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The Car That Makes Its Own Fuel

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the easy-to-refuel dept.

Power 534

Spy der Mann writes "A unique system that can produce Hydrogen inside a car using common metals such as Magnesium and Aluminum was recently developed by an Israeli company. The system solves all of the obstacles associated with the manufacturing, transporting and storing of hydrogen to be used in cars. And it's completely emission free."

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534 comments

FP BS! (5, Insightful)

schematix (533634) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869244)

first post to call bullshit! :: cough ::

Re:FP BS! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869296)

You're working for big oil, aren't you?

Re:FP BS! (5, Insightful)

ElBorba (221626) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869367)

No, seriously, I don't think you can mod this troll. This "article" is pulled from some sort of promotional flier or something. Not only is there a complete lack of any type of criticism but there's no hint as to what sorts of infrastructure would really be required to implement this "thing". I'm all for supporting the sciences and research and hey, I'm even psyched for the eventual advent of hydrogen or other yet unnamed types of personal transportation, but this piece makes it sound like a done deal when there's nothing at all in the article to make any judgement about...
 
...other than the fact that the fuel coil will be 3 TIMES THE WEIGHT OF A CONVENTIONAL PETROL TANK.

Re:FP BS! (5, Interesting)

Technician (215283) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869472)

.other than the fact that the fuel coil will be 3 TIMES THE WEIGHT OF A CONVENTIONAL PETROL TANK.

Anybody want to venture the supply problems of supplying about 100 Lbs of magnesium wire per commuter per week. The article seems to claim it won't cost more than petrol. Petrol is delivered by pipeline or tanker. Pumps and hoses won't deliver the wire. In reality, is there enough of this metal to support a fuel infrastructure?

FP! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869250)

who wooda thunk?

noway (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869251)

jose

Big deal. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869254)

I can produce methane inside my body using only common vegetables such as beans. OK, so it's not emission free.

Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869255)

...I'll believe it when I see it.

Editors (0, Troll)

HEbGb (6544) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869261)

You guys are total suckers. Come on!

Re:Editors (1)

BrokenStructure (793578) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869448)

I don't know... You stick a light, slightly toasted metal, like magnesium, with a low threshold of excitation from heat into steam. The metal absorbs the oxygen from the water vapor and voila, out comes pure hydrogen. I can believe it.

Yes, but... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869262)

Does it have cupholders?

Promising (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869263)

Gotta say, this sounds promising.

Yes but... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869265)

What will our president think of technology that will put him out of business?

Example of moving the pollution elsewhere (5, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869268)

From the article referenced by the Slashdot story: "The metal atoms will bond to the Oxygen from the water, creating metal oxide. As a result, the Hydrogen molecules are free, and will be sent into the engine alongside the steam."

This is just an example of moving the pollution elsewhere. The metal must be refined, at great cost to the environment. Then it is oxidized in a "pollution free" car.

/. editors played video games in science class. (5, Informative)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869353)

One thing I've learned over the years: Slashdot editors aren't much interested in science. The publish a lot of pseudo-science articles, or nonsense science articles like this one.

The issue here is that the process works, but it is very expensive in energy, because the metal oxide must be refined.

Anyhow, there is nothing new in the referenced article. The fact that it is possible to produce hydrogen using reactive metals has been known since perhaps 1860, maybe much earlier.

If I remember correctly, there was an explosion in Antoine Laurent Lavoisier's [k12.ca.us] lab caused by hydrogen released by heating with metal. Mr. Lavoisier died in 1794, and not from the explosion.

Re:/. editors played video games in science class. (3, Interesting)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869396)

One thing I've learned over the years: Slashdot editors aren't much interested in science. The publish a lot of pseudo-science articles, or nonsense science articles like this one.


This is the very kind of article that belongs on Slashdot. The whole point of posting something like this is having it taken apart and scrutinized by the Slashdot community.

How much fun would an article be was bullet proof? There would be nothing to say about it.

Re:/. editors played video games in science class. (1)

tylernt (581794) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869411)

"How much fun would an article be was bullet proof? There would be nothing to say about it."

So that explains why we never see stories about Kevlar jackets.

