# Japanese roll out water powered car

Kurdt
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Nothing much more than the text conveyed. They said it can run for an hour at 80 Km/hr on a litre of water. Nothing about how the 'magic' generator removes the hydrogen from the water though.

Nothing much more than the text conveyed. They said it can run for an hour at 80 Km/hr on a litre of water. Nothing about how the 'magic' generator removes the hydrogen from the water though.

Does it say what the products are? You can't create H2 and emit water as a waste product. That would be perpetual motion.

Kurdt
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Nothing about emissions. It just says it removes hydrogen from the water producing electrons. Sounds too good to be true for me.

Dale
Mentor
2021 Award
I found http://icantseeyou.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/06/genepax-unveils-a-car-that-generates-electricity-with-only-water-air.html" [Broken] on the same car. From this sentence:

"This process is allegedly similar to the mechanism that produces hydrogen by a reaction of metal hydride and water. But compared with the existing method, the new process is expected to produce hydrogen from water for longer time, the company said."

I guess that it is actually a metal-hydride powered car. Those are one of the few kinds of chemical compounds that have a lower energy state than water.

NaH + H2O -> NaOH + H2
2 H2 + O2 -> 2 H2O
overall reaction
2 NaH + O2 -> 2 NaOH

Just an educated guess.

Last edited by a moderator:
I found http://icantseeyou.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/06/genepax-unveils-a-car-that-generates-electricity-with-only-water-air.html" [Broken] on the same car. From this sentence:

"This process is allegedly similar to the mechanism that produces hydrogen by a reaction of metal hydride and water. But compared with the existing method, the new process is expected to produce hydrogen from water for longer time, the company said."

I guess that it is actually a metal-hydride powered car. Those are one of the few kinds of chemical compounds that have a lower energy state than water.

It says it is similar to metal hydride+water, not that it is powered by such a reaction. I couldn't imagine having to constantly add sodium hydride to you car to keep it running.

Last edited by a moderator:
Kurdt
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
How much energy goes into producing metal hydrides then?

Dale
Mentor
2021 Award
It says it is similar to metal hydride+water, not that it is powered by such a reaction.
I understand that is what it said, but the energy has to come from somewhere. The only way to get energy out of water is to react it to produce something that has an even lower energy state.

When they have some "mystery box" you have to read between the lines. They don't describe it much other than the reference to metal hydrides, and they don't even specify the outputs, so you are left to infer. I won't abandon thermodynamics for faith in a company.

I could easily be wrong, but I will keep my money in mutual funds for now.

Last edited:
Dale
Mentor
2021 Award
How much energy goes into producing metal hydrides then?
Exactly.

Kurdt
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Sensationalist journalism again I fear.

Sensationalist journalism again I fear.

Yes. I find reports like that a shameful gimmick: "a car that runs on nothing but water" is false. It perpetuates the myth that water can actually generate energy when the energy comes from another source that is not mentioned. The translator says "no external input is needed" probably just to mean "no power cord dragging behind the vehicle". Reuters? Sheesh.

Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
It says it is similar to metal hydride+water, not that it is powered by such a reaction. I couldn't imagine having to constantly add sodium hydride to you car to keep it running.

Not to mention having something as caustic as sodium hydroxide as the exhausted product. I guess if you have a container to collect it into, you'll never need to buy drain cleaner again.

I'd hate to see what happens when the NaOH dripped onto the roads comes into contact with acid rain. :uhh: Might not have to worry about ice on the roads in winter though.

Dale
Mentor
2021 Award
Yes. I find reports like that a shameful gimmick: "a car that runs on nothing but water" is false. It perpetuates the myth that water can actually generate energy when the energy comes from another source that is not mentioned. The translator says "no external input is needed" probably just to mean "no power cord dragging behind the vehicle". Reuters? Sheesh.
Agreed. The problem is that most journalists, even the ones on a science or technology beat, are really ignorant of basic scientific principles. They don't have the background to even ask the right questions.

They claim "no emmissions". Not even that water or hydrogen or oxygen is emmitted. From this I can only assume that they have found a way to convert the entire rest mass of the water into electrical energy.

Dale
Mentor
2021 Award
I'd hate to see what happens when the NaOH dripped onto the roads comes into contact with acid rain. :uhh:
Hey, that's a great idea! Some base-rain to neutralize the acid-rain. Maybe these guys are on to something after all!

Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Hey, that's a great idea! Some base-rain to neutralize the acid-rain. Maybe these guys are on to something after all!

