Why Portable Generators and Small Engines?

The following reflect data from the Center for Disease Control, United States Consumer Product Safety Commission and Synovate, Inc., Multi-Client Research Group:

  • Current ICE Generator emissions kill approximately 500 people annually from carbon monoxide. 
  • This number tripled between 2000 and 2005.   Survivors could be affected with severe disabilities such as blindness, paralysis, Parkinson’s Disease, temporary emotional instability, memory loss, psychosis, dementia, incontinence, or peripheral neuropathy.
  • As late as 2005, 65% of people polled by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) mistakenly believe that it is safe to run a generator in a basement.
  • Small engines are environmentally unsound: Home generators emit as much carbon dioxide (CO) as 100 idling automobiles.
  • 30% of the world’s CO problems are caused by small engines.
  • It is estimated that 40,000 people per year seek hospital room/ER treatment nationwide for CO poisoning.   CO may manifest itself as flu-like symptoms.
  • As of 2005, there were an estimated 10.6 million units in households nationwide, this does not include global numbers.
  • According to the most recent data, 1 M generators were purchased in 2003, 2004, 2005.
  • Average use of a standby generator is 9.8 hours annually.
  • 98.7% of portable generators sold in 2003-2005 were gasoline fueled.


Hydrogen combustion produces only water.  When a hydrogen engine burns, it actually cleans the ambient air, by completing combustion of the unburned hydrocarbons that surround us. Compared with the toxic compounds (carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and hydrogen sulfide) produced by petroleum fuels, the products of hydrogen burning are much safer.



  • One (1) small engine (lawn mower, generator, etc.) produces 88 lbs. of the greenhouse gas CO2 and 34 lbs. of other pollutants into the air every year.
  • Americans burn 800 million gallons of gasoline in small engines annually.
  • 17 million gallons of the 800 million gallons are spilled each year refueling small engine equipment  – that is more oil than was spilled by the Exxon Valdez in the Gulf of Alaska.
  • Hydrogen does not spill.


Source:   The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)