Re:Example of moving the pollution elsewhere (5, Insightful)

shmlco (594907) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869356)

Not to mention that, according to TFA, each "coil" lasts about as long as a normal tank of gas. As such, I still have to build an entire refining, distribution, refueling, and recycling network from scratch. In which case the summary is wrong, "The system solves all of the obstacles associated with the manufacturing, transporting and storing of hydrogen to be used in cars."

Sounds like there's still an obstacle or three in the way...

Re:Example of moving the pollution elsewhere (1)

abradsn (542213) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869413)

Actually, no. Whenever something new comes out, people are like, "Oh my god, how is everyone going to be able to get it." You could still buy these coils at the "gas station." What's wrong with that?

Re:Example of moving the pollution elsewhere (0, Flamebait)

eggstasy (458692) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869409)

Screw science, I'd say it's a pretty damn good idea to move the pollution outside the cities, possibly even to third world countries. I have a freaking bus stop right beneath my window, everything gets covered in soot on a regular basis, and I can imagine my lungs aren't exactly getting squeaky clean in the process.

Re:Example of moving the pollution elsewhere (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869444)

I'd say it's a pretty damn good idea to move the pollution outside the cities, possibly even to third world countries.

Fuck. You. Ass. Hole

Too good to be true (2, Insightful)

CompSciStud4U (877987) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869270)

This seems way too good to be true. Anybody with some credible knowledge care to debunk it?

Re:Too good to be true (3, Informative)

anOminousCow (905486) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869368)

Read about magnesium [wikipedia.org] on wikipedia. It's a very reactive metal. Put it this way - you don't want to have a pile of magnesium shavings sitting around your house. If it catches fire, there's no way of putting it out. It can 'burn' without oxygen, in a pure nitrogen atmosphere.

Re:Too good to be true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869390)

This is too good to be true.

I have a B.A. in Some Credible Knowledge.

Smells like PR Propoganda. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869271)

I'll believe it when I see it published in a peer reviewed journal, or I can buy it at a local car dealer. Until then, I call shens.

Sounds like BS (3, Insightful)

pinkocommie (696223) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869277)

Reading the article it says the way it works is by superheating water and using a metal catalyst to seperate H2 and O using the super heated steam and hydrogen to fuel the car. The problem not mentioned at all in the article is where does the super heated water come from?

Re:Sounds like BS (5, Informative)

anOminousCow (905486) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869319)

The superheated water and H2 come from the magnesium metal reacting with water. The metal oxidizes, gives off heat, and releases the hydrogen part of the water. However, there's still the problem of obtaining the metal in the first place.

Re:Sounds like BS (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869322)

Also, as I remember my high school AP Chem class, water breaks normally into OH- and H+, doesn't it? I mean, I know there is a way to get H2 and O with electricity, but isn't that counterproductive?

Re:Sounds like BS (1)

Chrispy1000000 the 2 (624021) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869429)

You should read up on ionic bonds, and you'll understand why you can't just filter out the H+'s and OH-'s. That, and the fact that even if you isolated a bit of one or the either, you'd need some wicked containment facilities.

Re:Sounds like BS (1)

sssmashy (612587) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869467)

There are several practical difficulties with this process but obtaining super heated water is not one of them. The hydrolysis of H2O by Zn is an exothermic and self-sustaining reaction. The water is simply heated by the waste heat from the formation of ZnO.

A more pressing engineering problem is separating H2 from steam, either with a cooling/condensing loop or through filtration, and also capturing the Zno product for recycling. There is a minimum 5-8 years needed to make this kind of technology practical for the automobile.

doc called (1)

hjf (703092) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869278)

Doc Brown from back to the future called. says his time machine broke and needs a new garbage-to-power converter, but can't get it as we are still in 2005.

Nice but... (4, Informative)

lothar97 (768215) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869282)

The second article [slashdot.org] in as many months. I now know of a second target for big oil.

In all seriousness, I wish them success. It remains to be seen whether they can create an efficient system for collecting the corroded/expended metal. How often do you see puddles of leaked material under a car? No mention of how much "metal oxide" this venicle produces, but I cannot imagine it's something we want leaked onto the ground.

I'd put my money on the H2N-Gen, but then again that guy's being sued for patent infringment [engadget.com].

Re:Nice but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869385)

Well the article mentions using magnesium and/or aluminum as the metals. Although in their elemental form both of these metals are rather reactive, as oxides they're unreactive, white solids which are actually the primary components of bauxite [wikipedia.org] and periclase [wikipedia.org] for aluminum and magnesium respectively. So I doubt any spills of this "spent waste" is going to do as much harm to the environment as say a spill of fuel oils, antifreeze, or fluorocarbon refrigerants.