:rofl: In that case, I'd really prefer it if they worked on finding something that produced sodium bicarbonate as a waste product. Then at least if I get indigestion over the rising fuel costs, sucking on a tailpipe would be a less lethal solution to that problem. :uhh:

russ_watters
Mentor
Sensationalist journalism again I fear.
No, just stupid journalism.

RonL
Gold Member
I found http://icantseeyou.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/06/genepax-unveils-a-car-that-generates-electricity-with-only-water-air.html" [Broken] on the same car. From this sentence:

"This process is allegedly similar to the mechanism that produces hydrogen by a reaction of metal hydride and water. But compared with the existing method, the new process is expected to produce hydrogen from water for longer time, the company said."

I guess that it is actually a metal-hydride powered car. Those are one of the few kinds of chemical compounds that have a lower energy state than water.

NaH + H2O -> NaOH + H2
2 H2 + O2 -> 2 H2O
overall reaction
2 NaH + O2 -> 2 NaOH

Just an educated guess.

I know very little about chemical things, but looking at the blue box on the desk, there are 8 maybe 9 cap nuts that suggest more than a casual pressure. An electrical generated plasma, and the fact that water and air can be taken to extremes, hot and cold, to me suggest things in the micro scale and nano speeds. I can't explain what i think so I'll just leave it at that.

Last edited by a moderator:
Regardless of the article being sensational, if the company says that the car can run at 80kmph for an hour using a liter of water, isn't that good enough? I would say that if the claims are accurate, then this is an effective solution to the oil problem if it can be implemented on a large scale, and the waste products should not be very harmful to the environment, or at the very least, should be managable.

I know you cant really say that without knowing what process they use to derive energy from water, but the engineers who designed and worked on that car must have put a lot of thought into that too. You cant really disregard professional sensibilities can you?

WarPhalange
Regardless of the article being sensational, if the company says that the car can run at 80kmph for an hour using a liter of water, isn't that good enough?

Good enough for what? I mean, first we need to show that it can do it, then figure out if it does it the way the company claims.

I'd be satisfied with even a 40 mile trip per day. I don't even drive that much on a typical day, and even if I had to buy 2 bottles of Aquafina or whatever to fill it up, I'd be happy.

russ_watters
Mentor
Regardless of the article being sensational, if the company says that the car can run at 80kmph for an hour using a liter of water, isn't that good enough? I would say that if the claims are accurate, then this is an effective solution to the oil problem if it can be implemented on a large scale, and the waste products should not be very harmful to the environment, or at the very least, should be managable.
Those who said this was sensational journalism were wrong. What this is is a hoax that the journalists didn't pick up on. We can be quite certain that the claims are not accurate.
I know you cant really say that without knowing what process they use to derive energy from water, but the engineers who designed and worked on that car must have put a lot of thought into that too. You cant really disregard professional sensibilities can you?
Yes we can. What is claimed is a direct violation of the first law of thermodynamics. Any claim of using water as a fuel (with no other source of energy input) is a claim of perpetual motion.

Alfi
If it's a hoax, it should be easy to debunk.

Send in the Myth Busters. :)

RonL
Gold Member
Those who said this was sensational journalism were wrong. What this is is a hoax that the journalists didn't pick up on. We can be quite certain that the claims are not accurate. Yes we can. What is claimed is a direct violation of the first law of thermodynamics. Any claim of using water as a fuel (with no other source of energy input) is a claim of perpetual motion.

Russ, I would like to ask a question, based on a statement of an experience in my past.
The incidence was a need to start a diesel engine, due to a poor connection ?? at the battery terminal, the load imposed by the starter resulted in the lead post being completely vaporised, and melted, in some portion of one second.

Now the question is, if a single drop of water (about 1/25 ml) or at least a very small amount of liquid, is moved into a small and very hot chamber and brought into a state of superheated vapor, would any of that vapor produce a combustion if air is someway brought into the mix ?
To me it seems possible that some part of oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, might produce energy in excess of what it takes to put the water into superheated conditions.

Any energy system takes a larger amount of energy to put into motion, but to sustain that motion takes far less than the input, somewhere in between starting and stopping there should be some wiggle room.

russ_watters
Mentor
If it's a hoax, it should be easy to debunk.

Send in the Myth Busters. :)
It would be easy if they allowed you to actually examine the vehicle. Here's how: keep pouring water in until it stops running. Ie, until the battery that is actually powering the car runs out of juice.

russ_watters
Mentor
Now the question is, if a single drop of water (about 1/25 ml) or at least a very small amount of liquid, is moved into a small and very hot chamber and brought into a state of superheated vapor, would any of that vapor produce a combustion if air is someway brought into the mix ?
To me it seems possible that some part of oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, might produce energy in excess of what it takes to put the water into superheated conditions.

