2020 has been life-changing for just about everybody on the planet. For some, the pandemic brought new business opportunities.
Faced with a slowdown in his auto-repair shop business, Illinois-based entrepreneur Jared English founded HHO Carbon Clean Systems, which replaces chemicals with hydrogen for cleaning components. He realized that engines need to be kept burning clean in order to meet increasingly strict emission regulations. Chemical cleaning of carbon build-up can cost more than $1,500 per engine, and is potentially hazardous to the technician because of the harsh chemicals used.
He set out to be able to perform hydrogen carbon cleaning on any gasoline or diesel engine, whether mobile or static. The cleaning removes the carbon build–up on a wide range of engine components. Hydrogen carbon cleaning has been proven to reduce emissions and is recognized around the world as a clean energy solution.
The technology uses distilled water and electrolysis to produce hydrogen gas which is then introduced into the air intake of the engine. “The chemical reaction during combustion causes a phase change in carbon deposits, returning to a gaseous state, which is then expelled through the exhaust system.
“We will remove built up carbon from internal engine components, including pistons, cylinders, turbos, EGR valves, catalytic converters, diesel exhaust filters, etc. Our hydrogen carbon cleaning technology can also prevent carbon build-up if performed as part of routine preventative maintenance schedule. No invasive engine tear down is required and no oil change needed after the service,” says the company.
In gas (petrol) engines, carbon build-up in the combustion chamber can increase the engine’s compression ratio, cause the formation of hot spots, block EGR passages and valves as well as intake valves and manifolds. This can damage the engine and cause multiple drivability issues. As for compression ignition engines (diesel engines), carbon deposits travel downstream to the DPF, DOC and SCR filters causing after-treatment and performance problems says the company.
HHO Carbon Clean Systems says that petrol-fueled cars and trucks can gain between 30% – 50% in improved efficiency and 40% -70% for diesel engines. The company offers its services to automobiles, motorcycles, farm equipment and operators of truck fleets.
“Being proactive saves companies thousands in repairs. The results will be less DPF cleaning and replacing on diesel engines and restored fuel mileage and performance on gasoline engines, all while lowering emissions and helping the environment. If your fleet has excessive idling, short trips, lots of start/stops, slow driving, then your engine has more carbon build-up than others.
Internal exhaust temperatures never raise high enough for a proper regeneration of the diesel exhaust filter. This is where we come in, with the proper maintenance program we can keep your engine free of carbon build-up and keep the engine working properly,” says a statement on the company website.
Automotive Industries (AI) asked English to tell us why he wanted to find a greener way to clean components.
English: Truthfully, I was just looking for a practical solution to the problem of carbon build-up that I’ve seen every day for nearly two decades. Chemical solvents are generally nasty to work with, burn your skin, and break carbon
deposits off in chunks that wind up damaging components. So, I set out researching from both a scientific and industry perspective to see how carbon buildup is being dealt with around the world. That led me to countries where diesel engines are more prevalent in consumer vehicles and they had
been pioneering the use of hydrogen to vaporize carbon and expel it through the engine’s exhaust system.
AI: Why was 2020 a good year to launch the business?
English: The automotive industry has been slowly transitioning to offer more mobile services, but 2020 was a year where virtually every industry had to consider taking their business model mobile just to be able to continue to operate during the pandemic. We saw that peoples’ willingness to accept a start-up mobile service business was probably as high as it was ever going to be. Our service can be performed in a safe, distanced manner, so it made good sense for us.
AI: How did increasingly stringent emission standards influence you to start the company?
English: There is a persistent push on the part of industry and government alike to build and operate more efficient, cleaner engines. We believe that by using our hydrogen carbon cleaning process new and older engines alike can run at the peak efficiency they were built for. This helps twofold. First: by encouraging an efficient,complete burn there are less pollutants being emitted. And second, less fuel is burned to get from Point A to Point B. We are the practical solution for OEMs, fleet owners, governments, and individuals who seek to lower emissions and costs at the same time.
AI: How is HHO Carbon Clean Systems’ equipment designed to be less hazardous to technicians and more cost-effective?
English: Where other companies use harsh and hazardous solvents, HHO uses distilled water to produce hydrogen gas through electrolysis. Solvent and labor costs using conventional cleaning methods can reach $100 to a shop owner. Our HHO1500 generator plugs into the wall, uses distilled water, and has a Bluetooth battery sensor that ensures service can be completed without a technician needing to actively mind the machine. HHO’s process costs just a few dollars in total. In short, our process works better, is safer, and is more profitable.
AI: Tell us a little about how your technology and mobile service makes HHO Carbon Clean Systems unique?
English: As the name implies, our HHO1500 can produce up to 1,500 liters of hydrogen per hour. At this volume, an engine receives sufficient hydrogen to achieve a complete burn. For mobile service, this means the ability to service larger fleets in shorter periods of time, and in a shop setting, this means that a hydrogen
carbon cleaning service can be completed in roughly the same time as an oil change.
AI: Does it really work?
English: As a matter of chemistry, hydrogen produces a faster, hotter, more complete combustion reaction. This causes carbon deposits to undergo phase change from solid to gas, where they can then be expelled through the exhaust system. But even more importantly, fleet operators report tens of thousands in fuel savings, and they are moving their preventative maintenance schedules to quarterly to ensure they continue to achieve peak performance.
AI asked Cord Koch, Director of Marketing & Franchise Development, HHO Carbon Clean Systems, why the company had decided to create franchise opportunities.
Koch: Franchising allows HHO to be nimble and efficient, both qualities that we will need to seriously tackle the amount of carbon buildup that exists in most every engine in this country. HHO offers potential franchisees an opportunity to get into business for themselves for well under $100,000 initial start up cost. This inclusive pricing structure is aimed at recruiting the most intrepid, entrepreneurial, motivated franchisees, regardless of their current job or career. Overhead costs are nearly non-existent and operating costs are essentially the cost of a quart of distilled water and a quart of gasoline per service. Our integrated business systems provide turn-key business operations from lead generation to financial reporting and everything in between. In short, we are a sleek, efficient, well-oiled machine that is ready to get franchisees out in the world and experiencing the success that we have enjoyed selling this service.