Yes... (0, Offtopic)

SealBeater (143912) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869286)

This is what I've been waiting for from hydrogen. Something that will let me pour water into my tank and go. Give me horsepower and I'm set!!!

SealBeater

water -is- an emission (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869289)

Pretend you are in Minneapolis, 5 am, 20 below fahrenheit, the sun won't rise for at least two more hours. It is rush hour. All the cars are putting out steam, which billows white in the frigid air. Ice coats your rear bumper and the streets, an ice fog reduces visibility to a car length or so.

Re:water -is- an emission (2, Insightful)

SealBeater (143912) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869309)

A battery and water heater can take care of that. Once it get's moving, it can
use friction from other places, like the engine or the wheels. Even present
day cars can have problems starting in conditions like that.

SealBeater

RTFC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869363)

Starting isn't the problem, dumping water on the road in freezing temps is.

Re:water -is- an emission (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869398)

And you chuckle as you slowly drive pass a petrol station with some old relics still paying 5 dollars a litre.

Re:water -is- an emission (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869399)

Perhaps you haven't noticed, but the products of ideal hydrocarbon combustion are a lot of water and carbon dioxide. So you already have a lot of water in exhausts. Imagine the chaos.

Re:water -is- an emission (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869441)

And you chuckle as you slowly drive pass a petrol station with some old relics still paying 8 dollars a gallon.

Re:water -is- an emission (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869476)

Pretend you are in Minneapolis, 5 am, 20 below fahrenheit, the sun won't rise for at least two more hours. It is rush hour. All the cars are putting out steam, which billows white in the frigid air. Ice coats your rear bumper and the streets, an ice fog reduces visibility to a car length or so.

Pretend that the car comes with a device, let's call it a "tank", that will hold the waste water until you have a safe place to dispose of it.

No no no no (4, Funny)

ericdano (113424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869290)

No no. This simply can not be. The Oil companies, with their record profits, are developing this type of thing. If they haven't come up with it, then it simply does not exist.

Re:No no no no (0, Troll)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869312)

If this is for real. It still won't get deployed since it'll affect the war-derived oil profit of George W Bus... I mean the livelihood of all the auto industry workers.

Run this by me again? (0)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869291)

I suppose it is technically possible, but they have to heat the water to high temperatures to do this. So, according to the Article, they should need something to get the water hot. But I see nothing that does that.

Re:Run this by me again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869360)

Magnesium.

as if (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869297)

I doubt the american public will be so quick to adopt such a technology that gives them neither a significant discount from oil prices, nor a significant increase in vehicle size. Then again the heavy coils they mentioned are well suited to the monstrous vehicles of today.

Mystery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869298)

And in other news today the Israeli team and their entire families have Mysteriously Dissapeared without a trace.

Investigators are also confirming that their Lab and Offices have been completely emptied of all items including the plans for their breakthrough fuel device.

No suspects in this baffling case yet.

Reminds me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869299)

of the solar powered flashlight. It shines into its own solar cell to recharge itself.

I don't get it... (1)

Aenema (916366) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869302)

Refuelling the car based on this technology will also be remarkably simple. The vehicle will contain a mechanism for rolling the metal wire into a coil during the process of fuelling and the spent metal oxide, which was produced in the previous phase, will be collected from the car by vacuum suction.

I don't get it... What does a built in vacuuem have to do with fuel?

Re:I don't get it... (4, Informative)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869339)

I don't get it... What does a built in vacuuem have to do with fuel?

remove the used magnesium oxide. Essentially, the waste is contained in the car instead of spewed out, and I think there is a use for magnesium oxide. Also they need to change the water. Since they have to take stuff out of the tank, refueling is a bit more complicated.

Where do Slashdot editors come from? (5, Insightful)

Ancil (622971) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869303)

The Hydrogen car Engineuity is working on will use metals such as Magnesium or Aluminum which will come in the form of a long coil.
Is there any posibility we could send the entire slashdot editorial board to a class called "Thermodynamics 101"?

Actually, a lot of Hydrogen Economy True Believers need to enroll in that same class. Nothing against hydrogen per se, but half the nation seems to think of it as an energy source, which of course it isn't..

