Rigorous SAE/TMC Type II fuel economy testing by Auburn University showed a 3.5% improvement in fuel economy for a Class 8 tractor fitted with a new aftermarket closed crankcase ventilation (CCV) system, according to the company marketing the device.

Deigned to retrofit on pre-2007 diesel engines with open crankcase ventilation, the Fuel and Air Save Technology (FAST) routes engine blow-by gases into two chambers that separate and collect oil, soot and other heavy hydrocarbons. Light hydrocarbons in the blow-by are then fed back into the engine intake ahead of the turbocharger for combustion in the engine.

The system improves fuel economy by capturing those light hydrocarbons that would otherwise be simply vented to the outside air, according to Jim Bland, president of Better Life Products. It also reduces engine emissions by capturing particulate matter (PM) in the blow-by, much the same way the new closed crankcase ventilation systems do that are mandated by Federal regulations for all diesel engines after 2007.

Dr. Buzz Powell of Auburn conducted the controlled fuel economy testing the university performed with the FAST system at its closed-loop test track. While initially the system showed little difference from the test’s control truck, the FAST truck began showing a decrease in fuel consumption that eventually leveled off after 3,000 mi. at a 3.5% increase in fuel economy, Powell said.

The FAST system can be retrofitted on pre-2007 diesels in approximately half an hour, according to Larry Matthews, COO of WorldNCI, the company that patented and produces the system. The only maintenance required is dumping the collected contaminants out of two spin-off containers every 30,000 to 40,000 mi., he said. The collected material is not hazardous and can be disposed of with normal waste oil, according to Matthews.