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EPA Tests Find that Fuel Stabilizer, Alleged Emissions Control Device, Does Nothing
Release Date: 07/13/2000
|(#00131) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The Fuel Stabilizer, widely advertised as reducing vehicle emissions and improving fuel mileage, was tested by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and found to have no effect on either, according to EPA. The device is manufactured by Inset Industries of Oakland, New Jersey. Inset claims that the Fuel Stabilizer "aligns fuel and air molecules as they pass through the stabilizer’s energy field," and says the principle behind fuel stabilization "is not in the books of physics or chemistry."
EPA’s National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory tested the after-market device at the request of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs (NJDCA). NJDCA purchased the fuel stabilizer directly from Inset. EPA installed the device in the gas line following the manufacturer’s instructions. Inset Industries was invited to make the installation itself, but declined. EPA’s evaluation was conducted using standard federal test methods.
The testing, EPA’s evaluation report** states, led to the conclusion that the Fuel Stabilizer "had no positive or negative effect on exhaust emissions or fuel economy. Use of the device on the test vehicles provided no benefit."*
"The fuel stabilizer," said EPA Regional Administrator Jeanne M. Fox, looking at a Fuel Stabilizer that had been cut open, "simply passes gasoline through a stainless steel pipe. It does nothing to benefit either the consumer or the environment."
"Based on our laboratory analysis, the Fuel Stabilizer doesn’t defy the laws of science," Fox added. "It defies credibility."
Testing was conducted in Spring 1999 on three vehicles – a 1996 Chevrolet Lumina, a 1994 Ford Probe and a 1998 Pontiac Bonneville – selected as being representative of cars on the road at the time. Tests were initially run on a 1997 Toyota but the results were invalidated when it was discovered that an emissions control component was not properly reattached at the time of installation.
The test cars were fueled with Indolene, a gasoline manufactured with closely controlled tolerances so testing is not affected by batch differences. Emissions and fuel economy tests were conducted before installation, with the Fuel Stabilizer on the car, and again after the device had been removed.
Despite warnings in literature supplied with the device that any attempt to take it apart would cause it to self-destruct, EPA disassembled a second unit in an effort to determine its function. A straight piece of stainless steel tube carried fuel through the device. A twisted piece of flat stainless is inserted in the tube. This prevents one from seeing light when looking through the device. The stabilizer cannister contains a sealed spiral of tubing embedded in a dirt-like substance that surrounds the fuel line, but does not come into contact with the fuel. The device did not self-destruct.
NJDCA sought definitive testing of the Fuel Stabilizer when Inset Industries continued to market the device after signing a consent order with NJDCA agreeing to stop making unsubstantiated advertising claims and to stop violating the state securities law.. The company signed the order, without admitting guilt, in 1997 and paid a $100,000 fine.
* Test data were analyzed (using a two sided t-test) to determine whether, at a 95% confidence level, any statistically significant changes had occurred. Of the twenty t-test analyses performed, one (a NOX emission result obtained from the Chevrolet Lumina) showed a positive impact. One out of twenty (5%) matches exactly the rejection rate you would expect when conducting analysis at a 95% confidence level.
** The report is available on the Internet at: https://www.epa.gov/region02/air/inset.htm