Free hydrogen is a -form- of energy, not a source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869394)

Obviously. The part everyone misses is that it takes at least as much energy to liberate the hydrogen from its oxygen as you can get back when it recombines. Think of it as a battery: you never quite get out what you put in.

One of the major US car mags last month had an analysis of the prospect of replacing all of the energy we get from burning gasoline in cars with hydrogen. By the time you add up the energy to obtain the free hydrogen, then compress it to 10,000psi or more so you can get decent range on a tankful, you have spent around 2X as much energy as you got from gasoline.

Someday the gasoline will run out, and there'll need to be an alternative, but whatever it is had better be twice as plentiful!

Re:Where do Slashdot editors come from? (1)

Chrispy1000000 the 2 (624021) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869446)

Well, there is a problem with that. First of all, Thermodynamics is usually not a first year course, so it'd be a 200 level at the very leask, AFAIK. Plus, it requires that stuff called math. Which, you know, if you are a True Believer, you just have to accept. You don't need to know how it works man.

Faith man!

Faith!

Re:Where do Slashdot editors come from? (4, Informative)

Quirk (36086) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869466)

Is there any posibility we could send the entire slashdot editorial board to a class called "Thermodynamics 101"?

I nominate the entire DOE Handbooks [doe.gov], not only for the /. editors but for the most part of /.ers overall, myself included. DOE-HDBK-1012/1-92 will cover Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer, and Fluid Flow. The math and science DOE Handbooks are a great free, downloadable resource. The basics of Physics, Chemistry, Electricity, Materials science, Reactor science and attendant math are all covered.

The DOE Handbooks are a rich resource that cover every aspect of implementing and running an organization. The books cover disputes, roundtables, the list is very nearly all encompassing.

Nothing speaks to independence like your own in house nuclear reactor and the DOE Handbooks guide you through nearly every step of the way.

Re:Where do Slashdot editors come from? (0)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869473)

Actually, a lot of Hydrogen Economy True Believers need to enroll in that same class.

And a lot of Hydrogen Economy True Skeptics need to stop their "you're all a bunch of fools" knees from jerking at the very mention of fuel cells. You might not have read TFA, but I did. It never mentioned hydrogen as a fuel. Metal was discussed as a fuel, and solar power, both used to produce hydrogen for use in the fuel cell. (Notice no mention of hydrogen as a fuel source?) Why don't you apply your skepticism there, where it's probably warranted?

Jumping by pulling your own hair (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869307)

This just in, perpetual motion machine developed as well and the laws of thermodynamics are no longer safe in this house.

Seriously though, the title in the article and the summary is misleading. The car isn't making it's own fuel. There's still a fuel station, it's just using a novel idea (I'm guessing) at producing hydrogen. I'm not sure how effective it is but it's a pretty neat trick, and if all the things the article says (which must be taken with a teaspoon of salt) come true, this could be a real breakthrough (chances are it comes 10 years too late with half the performance.)

Re:Jumping by pulling your own hair (0, Redundant)

gid13 (620803) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869376)

Homer: In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!

IANAC but... (1)

uc_nuhrd (833269) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869308)

Does the car have a tummy-ache? How is producing Aluminum and Magnesium Hydroxide going to solve anything? I predict a lawsuit by Mylanta...

repackaging old tech? (1)

maroonhat (845773) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869310)

i remember seeing this sort of thing done to power russian torpedos (and it failing badly)

anybody noticed the name of the company? (1)

hjf (703092) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869311)

"Engineuity"... more like ingenuous tan ingenious...

it still needs fuel... (2, Insightful)

ebatsky (582457) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869315)

As far as I can see, you would still need to refuel the car. Except this time, instead of oil based gasoline you will be using metal coil made from light metals like magnesium and aluminum. So although the article says the cost of running this car would be the same as today's gasoline-based cars I somehow suspect that those estimates will rise if it's ever used on a global scale...

The zinc and magnesium cartels! (1)

mister_llah (891540) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869317)

Oh no! This will give the zinc and magnesium cartels a strangehold on the world economy!

===

It definately sounds too good to be true, but I guess we'll see in a couple of years when the thing goes commercial, eh?

I have advice for the company: (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869324)

File a patent to this invention - fast! Otherwise someone may do it making you lose money big time.

