Mike Chino

Can the Blade Exhaust Filter Green your Ride?

by , 11/18/08

blade exhaust filter, sabertec blade, engine efficiency, fuel efficiency, after-market exhaust filter, greenwashing, eco-optimized

What if a single inexpensive upgrade could significantly cut your car’s emissions while simultaneously increasing its fuel efficiency? That’s the enticing concept behind the Blade, a chromed-out exhaust filtration module that wouldn’t look out of place on the most pimped of rides. From filtering particulate matter to increasing catalytic converter efficiency, the Blade it makes some pretty incredible claims, but is it truly a shining silver bullet aimed at the black heart of our carbon churning car culture – or just another piece of green-washed bling out to pilfer your pockets?


blade exhaust filter, sabertec blade, engine efficiency, fuel efficiency, after-market exhaust filter, greenwashing, eco-optimized

According to Sabertec, developer of the Blade, the device is capable of reducing greenhouse gasses by up to 34%, filtering vehicle air pollution by up to 57%, and increasing your vehicle’s fuel sefficiency by 10-30%. It reduces emissions with a filter that captures post-catalytic particulate matter, and Sabertec claims that the Blade also decreases the time it takes for your vehicle’s catalytic converter to heat up and prevents exhaust from slipping back into the combustion chamber as it is expelled, theoretically maximizing gasoline efficiency.

Although the blade has been approved by the California Air Resources Board and the EPA, the incredulous among us will find this pill-shaped panacea for our carbon ills a bit hard to swallow. For starters, the device relies upon disposable filters, which must be replaced every 3,000-10,000 miles, cost $20 a pop, and will presumably end up in a landfill. Second, how can a device that by nature filters and restricts exhaust prevent it from trailing back into the combustion chamber?

blade exhaust filter, sabertec blade, engine efficiency, fuel efficiency, after-market exhaust filter, greenwashing, eco-optimized

But perhaps the most problematic aspect of the Blade is the way it empowers car culture by giving free license to gas guzzlers to parade about under an environmental banner: “Blade your ride… because you should feel good about what you drive”. The device even comes with a physical badge to identify your vehicle as “eco-optimized”. Bill O’Brien, the CEO of Sabertech says that “really, when you look at blade, it’s the best thing you can do for your car from an environmental perspective.” He continues to say that “a lot of people put these on their cars just because of how it looks”.

This conflation of image with eco sets a dangerous precedent, and I can already envision hordes of “eco-optimized” SUV’s sporting these banners as a justification to continue on polluting as normal. The blade may help in cleaning up car exhaust, but it ignores the number one way to reduce vehicle emissions: simply don’t drive – walk, ride a bike or use public transportation.

+ Blade

Via Treehugger

Related Posts

LEAVE A COMMENT

or your inhabitat account below

Let's make sure you're a real person:


10 Comments

  1. Truck April 25, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Where can I get one?

  2. Melroy February 22, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Good Day Please forward me a picture of the the blade that is fitted to the vehicle, and will this system fit to the exhaust system that ends with a downward bend.

  3. CALEB December 21, 2009 at 4:43 am

    WHAT ARE THE COMPONENTS.WHAT IS IT MADE OF?

  4. Tanya December 11, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    I represent Sabertec, developers of Blade. Yesterday, we announced results from testing using EPA protocols at the most prestigious independent lab in the U.S., ATDS. Results prove Blade is the first and only product to meet or exceed the EPA guidelines. Results will be posted http://www.bladeyourride.com.

  5. theokobox November 19, 2008 at 11:01 am

    if this did what it says it does – then why dont the major car selling industries put one of these on every car, and consider it regular like changing oil? It seems like it would be a feature that should be required as part of “safety” to keep pollution down.
    Also, when that nasty filter goes to the landfill, that basically means the pollutants go right back into soil & water , and who knows how people will dispose of those things. Seems sketchy at best. But if it does clean the air- then one should just automatically be placed oon every car.

  6. Sheldon November 19, 2008 at 5:55 am

    http://www.links4jeeps.com/forum/index.php?topic=6510.msg54379#msg54379
    details a lot of the issues with “The Blade” from Sabertec.

    As pointed out elsewhere on the same forum, the “efficiency” can be achieved by sticking a banana up your exhaust! The backpressure tricks the O2 sensor to play games with the ECM which results in it leaning the car out (i.e. less fuel added for the same throttle response).
    “This thing increases back pressure, which increases EGT’s (Exhaust Gas Temps). This will cause the cat to run hotter, which will cause the O2 sensor to run in a different voltage range. The difference in voltage coming from the O2 will cause the ECU to lean out the fuel mixture and cause the TPS to run at a higher voltage, thus increasing it’s position. All this will probably mean a marginal decrease in emissions and a slight increase in fuel economy. However, increased back pressure and a leaner mixture will also cause a significant decrease in throttle response as well as overall power and torque”

    People, before you spend money, do some research! This device is NOT approved by CARB (it’s not listed on their database) it was simply tested (on one vehicle) by a lab that has been approved.

  7. Christian Biggins November 18, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    I thoroughly agree with this “But perhaps the most problematic aspect of the Blade is the way it empowers car culture by giving free license to gas guzzlers to parade about under an environmental banner”. I see this being just what the single-occupant 4WD owners need to feel better about themselves. If it helps then thats great but the last thing we need is for this city-living 100 klm per day drivers to think that the problem has been solved just like that.

    Great post. Thanks.

  8. shan November 18, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    i agree with your last sentence, mike : “… it ignores the number one way to reduce vehicle emissions: simply don’t drive – walk, ride a bike or use public transportation.” and please… be a Vegan now…Let’s save our planet!!!

  9. shan November 18, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    i agree with your last sentence… !

  10. odie9 November 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    This is a great product for those times when I have to drive. I can’t afford to buy a new car and DO I walk and/or bike as much as possible ( I am down to about 15 gallons per month). The filter can scheduled to be replaced with my oil. Easy, relatively inexpensive, and something I can do now.

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home