By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Parking Authority is testing a new filtering device that claims to reduce harmful emissions in the agency’s vehicles while improving fuel economy.

At the PPA’s fleet garage in Southwest Philadelphia this morning, CEO Samuel Burlum of North Jersey-based Extreme Energy Solutions pointed to one of the devices they are retrofitting in six PPA vehicles (photo).

The device, made in the USA, goes on the pollution control valve side of the engine.

“What we end up doing is we take crankcase emissions, pass it through the device which acts as a catalyst, and it reforms the material into usable fuel,” Burlum explained to KYW Newsradio.

Extreme Energy has lab-tested the “Smart Emissions Reducer,” which works like a catalytic converter, at the Roush Performance Center.  Burlum says its clients are reporting a reduction in vehicle emissions by up to 50 percent or more, with at least a 5-10% increase in fuel economy.

The Parking Authority will take the Smart device on a 90-day test drive with the vehicles it retrofitted, and report back on their results.

The device is being used in municipalities that have about 800 vehicles in Winnebago County, Illinois.  It’s being tested in Nevada, West Palm Beach, Fla., as well as on Yellow cabs in Pasadena, Calif.