Re:I have advice for the company: (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869357)

I filed for the patent for all patent-related jokes on Slashdot, you owe me $5, or a bacon cheeseburger (still warm). So we're going on the Honor System here, everyone who used one in the last week or so needs to email me to get directions as to where to send the money...

Bollocks. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869326)

Yes, you can get hydrogen out of acids by combining them with metals like aluminium or magnesium -- or hell, even sodium with water. But the cost of refining these metals in the first place is very high.

For instance, aluminium is produced by electrolysis: the ore is dissolved in cryolite, and the pure metal produced by passing an electric current through it. (Details [wikipedia.org])

There's a number of aluminium smelters in Australia (my home country); at least one of these has its own dedicated power plant, burning brown coal to produce its electricity.

So no, it's not "making its own fuel". The fuel is the refined metal and the acids (or water) that are combined with them to make the hydrogen gas. The fact that burning the hydrogen is what generates the useful energy is irrelevant to this point. The pollution is shifted to wherever the power to make the metals is produced.

When it comes to energy, there ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

Re:Bollocks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869450)

"no such thing as a free lunch"

Except solar, wind, geothermal and hydro...

Re:Bollocks. Burm Aluminum, screw the hot water (0)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869471)

You could just combust powdered aluminum and get more energy. Of course, it would return less energy then it took to smelt the metal.
This is just stupid. I thought this was a new metal hydride storage method. You want to bet the US Fed granted $$$ for this little scam?
BTW: I used to work in the aluminum industry, Smelting, developing experimental control systems to reduce energy use, In Australia, Bell Bay.
This idea is a total bunch of crap, right up there with unity power.

Article Text (3, Funny)

dcapel (913969) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869328)

Using our factory prooven VapoMax technology, we use common metals to generate hydrogen to power your car on! Our PATENTED fission-fusion transduction method uses a ion-converter coil to bring you: THE CAR THAT MAKES ITS OWN FUEL!

A unique system that can produce Hydrogen inside a car using common metals such as Magnesium and Aluminum was developed by an Israeli company based in. The system solves all of the obstacles associated with the manufacturing, transporting and storing of hydrogen to be used in cars, plus it runs Duke Nukeem Forever on a new POWER-based-ARM processor with 500 gigs of visio-ram harddrive access. When it becomes commercial, real soon now(c), the system will be incorporated into cars that will cost nothing to run, and will be completely emission free-- they even reverse pollution!

Soon, you can drive in your eco-friendly Vapo-car, while playing Duke Nukeem forever, past clear mountain streams flowing into cities powered by rainbows!

Super-heated Water (1)

rips123 (654488) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869337)

The 'ignition' problem exists in regular cars as well. My guess is that they would use a small amount of stored hydrogen to kick start the process. The 'waste' from the engine is coincidentally super-heated water which could then be used to keep the cycle running.

Lets assume this works as advertised (1)

xrayspx (13127) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869338)

Is the infrastructure to transport Magnesium and Aluminum easier to implement than the infrastructure to transport Hydrogen? I guess an Aluminum tanker never left a huge smoking crater in the ground, but it seems like transport costs would be at least similar.

so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13869346)

If you ever get desperate for fuel could you feed the car its own parts.

Back To the Future? (1)

moderndayknight (899410) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869350)

If this really works, I wonder how long until we can use aluminum soda cans, like Doc did in the movie.

It would definitely help with recycling, because everyone would have a real-world incentive to save their cans and not junk them. Then again, the metal is probably too impure, and it would take a lot of soda cans. It would be a step in that direction, though.

One bad idea for another (1)

Vile Slime (638816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869362)

So,

We eliminate the handling of hydrogen, a not incredibly obnoxious element and substitute the handling of a metal oxide which I would guess is going to kill some sort of lizard or bird if not handled properly.

This ain't a solution, it's pie-in-the-sky dreaming...

Re:One bad idea for another (1)

fitchmicah (920679) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869452)

Metal Oxide is not as dangerous as you think it is. Have you heard of Milk of Magnesia? Antacids?

This site looks like fluff... (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869366)

And I think that storing and using hydrogen in cars is not a problem, I read of a guy who converted his 1950's car (diesel?) to run hydrogen in the 1960's (teenager at the time with a handmedown). He had to make some modifications to certain components because hydrogen is a gas, not a liquid, and is also corrosive to certain metals/alloys but nothing major.

