The hydrogen generator, or HHO, is the brainchild of Ohio native Robert C. Volk, chief executive officer of Transitional Technologies LLC of Concord, Calif.
Volk and his wife, Deena, visited Bryan Monday to consult with Airmate President Carol Schreder and Sales Manager Travis Smith.
said the hydrogen generator takes distilled water from a reservoir and electricity from a vehicle's battery or alternator and then, through the process of electrolysis, produces hydrogen and oxygen that is drawn into a vehicle's engine.
The HHO needs no infrastructure, such as hydrogen refueling stations, and eliminates the danger of storing a tank of hydrogen on a vehicle.
Because it utilizes distilled water, the HHO's main byproduct is steam, which actually degreases and cleans the vehicle's engine.
came up with the idea for the HHO a few years ago and wrote a book about how to build this amazing invention.
But because he
immediately was inundated with requests, Volk
realized the advantages of assembling this miracle product himself and contracted with other U.S. companies to produce the HHO's components.
submitted the lowest bid for the HHO's plastic inner cell housing, and he
promptly asked if the company also would produce a plastic end plate.
"All parts are cut and manufactured in this country," said Volk
, adding he
uses only U.S.- manufactured stainless steel.
It is the highest quality available and does not rust.
That is important since the HHO uses water in the generation process.
deals with stainless steel producers in Ohio and Illinois.
Volk's first HHO became available to the public in October 2009, and the first run of 100 sold out in three days.
actually sold 115 and put out a frantic call to Airmate
for more parts.
"I had them in a week," he
said, noting Airmate's
were the first products to arrive.
said demand for HHOs has since "taken off."
Much of the world - including the automotive industry - has noticed.
expects to have an HHO unit for trucks ready by the end of September or early October.
He said the first trucker to take advantage of the HHO operated a 1995 Freightliner, for which he bought the largest automobile unit available.
The truck's mileage instantly improved 50 percent, from 6 to 9 mpg.
got on his
CB, and told everybody about it.
It really took off (from there)," Volk
is working with U.S. and other automobile manufacturers as well as commercial vehicles, the marine industry and other industrial applications such as diesel generators.
The potential for the HHO is nearly limitless, especially since the technology is only about three years old.
compared the HHO to the early computer industry, "and we're excited to be at the forefront," he
"This probably wouldn't have happened 20 years ago," he
said and credited the Internet with enabling demand for his
product to grow so quickly.
started working on the project in late 2007 and hand built the first model, which he
installed in a full-size van.
"Gas was about $4.50 a gallon in California at the time," he
said, and the van's fuel consumption improved 40 percent from 10 mpg to 14 mpg.
currently is exporting the HHO to the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada-"about 20 countries" in all, he
The biggest international draw is the generator's ability to lower emissions to almost nothing.
described exhaust from vehicles equipped with an HHO as smelling "fresh," with no smoke, no smell and nearly zero carbonmonoxide.
said emissions are so low vehicles with an HHO will exceed California's emission standards for the next 20 years.
"If I can work with (automotive) manufacturers, I will include an electronic chip to work with the computers in vehicles," he
said, noting the computer systems of Hyundai and Ford vehicles are very compatible with the HHO, as are older vehicles.
would neither confirm nor deny that he
has been asked to produce an HHO generator for a Corvette owned by TV host Jay Leno, but did admit he
has been contacted by a retired aviation industry engineer.
currently is selling about 100 HHO kits per month, but Volk
expects orders to reach 1,000 or even a million per month in the near future.
"I'm in negotiations right now," he
said but could not elaborate since nothing is yet finalized.
The units range in price from about $500 to $800, which means vehicle owners can realize a 20-40 percent improvement in gas consumption for less than $1,000.
For more information about the HHO or to order a kit, go to www.hhokitsdirect.com.
said the kits come with a 30-page instruction manual and free tech support.
When asked if installing the kit will affect vehicle warranties, Volk
suggested checking with your vehicle's manufacturer.
said owners should be protected by the 1975 Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a federal statute that governs warranties on consumer products and provides protection from disclaimers.
currently consists of Volk
and Deena plus their son, daughter and son-in-law.
"But we'll probably have 20 (employees) in the next couple of months," he