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HHO Carbon Clean: A Pandemic Entrepreneur Story
By West Kentucky Star Staff
METROPOLIS - A problem-solver has recently taken advantage of the pandemic to begin a new business venture that can help a multitude of vehicle and equipment owners.

In the early morning hours of October 17th, 2018, shop owner Jared English sat on the tailgate of his pickup truck drinking orange Fantas in the parking lot adjacent to A1 Automotive, watching as the Metropolis Fire Dept battled flames that would persist until dawn. It was an abrupt turning point for someone who was accustomed to balancing the demands of managing a business, teaching classes at the local community college, and raising a family at home. It was a moment to step back and reflect on what had been built, lost, and the time and effort that had been devoted in the process. But, the next generation of auto technicians were still relying on Jared to pick up the pieces and get on with it, so he did, holding class later that afternoon.

Working from the garage at his home and now teaching Auto Mechanics full time at Shawnee Community College, day-to-day life slowed down and some of the more persistent maintenance issues in the automotive industry came into clearer focus. Turbos sticking, pistons wearing, cylinders scarring, loss of engine power, decrease in fuel economy, constant DPF regeneration - all symptoms of a larger problem: carbon buildup. Jared knew that there must be a better way to deal with these issues other than waiting for parts to fail and replacing them. 

This set of problems reasons for downtime and lost revenues, while contributing to increased fuel and repair expenses for local businesses working on thinner margins each year. A breakthrough in carbon buildup removal would mean an advantage to local businesses competing regionally, nationally, and globally.

“I’ve been an owner/operator my entire life,” says English, “I know how huge a 10% savings is, and how back breaking it can be to lose a day and a half of productivity.” 

His reading, research, and phone calls eventually paid off in the first months of 2020, just as the coronavirus epidemic came into full effect. With classes canceled and his new shop under construction, there was ample time to experiment with his new-found solution of hydrogen carbon cleaning. A process pioneered across Europe and Australia where stringent environmental regulations have been implemented faster than the United States, hydrogen carbon cleaning proposes adding hydrogen gas to the combustion equation. The effect would increase flash speed of combustion, burn longer forcing a more complete burn, and cause carbon deposits to change back to their gaseous state and be expelled through the exhaust.

Skeptical from the outset, Jared began ordering the equipment needed to build the highly efficient hydrogen generators that were producing such good results across England and the U.K. Trial and error on his own vehicles, machinery, and equipment led to impressive results and he eventually settled on a machine now named the HHO1500, capable of producing 1500 liters of hydrogen per hour. It was then time to reproduce the results in the field that had been found in Jared’s garage.

HHO Carbon Clean Systems, LLC was established in May of this year and immediately began logging results for local businesses. The first revelations came on turbocharged diesel engines that have an increased tendency to build carbon on turbo veins that control the fuel/air mixture during combustion. Veins sticking due to carbon buildup causes loss of fuel economy and power, eventually leading to replacement that can cost between $3,500 and $7,000 depending on the particular engine. Within its first month of operation, HHO was able to unstick turbos for both McBride Mack Sales and STC, Inc. of Paducah. 

“At that point, we knew we had a really good service on our hands,” recounts English, “We were going to be able to consistently save businesses money and down time, and that’s really the goal that we started with.”

“It took some time to see the fuel economy gains. We have to perform the service, wait for the fleets to drive their routes, compare MPG to previous time periods…” says English. But when those numbers were able to be tabulated, regional fleets have seen sizable fuel economy gains. A&W Express, LLC of Brookport, IL has recorded a 9% gain in MPG across their entire fleet. 

Greg Williamson, owner of A&W Express, was astounded when reviewing his fuel usage reports for the month following his fleet’s service. 

“For me, 9% adds up to roughly $57,000 in fuel savings per year," says Williamson, who now plans on adding hydrogen carbon cleaning to his preventative maintenance schedule biannually to maintain the peak fuel economy gains of his fleet.

Benefits are not limited to fleet operators and semi owners. The agriculture community in Massac County and the surrounding area have also realized the potential of hydrogen carbon cleaning. Pickups, grain trucks, spray rigs, tractors, and combines have all seen marked benefits from HHO’s services. Along with fuel economy, local farmers report noticeable gains in horsepower and being able to accomplish equivalent work at a lower RPM. Farmers see the benefit in having healthier, more efficient engines at a cost that pales in comparison to any other service work that would be performed on their equipment. 

Bryan Bunting, Metropolis native and Murray State University graduate, sees the technological trends in the agricultural industry and anticipates that the science driving the hydrogen carbon cleaning process will one day be compact enough to ride on the machines and constantly feed hydrogen into the combustion chamber. 

“If a person could realize peak performance at all times and keep an engine running to spec, I think that’s the logical next step,” says Bunting.

As an added benefit, all the gains experienced from hydrogen carbon cleaning are realized without the use of harsh chemicals, detergents, or solvents. There are no chemical contaminants produced during hydrogen carbon cleaning, and increased fuel efficiency allows for less fuel to be burnt to achieve the same work. 

“We are a green company,” says English, an avid hunter. “Less contaminants, smaller carbon footprint… This technology can save people money and help preserve the environment for our kids.”

Already having achieved rapid growth in regional sales of hydrogen carbon cleaning services, an even faster expansion is planned for the first quarter of 2021, when HHO Carbon Clean Systems will begin selling franchises to expand sales territories even farther. 

“Based on what we’ve been able to do in five months in Massac County, we think that this could be a very good opportunity for someone who wants to work for themselves and is willing to get out and hustle a little bit,” says English. “The operating expenses are so low that there is a very good living to be made in small towns, bigger cities, really anywhere that has internal combustion engines,” he exclaimed. 

Many hurdles remain between the present day and a national franchise, but whatever the challenge, HHO and Jared English are confident in their ability to provide quality service, a good wage, and a cleaner future for Southern Illinois.

Published 09:06 PM, Saturday Oct. 24, 2020
Updated 09:19 PM, Saturday Oct. 24, 2020

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