### Why aren't we running our cars on water yet? ###


Asked by Mar 03, 2009 at 08:09 PM

Question type: General

It seems easy enough. A uddy of mine has an old 1960's Chevy C-10(20?) and it runs on nothing but water, through in-line electrolysis!

6 Answers


' in-line electrolysis!' You mean one of them kits where they have a tank of water under the hood? If that's the case your buddy is fooling you. The kits marginally increase the oxygen richness on a standard engine. But they don't run the engine by any stretch of the imagination. Electrolysis is inefficient and it take electricity to run in the first place. Where is your buddy getting that power? From the cars electric system? How's he charging that? The alternator driven by the motor? So it's in effect a self powering motor? If that's the case your buddy has solved every energy problem.


He has it hard wired to the battery, which, as far as I know, is charged by the alternator. The electrolysis itself is not the normal "always-on" style of electrolysis, but the "frequency" (ultrasonic, I presume) which uses about 500 miliamps, instead of the 12 amps for the usual kind. "You think you're getting more energy from it than you have to put in?" Not exactly, but the rating is anywhere between 50 - 300 mpg (of water). Pump in enough of the hydrogen and oxygen into the carb, and they explode and expand, just like hydrocarbons (gasoline).


It's still a supposed self power motor. Uses power from the motor to create it's own fuel to burn. Hate to tell you but that would break teh laws of physics. Most of those kits just are add on's that 'improve gas mileage' in conjunction with the regular gas. Most don't work, the other have negligible improvements... The most efficient forms of electrolysis are at most 70%, and that's using catalyst and platinum electrodes Also the approximation is 1kg hydrogen equates a gallon of gas for hydrogen powered vehicles... Using this little factoid we can actually calculate an approximation of how much water it takes to power a car (assumeing it's pre-converted for you...in other word better than real life) Hydrogen's atomic mass is...1.008 Oxygen's... 16.999 Percent mass of hydrogen in H2O =2.016/19.015 = 10.6% 1 gallon = 231c.i. = .1337 cubic foot Water's specific weight is 62.4 pcf... so a gallon of water weighs ~8.34 lbs... Seems a bit high to me but hey it help your argument not mine so we'll roll with it. Multiply that by the percent mass of hydrogen=.884lbs of hydrogen per gallon. = .4011kg per gallon of water So using that you find it takes about 2.5 gallons of water to get enough hydrogen to equal 1 gallon of gas. That's if you're not spending any energy to convert the water, and assumeing you can convert it fast enough. Neither of which are possible. I'm sorry but your buddy's pulled a fast one on you and has the same joke kit everyone has. It's just a glorified tank of water under the hood that does nothing measurable but take up space. If you don't believe me, empty his gas tank and see if it'll run with just water.

what your friend has is a water injection system. this system adds a small amount of water to increase the compression ratio. it was a trick used in WWII to compensate for poor quality of gas and help cool the air cooled engines.

Adam is right I have made them myself they don't work. The only other thing that he could be doing is water injecting his Gasoline engine which you usually only and rarely see in high performance race applications to cool the intake air. I think your bully is full of it. Tell him to take you on a cross country road trip with out stopping for gas. Be sure to bring a good set of walking shoes.


NASA can make a satellite reach Saturn, I see no reason why similar technology can't drive a car cheaply

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