Tin has been used in engines to increase performance since World War II when RAF fighter jets struggled to run on inferior fuel supplied by the Russians. Scientists discovered that by using pieces of tin alloy the aircraft could run sufficiently on the low octane fuel.
Research studies have proven that minute particles of metallic tin can change the combustion characteristics of fossil fuels. The tin, with the aid of vibration and a rubbing action, is released into fuel and carried in colloidal suspension through into the combustion chamber. As the fuel starts to ignite a chemical reaction takes place changing the way the fuel burns. It extends and produces a more complete combustion.
According to the International Tin Research Institute (ITRI), fuel catalysts based on tin alloy pellets have been marketed as low tech fuel-saving devices with the added benefit of significantly reducing toxic emissions. This will be of benefit to the environment along with saving money for the consumer.
At least 10 manufacturers currently operate globally and sales have mainly been in the automotive and marine sectors.
ITRI is actively working in this field, both with regard to substantiating performance benefits and clarifying the mechanism of action of the catalyst on the fuel.
Although current tin usage in this field is only a few tens of tonnes per annum, a successful outcome to ITRI’s studies and further improvement of catalytic efficiency by radical re-design of the product could realistically lead to annual tin consumption in the 5,000 – 10,000 tonne range.
As the image below displays, tin does not only feature in the fuel tank of your car.
Stellar Resources this week announced the appointment of Dr. Markus Elsasser as a Non-Executive Director of the tin exploration and development company.
Dr. Elsasser is a financier and investor in the mineral resource sector from Germany. He provides advice to a number of European based investors through his role as head of the Elsasser family company based in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Dr. Elsasser has been involved with Stellar as a shareholder for the past three years and has had extensive experience as a Managing Director in the chemical and food industries in Sydney, Australia and Singapore. He was also Director of Finance at the Dow Chemical Company in Germany.
He has provided strong support for Stellar’s flagship project Heemskirk Tin, located in Tasmania, and along with his experience and advice in financing junior resource companies, he is sure to be a valuable asset for Stellar going forward.
Dr. Markus Elsasser
Rockwood Pigments (NYSE: ROC) have received Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approval in the US for their ‘Solaplex’ pigments to be used in specialised applications that involve indirect food contact.
The pigments, which contain tin and are designed to be eco-friendly, provide a “non-toxic alternative” to similar products, which often contain lead chromates or other heavy metals.
According to an article by the International Tin Research Centre (ITRI), demand for tin for such uses as children’s toys and play equipment, food and personal care packaging, household goods and bakeware is increasing, as the health risks of particularly lead chromate-based pigments become more apparent and regulation of such products is revised.
The FDA approval means tin-containing pigments are providing another major step towards the goal of replacing lead-chromates within pigment products.
Tin is already proving its broad applications in consumer products, such as its growing use in smartphones, iPods and lithium batteries. It also plays a part in animal healthcare and in the oral hygiene industry, through its use in toothpaste. Other tin pigments are used in automotive and other coatings, engineering plastics and road marking paints.
Tin pigments provide many benefits over other metal-based colours. US producers The Shepherd Color Company announced earlier this year the introduction of their tin-based pigments, citing “non-toxicity, excellent opacity, good compatibility, excellent chemical resistance and weathering characteristics, and high heat stability” as major advantages of the products.