Any energy system takes a larger amount of energy to put into motion, but to sustain that motion takes far less than the input, somewhere in between starting and stopping there should be some wiggle room.
These reactions are quite well understood. There are no surprises to be had. Any high school level or higher chemistry or thermodynamics book (not to mention the net) has the energies involved in all of these reactions/bonds in tables in the book. It is an important part of the class, figuring out how a reaction happens and if there is a net release or absorption of energy.

For example, superheated water vapor - what could it possibly turn into if "combusted"?? It is already H2O - would it become H2O2? Well, how does that reaction work? Here it is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_peroxide#Decomposition

As you can see, the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide is exothermic, which means the formation is endothermic.

What really bothers me about these things is the utter lack of scientific understanding displayed by the media. It isn't like Reuter's is a small company. They can afford to pay a high school kid who just passed chemistry and physics to be their science editor and tell them not to run a a free infomercial for a scam like this. The whole point of these stories is to trick people into investing in these fake companies. It's fraud, and the media is complicit.

Last edited:
Alfi
It would be easy if they allowed you to actually examine the vehicle. Here's how: keep pouring water in until it stops running. Ie, until the battery that is actually powering the car runs out of juice.

Don't even need to be allowed to inspect the thing.
Just ask to watch the fueling, the test run and the refueling. If it is repeatable, I want one.

Dale
Mentor
2021 Award
What really bothers me about these things is the utter lack of scientific understanding displayed by the media.
What really bothers me is that ANYONE who has a high-school diploma could be duped by this. I mean, this is really basic stuff, how is it possible to live in a world so full of science and be functionally ignorant of one of the most fundamental concepts. The media reflects the populace in this case, how sad.

Alfi
I just don't understand why a company claiming 25 years of research would put out a hoax.

They must have 'something' behind this, or risk closing the company over a fraud case.

I just don't understand why a company claiming 25 years of research would put out a hoax.

They must have 'something' behind this, or risk closing the company over a fraud case.
Claiming 25 years of research is part of the hoax. The company is a sham. I just checked their web page full of "coming soon" sections, copyrighted 2008. First press release: June, this year, about the car. Really, you think a 25-year-old Japanese company would have just discovered the internet this year? There is no "risk" of closing a sham company. And Reuters sucks donkey, from now on I'll only listen to Geraldo.

What really bothers me is that ANYONE who has a high-school diploma could be duped by this. I mean, this is really basic stuff, how is it possible to live in a world so full of science and be functionally ignorant of one of the most fundamental concepts. The media reflects the populace in this case, how sad.

I think general population don't need to know how it runs.

If it costs less and is safer than using gas, everyone is happy

Dale
Mentor
2021 Award
I think general population don't need to know how it runs.

If it costs less and is safer than using gas, everyone is happy
Then happiness is believing in fairy tales I guess. Why don't you send me $200, Santa Claus and I are good friends and I will put in a good word for you. You don't have to know how it works, but he will bring you whatever you want. russ_watters Mentor I just don't understand why a company claiming 25 years of research would put out a hoax. There is nothing complicated behind hoaxes. People do them for one of two reasons: 1. Fame/notariety. 2. Money. They must have 'something' behind this, or risk closing the company over a fraud case. I don't know how things work in Japan, but in the US, people are almost never prosecuted for this type of fraud. People will invest in the company, the company will fail, and that will be the end of it. Companies fail all the time because promising new technologies don't pan out. Last edited: russ_watters Mentor I think general population don't need to know how it runs. If it costs less and is safer than using gas, everyone is happy But that's exactly the point: it doesn't. People get bombarded with false/misleading advertising on a daily basis and they need to have a well-calibrated BS detector to adequately deal with it. Then happiness is believing in fairy tales I guess. Why don't you send me$200, Santa Claus and I are good friends and I will put in a good word for you. You don't have to know how it works, but he will bring you whatever you want.

I think that's how the things work.
You can call corporations as Santa Claus
and engineers/researchers as elves.
You can get anything you want, if you
provide enough money.

For, general population or executives nothing is impossible.
It's just engineers/researchers who deal with this mess

But that's exactly the point: it doesn't. People get bombarded with false/misleading advertising on a daily basis and they need to have a well-calibrated BS detector to adequately deal with it.
Yep, you are right.

Alfi
So

I see a lot of disbelief posts, but not a 'it can't be done, and here's why' post.

Should my BS detector flip flop on them or you guys.
Neither side has convinced me and one side has a physical object to be tested.

I don't buy into their claims with eyes closed, but it would be nice to be able to point out the flaw of the deception.