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A Carbon County man says he has invented an add-on device that will power a combustion engine for hours fueled only by water mixed with a little crude oil.

Or it can use salt water mixed with acid, or paint thinner, or toxic wastes. Better yet, says Paul Pantone, the engine releases essentially no pollution, not even many of the compounds that went into the device.The device is called the GEET (for Global Environmental Energy Technology) Fuel Processor, said Pantone, who is in the process of moving to Price, where he hopes to perfect a large-scale generator to put out 240 kilowatts of power.

"To begin with (the generator will be running on) conventional fuels mixed with water and some other substances, and we hope that by June we can be up and running with light toxic waste," he said this week.

How does GEET work?

"The first stage vaporizes liquids, and that's even kind of deceiving because I can use solids. . . . The vapor is then super-heated within a vacuum, and it is during this super-heating heat exchange that the electrons are spun off, or taken away from, the molecular structure," Pantone said.

The rest of the molecules go through the device to the engine "as a much cleaner-burning, hydrogen-based fuel," he said.

He does not know what happens to the heavier elements but says they don't leave the device as waste. "Even when we're running on cleaning solvents and other toxic wastes, the only thing we've been able to get out of our exhaust pipes is clean, fresh air."

His conversion device is an add-on unit shaped like a teapot with a long spout. According to Pantone, the main part heats up any fuel fed into it, vaporizing it; the fumes travel along the "spout" toward an ordinary engine.

Something mysterious happens to the vapors while in that tubing, according to the invention's backers.

"Because he did not allow me to look inside his invention - and his invention is a very small thing - everything he claims seems to violate all the basic rules of science," said Kuan Chen, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Utah, who saw a small version of the invention last summer.

Pantone said he began working on the device in 1979 as an improved carburetor. As he continued to develop the device, he found other uses.

During a test run in June, a computerized auto exhaust analyzer checked emissions, finding that when the engine ran at 2,400 revolutions per minute it emitted 0.01 percent carbon monoxide, no carbon dioxide, 20.4 percent oxygen, and hydrocarbons at 24 parts per million, Pantone said.

What happens to the byproducts of paint thinner and various other chemicals? "Any solid metals are drained out through a drain line" and 100 percent of the material that is vaporized is burned as fuel, Pantone said.

He believes some kind of radiation, "most likely nuclear," is released. "Lead does not stop it," he added.

"We know for a fact there is no harmful radiation," said an associate of Pantone's, John Stueben, while the two showed the Deseret News a small version in West Valley City.

But they believe non-harmful radiation is emitted. An X-ray film was exposed by the device, said Pantone, and it shows stainless steel parts that apparently are slowing the emissions, even if lead doesn't stop it.

"It works, but we don't understand why it should," Pantone said.

One scientist who has seen the invention running and doesn't think nuclear transmutation happens in it is Joseph D. Young of the Astronomy and Physics Department at Brigham Young University.

At the time he saw it, Pantone was using salt water and acid as fuel. "The only thing I can figure is somehow he's separating out the hydrogen and using the hydrogen for combustion," Young said.

What would happen to fuel components that went into the device? "Well, what goes in must come out," he said.

Young doubts that any element would be destroyed by a nuclear process.

Chen said Pantone "claims some kind of plasma or nuclear reaction takes place within that tube, which seems very impossible." Any plasma would melt the spout, he said.

"Based upon my scientific training, it's not likely to have any kind of nuclear reaction."

As far as claims that the device allows burning of unconventional fuel, Chen thinks they are not impossible. He believes engines have been invented in the past that can run on unusual fuels, although he thinks the efficiency is "probably very low."

"The whole thing doesn't make much sense to me from a scientific point of view," Chen added.

Pantone said the add-on could be hooked to a generator to produce electricity. It could become a toxic waste incinerator that burns waste as fuel. With 10 years of research and development, it could power autos with a mixture of crude oil and water, he said.