Running on Water
Running on Water
Most likely youâ€'ve seen the advertisements:
â€œPower Your Car with Waterâ€ or something equivalent. The ads are being
run by companies selling books, DVDs, even kits that will help you
build a system that will, through electrolysis, split water into
hydrogen and oxygen to make a gas known as oxyhydrogen or by its
nicknames HHO or hydroxy. Oxyhydrogen is an explosive gas that will be
fed back into your carâ€'s engine to give it a boost and help fuel it.
devices these companies are promoting are supposed to dramatically
increase fuel economy and clean up the exhaust as well. The devices are
mostly an electrolyzer with some wiring and plumbing attached. They
operate on the electricity generated by your carâ€'s engine which is
running on gasoline or diesel fuel.
Sound like a scam, or can
these systems actually work? Isnâ€'t hydrogen still considered a fuel of
the future? Should car makers be jumping on the technology?
Thereâ€'s nothing new about the idea of water as fuel. Its been around for decades. None the less, letâ€'s take a closer look.
water as a fuel is not entirely accurate. With these systems a
conventional engine is still needed to generate electricity that will
operate the electrolyzer to perform the electrolysis that splits water
into hydrogen and oxygen. The engine will still need petroleum fuel to
operate. Whatâ€'s really being built with the addition of the device is
an HHO/gasoline (or diesel) hybrid where electricity generated by the
conventional engine is used to split water, not generate electricity to
store in a battery as in a gasoline/electric hybrid.
systems actually improve fuel economy? Possibly. The stock electrical
and battery charging system in a car is fairly powerful, certainly
enough to split some water apart. (And, additional modifications can
make the charging system even more powerful if needed for HHO
generation.) However, when the carâ€'s electrical system is used to make
HHO then it becomes an energy consumer that will burn some conventional
fuel. But HHO burnt in the engine will also help, to some small degree,
generate more HHO. There could be a net gain in fuel economy if the HHO
provides more energy than needed to split water apart. The answer to
this question really lies in independent testing. The anecdotal
evidence from testimonials from those who have supposedly built and
installed these systems isnâ€'t quite enough. Testing by an independent,
university or government laboratory would help these companies prove
Would the addition of the HHO gas make the exhaust
cleaner? The HHO gas would displace some of the mixture of air and
gasoline normally being fed into the engine. HHO gas would contain
neither nitrogen nor sulfur, both seeds of air pollution. A little bit
of fuel/air mixture displaced by HHO might result in cleaner tailpipe
Then there are safety issues. HHO gas is
volatile stuff not to be put in the hands of the inexperienced. Sure,
hydrogen gas (without oxygen in the blend) like that being stored for a
fuel cell, might also be considered dangerous. But hydrogen fuel by
itself, dissipates rapidly when uncontained, left to fly off by itself,
thus the threat of explosion also goes away quickly. However, the
companies promoting HHO technology claim itâ€'s safe because the HHO is
made on demand, consumed immediately after itâ€'s produced, eliminating
an accidental explosion possibility. Still a system might be improperly
built or installed that would lead to an explosion. Note that the
companies promoting the technology arenâ€'t all selling systems, just the
plans to build them. (Any company would be crazy to sell something that
could feasibly blow up.)
If HHO works why donâ€'t car companies
pursue it? Forget the idea of cahoots with the oil companies for a
moment. Car companies have to build what they consider safe and
reliable cars that can be sold across many markets to just about
anyone. They may see this as unsafe, or they may have other reasons.
For example, pure water couldnâ€'t be used in all climates, nor all year
round. Water freezes, so would one of these systems when the
temperature dropped below 32 F, (0 C).
Somewhere, though, there
would be concern for a major disruption in the global petroleum
transportation fuel monopoly, should this rather simple technology grab
a foothold. The renewable energy industry is considered a disruptive
industry: This would be an extremely disruptive technology to pursue.
in a time where oil dependance has become an economic security issue it
may be time to at least consider this â€" and any other seemingly offbeat
technology â€" in an attempt to break the stranglehold of addiction that
petroleum has on the world.