The Truth about Water-Powered Cars

The Truth about Water-Powered Cars

Have you ever heard of a water powered car? Yes, you can actually run your car on water. What you will need to do is to build a “water-burning hybrid”. This is the installation of a small home-made electrolysis cell under the top lid of your car. So the key is to take electricity from the car’s electrical system to electrolyze water into a gaseous mixture of hydrogen and oxygen, this is often referred to as Brown’s Gas or HHO. It is in a ratio of 2:1, 2 hydrogen atoms to 1 oxygen atom. This is therefore piped into the intake manifold to replace the expensive gasoline you have been paying. These easy “gears” will rapidly increase your fuel economy and decrease your bills and your dependence on foreign petroleum.

There is energy in water. Chemically, it’s locked up in the atomic bonds between the hydrogen and oxygen atoms. When the hydrogen and oxygen combine, whether it’s in a fuel cell, internal combustion engine running on hydrogen, or a jury-rigged pickup truck with an electrolysis cell in the bed, there’s energy left over in the form of heat or electrons. That’s converted to mechanical energy by the pistons and crankshaft or electrical motors to move the vehicle.

Problem: It takes exactly the same amount of energy to pry those hydrogen and oxygen atoms apart inside the electrolysis cell as you get back when they recombine inside the fuel cell. The laws of thermodynamics haven’t changed, in spite of any hype you read on some blog or news aggregator. Subtract the losses to heat in the engine and alternator and electrolysis cell, and you’re losing energy, not gaining it–period.

But enough about Genepax, which is sort of tangential to my main thesis here, and on to a more common topic in my mail que: HHO as a means of extending the fuel economy of conventional IC engines.

From hypermillers- Average Joes desperate to save at the pump–suggest that hydrogen changes the way gasoline burns in the combustion chamber, making it burn more efficiently or faster. Okay, there have been a couple of engineering papers that suggest a trace of hydrogen can change the combustion characteristics of ultra-lean-burning stratified-charge engines. Properly managed H2 enrichment seems to increase the burn rate of the hydrocarbons in the cylinder, extracting more energy. However, these studies only suggest increases in fuel economy by a few percentage points and don’t apply unless the engine is running far too lean for decent emissions. That’s a long way from the outrageous claims of as much as 300-percent improvements in economy that I see on the Internet and in my mailbox.

There’s no reason to believe that even more modest increases claimed by some of the ads could be achieved by a conventional, computer-controlled automobile engine running under closed-loop driving–that is, the computer’s ability to sample the oxygen output of the engine’s exhaust in real time and slew the fuel/air ratio for big mpg and small emissions. The combustion chamber events are far different in the type of ultra-lean-burn engines where hydrogen enrichment has been seen to help. Ultra-lean means there’s a lot of extra oxygen around for the hydrogen to have something to react with–far more than the very modest amount we’re sucking in from the typical homebrew hydrogen generator made from a Mason jar. And remember, these studies deal with hydrogen enrichment under closely-controlled lab conditions, not spraying an uncontrolled amount of hydrogen-oxygen mixture into your air cleaner.

I’m building a water-electrolyzer car–right now. The electrolysis cell assembly is on my workbench and ready to install, so stay tuned for the test results soon. If it works, then you can believe the hype.

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