Camille-Edmond & Irene LAURENT
" Irolene " & Steam-Dissociation Catalyst Fuels
The Bunbury Herald and Blackwood Express Friday 28 August 1925 )


The new motor fuel, 'Irolene,' which is said to be four times as powerful as petrol, and which it is expected to produce at a cost of something like a penny a quart, was submitted to exhaustive tests in Paris recently by a body of experts.

The manufacture of this remarkable petrol substitute was made possible by Irene Laurent, a girl of fifteen, who, having watched her father's fruitless efforts to find a solvent for the explosive irol, experimented on her own account, and succeeded where her father had failed. M. Laurent, by way of proving the qualities of 'Irolene,' invited a company of ten expert motorists and engineers to put it to a test. First they examined his motor car, and found that the only change made to adapt it for the consumption of 'Irolene' was the affixing of a small metal cylinder near the carbureter. Asked if he needed a special tank for his fuel, the inventor said this was not necessary, and by way of proving it he filled up his radiator with 'Irolene' instead of water. He then started up his engine, running it on petrol until it was warm, after which two of the experts present themselves shut off the petrol supply. From that point the engine ran entirely on 'Irolene,' which' in its liquid form is not explosive, and can only be fired after transformation by heat into gas. The car then started, with M. Laurent driving and five passengers. Several tests demanded by the experts were satisfactorily carried out, one of them in particular proving the extraordinary flexibility of the new fuel. This car, while running on top gear, was slowed down to three miles an hour, turned on its own ground, and was then let out to full speed, and all without changing gear.

'It means a revolution in motoring,' said a well-known motor manufacturer, according to the London 'Daily Telegraph,' and several of his colleagues agreed with him.

"Un autre carburant dérivé d'un explosif"

" L'Illustration " ( 21 March 1925 )

Popular Science ( June 1925 )
Chronicle (Adelaide, SA ) Saturday 17 October 1925, page 66
The Straits Times, 11 August 1925, Page 15


Too good to be true is the thought that obtrudes when one reads that a French chemist has perfected a motor fuel twice as efficient, bulk for bulk, as petrol, and of fractional cost; a fuel, furthermore, that does not heat the engine nor corrode the cylinders. Just how the miracle of heatless explosion is accomplished, is not stated in the report and some other details may perhaps be taken with a certain allowance for enthusiasm. Here they are: —

Seeing is believing, and Camille Laurent, a French chemist, has eye-witnesses to prove that he was able to drive a twenty five-horsepower car from Paris to Dieppe, a distance of about 125 miles, at a cost of five francs, plus twenty-five for oil which in English money in About six shillings.

His source of power was a new explosive substance known as irol, which was first discovered in powder form by the French chemist Muller in 1893. The chief difficulty to be overcome was that irol in its primitive form, was an explosive impossible to handle. Laurent, after many trials, succeeded in transforming this raw product into crystals which proved to be slightly radio-active.

Laurent next conceived the idea of reducing these crystals to a liquid form for use in explosive motors. His efforts met with success. Irol was transformed into gas, and already Lauront has encompassed the means necessary for utilising it in driving a car for a distance in excess of 3,000 miles.

In its liquid form iroline is said to be non-inflammable, exploding only in the form of gas. Neither the heat of the sun nor dampness nor movement affects it in any way. The claim is made that its composition is such that it can be obtained in any quantities in France at a cost almost nominal. However, it is claimed that to start up the motor it is necessary to use' petrol, but when the engine is sufficiently warm iroline is atomised and operates without further assistance.

St. Petersburg Times ( August 16, 1925, page 2 )

Popular Mechanics ( June 1925, pp. 918-919 )

Note -- "Irol" is unknown today. The following patents by Laurent are for a catalyst that dissociates steam for admixture with hydrocarbons for use as a fuel :
[ Machine translations ]


Catalyst for Dissociation of water Vapor and its Utilization for Obtaining a Combustible Fluid or Explosive

[ PDF ]


The invention described below relates to the composition and application of catalyst bodies to obtain the low water vapor the temperature of dissociation into its constituent elements of hydrogen and oxygen and its transformation into a fuel fluid may be
employed for heating including 'the steam engine boilers, lighting, and the power to all internal combustion engines or internal combustion.

By this proceeds the water is used as a combustible.  It is known that water vapor [ steam ] heated above 1100 [deg] is dissociated into its components H and 0 which do not recombine by cooling but give in contact with the electric spark an explosion with formation of water. The catalyst which is the main subject for this dissociation or transformation of the water vapor in its entirety not recombine by cooling.
This catalyst consists of the mixture in any proportions of three different body:

1. A body-friendly metal poisons such as arsenic salts, mercury, phosphorus, barium, sulfur, selenium, tellurium, boron, cyanides, oxalales, etc.

2. A carbon such as graphite, coal, coke, etc.

3. A salt. metallic lead, zinc, tin, antimony, bismuth, or derivative thereof, or alumina, silica, magnesia, etc.

The author of the invention has achieved good results with the following mixture:

10% As2 S5 or As2S2 [ Realgar or Orpiment ]
30% C
60% PbCO3 [ Lead Carbonate ]


8% HgI2 [ Mercury Iodide ]
32% C
60% SbCl5 [ Antimony Chloride ]

compressed into balls.

This mixture is used in a form such that the gas mixture to catalyze can easily pass therethrough, for example it can form a mass consisting of little balls or a porous mass in the form of briquettes or blades. .

