Water-powered cars? Yeah right!,

Nick Lewis 2483°

Come on, be real! How can a car possibly run on water? If that were true, the water companies would have competed against the symbiotic relationship between Big Auto and Big Oil. Prove me wrong.

5 replies

I'm with you Nick. Water fueled cars are scam (at best). But then again, siding with you is actually siding with the laws of physics, so it's really a pretty easy choice.

Written in June 2008

It takes more energy to split the water into oxygen and hydrogen than you get back from the hydrogen in power, so it's technically impossible.
But you can run a car on air - http://www.aircarcatvolution.com/

Written in June 2008

John F.

Heres the wiki link talking about the water car mystery:

A water-fuelled car is a hypothetical automobile that derives its energy directly from water. Water-fuelled cars have been the subject of numerous international patents, newspaper and popular science magazine articles, local television news coverage, and the Internet. The claims for these devices have been found to be incorrect and some were found to be tied to investment frauds.[1][2][3][4] These vehicles may be claimed to produce fuel from water on board with no other energy input, or may be a hybrid of sorts claiming to get energy from both water and a conventional source (such as gasoline).

This article focuses on vehicles that claim to extract chemical potential energy directly from water. Water is fully oxidized hydrogen. Hydrogen itself is a high-energy, flammable substance, but its useful energy is released when water is formed—water will not burn. The process of electrolysis, discussed below, would split water into hydrogen and oxygen, but it takes as much energy to take apart a water molecule as was released when the hydrogen was oxidized to form water. In fact, some energy would be lost in converting water to hydrogen and then burning the hydrogen because some waste heat would always be produced in the conversions. Releasing chemical energy from water, in excess or in equal proportion to the energy required to facilitate such production, would therefore violate the first and/or second laws of thermodynamics.[5][6][7][8]

A water-fuelled car is not any of the following:


Taken from the article:
"Motors which purport to extract their energy directly from water would violate the first and/or second laws of thermodynamics.

The car that was unveiled last week by Genepax (http://www.genepax.co.jp/en/) claims to run on water and air. The company has not explained exactly how the vehicle works, but it has disclosed that it uses an onboard energy generator (a membrane electrode assembly) to extract the hydrogen using a "mechanism which similar to the method in which hydrogen is produced by a reaction of metal hydride and water". This has led many to speculate that the vehicle is actually powered by hydrogen generated on-board from the reaction of a metal hydride with water. Since the metal hydride would be the ultimate source of the car's energy, it is not truly a water-fuelled car. "

Consider this myth Busted.

Written in June 2008

Leanne V. 197°

The myth is busted. The metal hydride is the fuel for the car, not the water itself. Neat trick.

"Ya canna change tha laws a physics, cap'n!"

Scotty said it all, really.

In the meanwhile, your best and most effiecient transport method remains - the bicycle. Closely followed by the horse (and other animals) and your own two feet.

Written in July 2008

Charles M. 110°

While "water powered" cars are an outright scam, it is possible that water injection or hydrogen injection **could** improve the efficiency of an otherwise very inefficient process.

We know that any energy cycle is lossy. For example if you use the car's alternator to break down water into hydrogen and oxygen and then burn those to get power you will have to put in a whole lot more power than you get out. For example, you might be putting in 2 units of energy and getting 1 out.

However, there is a possibility that adding the hydrogen to a regular gas engine combustion **could** improve its efficiency to more than make up for that loss.

Or in numbers:
A regular gas engine might take in 20 units of energy and give you 10 out. However if you inject 1 unit of hydrogen the efficiency **might** improve to give you 15 units of energy. So that gives you a gain of 5 units of energy at the cost of 2 extra units of energy to make the hydrogen or a nett gain of 3 units!

Notice please that I use words like **could** and **might** because I would not bet on this panning out in the real world. If it did work then chances are your car's engine needs a tune up and that would give better results than fiddling with hydrogen. I also doubt very much that any modern car with a modern combustion control/ignition system is going to gain from this.

Note too that this does not violate any laws of physics. It just makes more efficient use of the waste energy going out the tailpipe.

Written in July 2008

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