Gas is expensive and killing the environment, and eventually, we’re going to run out of it. So what if we use something else to fuel our vehicles? Is it possible to use water as fuel? Could we use water as a fuel for our vehicles instead of gas?
Can we make a water-powered engine? We already harness some power from water with water wheels and hydroelectric dams. But for a water-powered engine to work, it would need to harness the chemical power of water.
Gas is good as fuel because the molecules in gasoline have power stored inside them. Energy can’t be created or destroyed, and gasoline is like a fully charged battery. A car extracts the stored energy with the only logical method. This is how the appropriately named combustion engine works by blowing up gasoline to move pistons that generate power for the vehicle to drive.
How can water be a possible fuel for the engine?
Already we can find a problem with using water as engine fuel. Water on its own isn’t combustible or even able to store energy. However, oxygen and hydrogen make up water and are highly combustible when mixed but not chemically bonded. So if we break water down into its base elements, we end up with what’s known as oxy-hydrogen. A mixture of these two gases has enough stored energy to power an engine.
We can break water down into oxy-hydrogen surprisingly easily by using electrolysis. What’s impressive is that when you combust toxic hydrogen, the waste is water. Also, it is simple, clean, and suitable for the earth’s water.
Why can’t we use a water-powered engine?
Wate will be a good fuel if your engine is fueling itself again. So, there is a big problem with this. Electrolysis works by running an electric current through water. We need to put electricity into the system to split water into oxygen and hydrogen.
Remember, energy can’t be created or destroyed. So if our output is the same as our input, that means we didn’t gain anything. It’s rolling a boulder up a hill to roll it back down. The boulder ends up in the same spot, and it only took a lot of effort to get there.
Even if we made the most efficient engine in the world, the most we could theoretically get from this water-powered engine is the same amount of energy that we put in. Now, this could be a good system for storing energy. You could split the water now and use its elements for fuel later. That’s even the idea behind hydrogen cars.
The hydrogen acts like a battery that turns back into the water when its energy is used up. But this can only be used to store energy. Moreover, it can’t be used to generate energy. Water is a waste product after oxy-hydrogen’s energy has been used up.
We can’t make a water-powered engine. It would be like running a car on dead batteries. But this idea for a water-powered engine is a closed system. We can’t add any more energy to the system than what’s already in the system. That’s why the water-powered engine flopped.
What if we added gases from the atmosphere into our water engine?
What if we bring in new elements to give our engine more energy? We can separate the water into oxygen and hydrogen, then put them into two separate tanks instead of combining them. Then we mix both gases with outside air. So there’s enough oxygen for the hydrogen to react and enough hydrogen for the oxygen to react.
If this worked, our engine could release up to twice as much energy and create twice as much water as it started with. But this is also impossible! The air we breathe is around 21% oxygen, so we can mix our hydrogen with air to create enough oxy-hydrogen to be used as fuel.
However, less than one-millionth of our atmosphere is hydrogen. If we mixed our oxygen with normal air, the oxygen would dissipate before it could mix with enough hydrogen to use as fuel. The truth is that oxygen on its own will be pretty useless.
Hydrogen stores energy, and oxygen is an oxidizer. It supports combustion, but it doesn’t combust on its own or with the other elements in the atmosphere, which is lovely. Otherwise, there would be a lot of spontaneous fires in the air.
We have hydrogen-powered cars and oxygen-powered cars. But don’t get me wrong, oxygen is vital. We need oxygen to get the energy that’s in the hydrogen. Also, we need oxygen to get the energy, and we need oxygen so our bodies can extract energy from our food. But on its own, oxygen can’t do much.
We would need to add some other fuel to the oxygen to make it useful in our engine. That only defeats the point of a water-powered engine if it needs another fuel source.
So, in conclusion, buy an electric car. Its engine will technically be about 7% water-powered.
Read more similar topics:
J. M. Calo. “Comments on “A new gaseous and combustible form of water,” by R.M. Santilli (Int. J. Hydrogen Energy). International Journal of Hydrogen Energy.
“New Fuel Cell System ‘Generates Electricity with Only Water, Air’.” Nikkei Business Publications, Inc.
“Water-fuel car unveiled in Japan.” Reuters.
Ghelfi, Carli. “Water-fueled car: too good to be true?”.
“Japanese company creates an eco-friendly car that uses water as fuel!”. India Times.
“Genepax Water Car: Too Good to be True?
Rapier, Robert. “How to Run a Car on Water: The Truth About Genepax’s Hydrogen Car.” The Intelligence Daily.
Allen, Mike. “The Truth About Water-Powered Cars: Mechanic’s Diary.”
“No More Embarrassment for Thomson Reuters – Genepax Water Car is Dead « San Francisco Citizen.”
Business Intelligence Middle East: The water-powered car race heats up still further, Wayback Machine.
Guidelines for the use of Hydrogen Fuel in Commercial Vehicles, at the Wayback Machine, U.S. Department of Transportation. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
“Science Notes: Energy and Chemical Stability.” Carnegie Mellon University.