3 Feb 2009

Running Your Car on Water

I am no scientist, but this claim sounds like the typical stuff from the perpetual energy tinhats crowd:
The big secret is that water (H2O) can be turned into a POWERFUL fuel (with a very similar formula, HHO) through an easy yet little known process...

It's so powerful that when it was first discovered the government (influenced by big oil companies) banned it because it was too effective.
Here's their whole spiel, and you can listen to "Rachel the spokesmodel" tell you all about it.

This guy says it's not a scam:
I believe that some people are calling water for gas a scam because they expect more than a book. Visitors to the website more than likely quickly look at the pictures and expect a ready to go package to be delivered.

This is not the case; the books provide pictures and part numbers and places to buy the items needed to build your own system and instructions on how to install it.

After doing some research on the basic part of the system I have found that it operates very similar to alcohol injection kits that have been available for racecars for many years.

Alcohol injection kits can be very expensive, costing up to $600. The water for gas website has found a less expensive way to build and install a system that will increase fuel economy
But he could be working for them, right? Even if he isn't, what kind of cost-benefit are we looking at here? If it costs $500 to save $50, we are not doing very well...

Please tell me where these claims are debunked in the comments.

Bottom Line: It's sometimes hard to tell the difference between brilliant and deceptive new ideas, but the truth will emerge eventually. (Relativity, anyone?)


  1. Violates the laws of thermodynamics: You can't get more out of a chemical transformation that you put in:

    H20 + energy in -> "HHO"
    "HH0" -> H20 + energy out

    Energy out must be less than (or at best equal to) energy in.

    The other claim on this is that "HHO" somehow catalyzes the fuel-air mixture and makes it more efficient. However the efficiency of a internal combustion engine is basically tied to the Carnot expansion cycle of the power stroke which is in an Otto cycle engine the same as the compression ratio. So you aren't going to get any real improvements there.

  2. Rachel did a spiel for relativity?

  3. Check out hydrogen fuel cells... they are more efficient energy wise than this method.

    This method is viable, but it requires electricity stored on board to create the gas from water.

    If you research the new Honda Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicle they are testing in SoCal you can see they propose garage based hydrogen generators that run on water and electricity.

    The Hydrogen Economy blow hards who claim we need tons of new infrastructure to support a hydrogen fuel for transportation are full of it.

    We already have a robust water and electricity infrastructure that is far more efficient than the current system of pipelines, oil refineries, and gas trucks!

    Also check this out:

  4. It reminds me of a technology that I remember seeing on a TV science show when I was a kid. You can beat water into gasoline (as a kind of emulsion, I guess), on which ordinary internal combustion engines can then be adapted quite cheaply to run. Not a complete replacement for gasoline, but a supplement...

    But does the world have enough fresh water for that type of use (assuming seawater would corrode the heck out of the engine)?


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