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Japanese roll out water powered car

  1. Jun 14, 2008 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 14, 2008 #2

    Kurdt

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    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.
     
  4. Jun 14, 2008 #3
    Does it say what the products are? You can't create H2 and emit water as a waste product. That would be perpetual motion.
     
  5. Jun 14, 2008 #4

    Kurdt

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    Nothing about emissions. It just says it removes hydrogen from the water producing electrons. Sounds too good to be true for me.
     
  6. Jun 14, 2008 #5

    Dale

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    I found this article 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: Jun 14, 2008
  7. Jun 14, 2008 #6
    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.
     
  8. Jun 14, 2008 #7

    Kurdt

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    How much energy goes into producing metal hydrides then?
     
  9. Jun 14, 2008 #8

    Dale

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    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: Jun 14, 2008
  10. Jun 14, 2008 #9

    Dale

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    Exactly.
     
  11. Jun 14, 2008 #10

    Kurdt

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    Sensationalist journalism again I fear.
     
  12. Jun 14, 2008 #11
    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.
     
  13. Jun 14, 2008 #12

    Moonbear

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    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. :bugeye:

    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. :biggrin:
     
  14. Jun 14, 2008 #13

    Dale

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    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.
     
  15. Jun 14, 2008 #14
    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.
     
  16. Jun 14, 2008 #15

    Dale

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    Hey, that's a great idea! Some base-rain to neutralize the acid-rain. Maybe these guys are on to something after all!
     
  17. Jun 14, 2008 #16

    Moonbear

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    :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:
     
  18. Jun 14, 2008 #17

    russ_watters

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    No, just stupid journalism.
     
  19. Jun 14, 2008 #18

    RonL

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    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.
     
  20. Jun 15, 2008 #19
    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?
     
  21. Jun 15, 2008 #20
    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.
     
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