# Burning salt water for fuel?

1. Sep 11, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

Does anyone think anything will come from this?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070910/ap_on_sc/burning_seawater

2. Sep 11, 2007

### LeonhardEuler

I saw this in the news and searched here to see what has been said about it:

It seems that what's happening is that the RF beam separates the water into H and O, which is then combined back into water in a flame. Of course, you wouldn't get any energy out of the process: you have to use more energy in the RF generator than is given off as heat over the flame. I'm surprised how no one mentions this in the article. It seems clear that this process can not have a net generation of useful energy.

3. Sep 11, 2007

### Chi Meson

4. Sep 11, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

Thanks, nothing came up when I searched.

5. Sep 11, 2007

### zoobyshoe

Actually, it would have fantastic potential as a desalinization method. The burned H and 0 would be pure water and the heat generated could be used to help generate more radio waves.

6. Sep 11, 2007

### edward

OH NO I just filled my gas tank up with salt water and strapped an old radio to it.

7. Sep 11, 2007

### Kurdt

Staff Emeritus
I've been constantly amazed in all these water energy claims how nobody ever mentions the fact that one needs energy to split the molecule and unless your process is 100% efficient you will lose energy. There is no way you will ever gain any. The same with perpetual motion machines. Unless the process is 100% efficient it can't be perpetual and even then if you extract energy from the system it will eventually stop. So whatever is used to set the thing off may as well be used as the source of energy generation.

8. Sep 11, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

Disclaimer: PF is not responsible for news articles linked to from this site.

On the positive side, you now have a musical fish tank.

Last edited: Sep 11, 2007
9. Sep 11, 2007

### edward

You may just have something there. From salt water to fresh water in a flash. And solar could also be used to generate RF.

10. Sep 11, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

I cringe when I see headlines like that. It's the hydrogen that burns, and the hydrogen comes from dissociated water. Electrolysis has been used to achieve the same result, so I don't see this as a necessarily new discovery.

I imagine there's probably some chlorine gas and HCl around as well, and with H gone, the water would become more alkaline.

I imagine the energy lost producing the microwaves and then lost in the dissociation process make for an inefficient process. The objective for hydrogen production is to have a fuel that can be transported or used in a tranportation process. Burning hydrogen at the source would be a wasteful use of energy. It would make more sense to collect the hydrogen in an inert carrier gas for storage or chemical synthesis.

The overall scheme might be worthwhile if solar energy is used as the top level source of energy, but converting solar energy to microwaves may not be practical.

Roy has been around a long time, and I remember his work for nuclear waste processing and waste forms from the 70's and 80's. He certainly knows how to get funding.

http://www.rustumroy.com/

11. Sep 11, 2007

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus

The generation of microwaves is a little over 60% efficient. Then you have the coupling to the water, and dissociation. I would bet that you would never do better than 30 or 40% efficient overall.

Electrolysis is about 50% efficient in practice, so it seems very doubtful that this process would have an advanatage.

12. Sep 11, 2007

### Chi Meson

Rustum Roy appears to be a bona fide chemistry professor. Is he running a sham for funding? Or has he never stumbled upon the laws of thermodynamics? Or is it possible that there could be something there? Specifically, is there more than just the hydrogen burning?

I just find it incredible that a university professor would risk his credibility on a PPM. Or am I naive?

13. Sep 11, 2007

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Is he interested in the energy or the process?

14. Sep 11, 2007

### edward

OK then I can see where this concept may show up on late night Television informercials..

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15. Sep 11, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

He seems to have a number of papers concerning microwaves. Perhaps that is his interest.

16. Sep 11, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

You're in trouble, it's possum urine, monkey urine just sounds more exotic.

17. Sep 11, 2007

### edward

He has a patent on: Method and apparatus for microwave phosphor synthesis

18. Sep 11, 2007

### edward

You are such a good sport, I just could't resist. I'm tring to wind down from a long day.

19. Sep 11, 2007

### edward

It all appears to have started with this man.

It seems like the chlorine in the salt water might make some noxious fumes. Could it end up with some form of Hypochlorite??

Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
20. Sep 11, 2007

### gravenewworld

Why do you think the department of defense is interested in it? Probably because it has some obscure potential as a weapon. Bullets can't go through walls, but radio waves can right? Imagine a weapon that lights enemies on fire through walls with just the use of radio waves. After all the human body is what, 70% water?