Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hydrogen = Hot Air?

My son stopped by earlier today, and we got into a discussion on fuel prices, gas, alternative energy sources, and it included a lot of BS. Not from me certainly, but...

He mentioned how he had seen a piece on TV about a guy who has developed a means of extracting hydrogen from water in amounts plentiful enough to supplement gasoline and thereby improving mileage from 10% all the way up to 100%. Big claims, that.

So, as is my way, I dived into the net to see what was out there. As it turns out, there are many varieties of hydro supplement out there. Most use an electrolysis method and then combining the resultant gases (hydrogen and oxygen) into the intake side of the engine to assist gasoline or diesel burn more cleanly and efficiently. Claims and proofs vary from lots of claims and no proofs, to modest claims and supposed proofs based on their testing.

I'm far from an expert and in fact in this case I can't even spell "expert" in connection with my name. But,... Many of the claims seem improbable to impossible. One thought that comes to my mind is, if these devices are so good, why aren't big name companies making and selling them? Why aren't some big "aftermarket" auto parts company testing and building these things. If the devices are so good, why aren't the auto manufactures putting them on the cars and trucks. Don't jump up and speak "that" word. Yeah, you know the word, "Conspiracy." If all this hydrogen stuff is so easy, why hasn't it been used years ago. Electrolysis has been known for a long time. In fact, it was discovered shortly after water and electricity were discovered. OK, maybe that was an exaggeration.

I'm just thinking a lot of this is flim-flam. People who rush out to buy this stuff are probably throwing their money away. Time will tell. When a reputable company comes out with the units for retrofit to existing cars and trucks, then I'll believe it.


Boris said...

I think the short answer to your doubts is the same answer as to why many great marketable scientific breakthroughs go unnoticed. This documentary breaks down the myth and the reality of this kind of technology pretty well, and helps explain why inventions like this never get out of the backyard laboratory.

AarowSwift said...

If you're a fan of the show, Myth Busters covered this one. Yeah, the home made hydrogen cell thingie did indeed create hydrogen, but not enough to even start the car.