Something my Great Uncle Henry Broquet developed many moons ago! I remember him telling me about his many exploits during the Second World War.
The history of fuel catalysts proves that they cannot fairly stand accused of being a new gimmick rushed out to exploit contemporary needs. That is because a series of patents and scientific papers concerning the effects of tin on fossil fuels and oils dates back to 1922. The references to these are given at the foot of this page.
According to both British and Russian WW2 veterans, and confirmed by a recognised scientific body (ITRI, the International Tin Research Institute), a tin based fuel additive was used by the RAF to overcome problems caused by poor fuel quality that had hitherto plagued its Hurricane Aircraft operating from Murmansk in Russia.
The name of the late Henry Broquet, an engineer working with the RAF, first became synonymous with the technology at this time.
In the 1960's Henry Broquet made and sold Carbonflo in South Africa. The product was used in large marine vessels to reduce carbon build up in engines, and in underground mining equipment to cut poisonous emissions.
By the late 1960's Carbonflo had disappeared from the marketplace on account of disputes over marketing rights which had been bought by a multinational mining company. However in 1986 the marketing rights were returned to Henry Broquet who at that time remained the only person who knew how to make the product, which was promoted as a device to save fuel and cut emissions.
The widespread introduction of unleaded petrol in 1989 was very often found to cause serious problems of 'pinking', poor performance, and engine damage. These problems were not identical to, but were linked with, the problems of poor fuel quality that had afflicted the RAF Hurricanes in WW2 Russia.
Carbonflo then became promoted as the perfect means to allow engines designed for leaded running to use unleaded.
The product sounded more than ever "too good to be true" but even so very substantial numbers of units were bought by fleet and private users. The largest of the fleet was that of Glasgow City Council which purchased 1,000 Carbonflo units and reported enthusiastically.
Amongst those promoting Carbonflo were a significant number of Rover dealerships, for example Henlys at Ewell, Surrey. Rover dealers like Henlys had been faced with dissatisfied customers who had found that their contemporary Rover cars, especially those fitted with with 'A' series engines, were unable to use unleaded fuel. They readily turned to Carbonflo