charge enters the generator chamber 24 through the passage 25 during the compression stroke and is there volatilized and generated into a gas and forced back into the combustion supporting atmosphere in the cylinder by the increased pressure generated by the volatilization thereof, and hence burns in the cylinder and ignites the combustible charge therein. Preferably the generator chamber and its jet passage are proportioned to receive and volatilize a charge that will run the engine with the ordinary load for which the engine is built to carry, and the booster charge used there for acceleration and increased power.

An engine operating in accordance with my method is very easily started, develops high speed, and power, is very flexible or sensitive to the throttle, utilizes cheaper fuel as fuel oil, is economical in fuel as well as powerful, is much lighter in weight than other engines of the type not having spark plugs or ignition systems. In fact my engine is not heavier than engines of similar power using electric ignition to ignite the fuel charge in the cylinder such as engines used in motor vehicles. Owing to the light weight, high speed and power, and the flexibility of this engine, it is adapted for use in motor boats, motor trucks, and automobiles, as well as for stationary uses for which heavier engines are now employed..

What I claim is: [ Claims not included here ]




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