Correct me if I wrong, but isn't hydrogen's biggest problem simply that it's stored in water (for us on earth) and that the electrolysis to seperate it has like only 8% efficiency? Steam Electrolysis is more efficient, but how is this a breakthrough?

Re:This site looks like fluff... (1)

clockmaker (626182) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869447)

Actually, most industrial quantities of hydrogen nowadays are made from steam reforming of natural gas or petroleum.

Water is an emission with enough cars. (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869386)

First, mining, smelting, transporting these metals is going to cause pollution.

But any hydrogen based car system is going to dump a lot of water into the environment if everyone goes to hydrogen. I wonder with 200 million cars if the water/water vapor is going to act as a pollutant, encourage mold growth, etc.

beemer to the rescue (1)

ImaNihilist (889325) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869408)

The only one who has created an emission free hydrogen car that even RESEMBLES that of something that's drivable, is BMW. At least their hydrogen car doesn't run on a fricken 1 gear, 100hp, electric motor.

Yeah but (1)

blueadept1 (844312) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869425)

Yeah but can they run it on copper so that I can have a use for all of these PENNIES? My jeans are really getting low.

Translation into chemistry: (2, Interesting)

william_w_bush (817571) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869430)

This is a horrible tfa for a simple concept: Instead of producing the H2 through electro-hydrolysis at a production facility, then trying to distribute it to cars, they simply use the electro-positivity of light metals to produce H2 within the car itself via chemo-hydrolysis, which can then be burned in the engine.

The reason people don't do this now, is that pure light metals are hard to come by, and are often difficult to handle. Sodium and lithium are excellent light metals which are too expensive to refine as pure metals to make effective fuel supplies. Their process likely uses incomplete oxidation with the weaker, but cheaper metals magnesium and aluminum, with some form of reaction catalyzer to increase the rate of H2 production.

A. Are Mg and Al cheaper /kCal than petroleum based fuels?

B. Toxicity vs. Petroleum, is the "goo" produced /kCal more toxic than that of Petroleum. Cheaper to handle? Since you have to carry it around instead of throw it into atmo you can't use much fuel to go places.

C. What is the magic catalyst?

This whole thing seems like a japanese or european concept car, with maybe 30-50hp and more a replacement for an electric car than any competitor to current models, at least not in America.

Let's do some math... (3, Insightful)

Darth Cow (533706) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869432)

100kg of aluminum costs around $200 at ~$2/kg [metalprices.com]. Looking at the graph on this page [ic.gc.ca] for Aluminum manufacturing costs, about 75% of the cost is raw materials and supplies (mostly the aluminum). So that's at least $50 net to fill up your "tank" assuming perfect effeciency in converting that aluminum.

Neglecting the costs of taking the recycled aluminum oxide out of your car and turning it back into Al rods, the maintaince costs for the fuel station, infrastructure costs to build all this, and so forth. Shipping costs will of course astronomically climb since metal can only be transfered in by train, truck or ship unlike cheap pipelines and is also no longer an easily moveable liquid. Nevermind the cost of your aluminum powered car itself, or the engineering difficulties inherent in moving a 100kg metal coil into your engine, this "upgrade" is already going to break the bank.

I think I'll leave the hydrogen production outside of the vehicle, thank you. Nice try, but no dice.

Ok... energy needed (1)

pavera (320634) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869437)

So, this steam is just going to "appear". For this to work you're going to need a pretty hefty input of energy to boil water to create that steam.

So either you need a solar energy source (which won't work on a rainy day), or you'll need a bunch of batteries, which are bad, or you have to burn gasoline/other fossil fuel to boil the water to create steam to make this elecrolysis efficient enough.

This is not a solution. I much prefer honda's solution mentioned earlier (an electrolizer/storage solution for your home that runs on natural gas, and heats your home). Hook that up to solar power at your home (in alot of places) instead of the natural gas, and you've got a closed loop no emmission solution. And because it stores the hydrogen, if you have a rainy day, you still have fuel for your car.

How it was discovered (1)

Palal (836081) | more than 8 years ago | (#13869461)

It is just my speculation, but this looks a lot like a device for making home-made vodka. My guess is that the guy discovered this after having one too many shots. More power to him! Hmmm... Fresh-made vodka right in your own car... I wonder what kind of an effect this will have on the DUI rate.
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