The dissociation or transformation of the water vapor by the different catalysts occurs especially if the steam is mixed with a small amount of carbon material, such as gasoline, alcohol, benzene, acetylene gas lighting in general any hydrocarbon or any flammable gas.

Said carbonaceous body is preferably added to water vapor as gaseous fluid prior to its passage over the catalyst.

Then it form higher hydrocarbons and the resulting mixture may, with or without the addition of air burn freely, and be used for heating or lighting; or after being compressed, explode in the same way as any hydrocarbon with added air.

By way of example, described below and shown in the accompanying drawing an embodiment of a motor supply device to blast with a mixture of steam and hydrocarbon, all catalyzed.

On the intake pipe 1 of the engine 2 is disposed a chamber 3 containing the catalyst.

A water reservoir 4 feeds a coil 5 disposed inside the exhaust pipe 6 and opening at the inlet of the catalyst chamber 3.

A liquid fuel reservoir 7 having a pipe 8 which also leads to the entrance beyond the catalysis chamber 3 and a feeding tube 9 a carburetor nozzle 10, the tube 11 opens into the intake pipe of the motor.

The valves 12 and 13 are respectively disposed on the intake pipe 1 going to the catalysis chamber 3 and the opening in the open air above the nozzle 10 carburetor disposed on the pipes 9 and 8 of the fuel tank 7 and that of the water tank 4.

The engine operates as follows:

The start is done with the valve 12 closed., The open valve 13 and the valve 14 that is to say the start is done with the liquid fuel as in ordinary engines.

When the exhaust gas warmed sufficiently the coil 5 the valve 12 is opened and valves 15 and 16, the water evaporates in this coil and the saturated water vapor gas dissociates in the catalysis chamber 3 .

It then closes the essence of arrival carburaratéur 14 and the valve 13 to adjust the air supply.

The catalyzed mixture rich in hydrogen form a hydrocarbon well above those usually employed and, more or less admixed with air, allows a very smooth engine.

Gasoline can be replaced with any other hydrocarbon, also by acetylene, gas lighting; alcohol, benzene, oil and even pure hydrogen, and the same result is obtained.

The author of the invention obtained a proper functioning in an ordinary combustion engine and was able to keep the engine power by supplying it with a gaseous mixture of 50% to 80% water.

Nouveau carburant pour l'alimentation des moteurs à explosion et son dispositif d'utilisation

New fuel for internal combustion engines and power

[ PDF ]


The present invention relates to a fuel formed of a properly balanced mixture of acetylene gas from the calcium carbide, water vapor and atmospheric air to serve as fuel for all internal combustion engines or combustion such as gas engines, petrol engines, &c.

This mixture replaces oil, lean gas or coal gas, benzole, petroleum spirit, alcohols and hydrocarbons and all employees to date for the operation of internal combustion engines without exception.

The invention can be easily realized by supplying pure and simple three fluids acetylene, air and steam in predetermined proportions and under constant pressure to the orifice 'of the suction pipe of the engine, the only precaution being necessary to take the one hand, to prevent flame back on, an ignition of the mixture surprising within the portion of the intake pipe for mixer and secondly to avoid condensation of water vapor in said piping...

FIG. I is an elevational-view of the mixer.

FIG. 3 is a longitudinal axial section of pressure regulator of one of the sources, acetylene or water vapor.

In the drawing and FIG. I and 2; 1-. is the body of the mixer. 2 is the hot air inlet and 3 and 3a arrivals of acetylene and steam.

5 and 5a are needle valves for adjusting the maximum speed of the nozzles 3 and 30 ..

6 is a throttle controlling the admission of the mixture to the engine, the axis 9, is driven by the lever 8 controlled by the accelerator through a rod 710 is driven by a shaft connected to the lever 8 and comprises

Fig. 3 represents one of the pressure regulators:

16 is the regulator body. 17 and 18 are the inlet and outlet of gas. 19 is the piston of the regulator. 2o is a cone with seat 2 1 and stop 22, adjusting the flow rate and hence the pressure.

3 is a helical spring acting on the piston 19.

25 is adjusting the tension of the spring 2.

Dispositif d'alimentation de moteur en combustibles liquides ou gazeux avec ou sans mélange de vapeur d'eau

[ PDF ]


An engine with liquid or gaseous fuel feed, with or without water vapor mixture.

The invention described below relates to a gasified fuel supply device, or combustible fluids, with or without steam, can adapt to all internal combustion engines and mainly to automobile engines.

This device consists essentially of a heated cylinder or chamber located above or in the interior of -the exhaust conduit of hot gases from the explosion of the engine as close as possible flames exhaust.

This cylinder, or chamber, is filled with globular body.

At the rear end of the cylinder relative to the engine opens a pipe provided with a nozzle of the fuel used, oil, fuel oil, gasoline, alcohol, or a gas inlet valve when employing gas, acetylene gas lighting; pure hydrogen or fuel gas...

Water dissociation or catalysis permits to use with economy lourds- 60% of fuel oil, fuel oil, alcohol, vegetable or mineral oils or even gas as acetylene gas coal, all or derivatives.

The fuel economy is more or less according to the beads employed and ranges from 3 to 50 o/o.

These bodies are to exercise phenomenal catalytic actions; it is still unclear how the body and various mixtures of substances are able to perform this catalysis.

Catalyst for the Dissociation of Water Vapor and its Use for Obtaining a Combustible Fluid or Explosive

[ PDF ]


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