Water as a fuel in cars

  1. hello every one
    while surfing i came across this site
    http://netmar.com/~maat/archive/feb2/carplans.htm

    it has some plans and drawings for adapting an ordinary petrol/gasoline engine to run on water

    i just started university as a mechanical engineer may be i will take this as a final year project

    but first i wish to know reviews from you people as well as construction tips ideas problems etc i donot have much experience with engines as i cant get opportunities or time to visit garages and auto shops, though i have a little bit of experience in electronics.

    i would like all of you to help me and yourselves
    think about the savings we could make

    think clean think water

    thanx in advance to any would be helpers
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mech_Engineer

    Mech_Engineer 2,299
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    This has been discussed several times, the definitive answer is that water is a BYPRODUCT of a combustion process, not a fuel for one. There is no way to make a combustion engine to run off of water unless you first separate it into hydrogen and oxygen, which takes a lot of energy. Energy can be stored using water through electrolosis, but any energy you get from the burning of hydrogen and oxygen must first have been put into it.

    Running a conventional combustion engine off of hydrogen by itself is not a very good idea either because hydrogen is very low in energy content, meaning any car running off of it will produce little power and not get very good mileage.

    There is no significant amount of energy available in water by itself for use in a vehicle.
     
  4. Danger

    Danger 9,879
    Gold Member

    I read as much as I could of that link... enough to know that the site is a crock. They are indeed proposing an on-board electrolysis unit controlled by the throttle. Somewhere along the line, they forgot that the electricity needed for the process has to come from somewhere, and it can't be sustained by the engine through an alternator system.
    They also are using figures and even definitions that are out of whack by miles. Do youself a favour and block that site from your browser.
     
  5. Mech_Engineer

    Mech_Engineer 2,299
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    I want to see the citation for the site's claim that the Department of Energy says there is up to 40% more energy stored in water than gasoline :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2006
  6. I thought of this idea when I was 15 years old, and It still didn't take long for me to realize that this idea is a load of BS. There are tons of sites just like the one you linked to and absolutely none of them have much basis on real science. Don't waste your time.

    carp
    PropulsionAccess.com
     
  7. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    You do not want to work on this as an important ME project. It is crackpottery.
     
  8. brewnog

    brewnog 2,793
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    If you've started a degree in mechanical engineering, you really should know the answer to this yourself. Not only is it the first thing you get taught in thermodynamics, it's basic common sense. Which university are you at?
     
  9. Danger

    Danger 9,879
    Gold Member

    It's either just totally made-up, or some idiot confused 'specific impulse' with energy. Hydrogen and oxygen burning is more efficient than gasoline and oxygen. I have no idea what the actual SI numbers are, though. I know that the Saturn V with kerosene and oxygen was something like 450 seconds, and the NERVA with pure hydrogen (no oxydizer) at 2,700 degrees C. put out about 1,100 seconds (to the best of my feable memory capacity).
     
  10. Mech_Engineer

    Mech_Engineer 2,299
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    I'm quite sure the entire thing is made up without any real engineering work having been put into it. :rofl:
     
  11. Danger

    Danger 9,879
    Gold Member

    Most likely. :rolleyes:
     
  12. thanks for those replies

    ok guys
    i myself felt a bit unsure about this project
    so i am waiting till these guys at the website come up with solid working proof pics and videos

    better still i should contact the mythbusters from the discovery channel
    they could solve this problem

    however i came across a video on another forum abt cars its of a corrolla that uses water as a fuel problem is its not in english so i dont know what to make of it, and i have the video but dont remember where i got it from
    can i upload it though that would take a heck of a long time me being a poor dialup user :(

    about the fuel cells. they are supposed to work for electric vehicals only right that use electronic motor and no engines. i could take up those project but an electronic car is expensive to build
    abt the project i am not serious, heck i just started university and will learn more.
    also can you point me to websites about car engines etc, i cant get first hand info abt this like electronics. i can buy electronics components easily but not engines

    thanks for enlightening me
     
  13. brewnog

    brewnog 2,793
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    Gold Member

    Saad, don't ever let yourself be fooled into believing that water is a fuel. It is not. You don't need Mythbusters to show you that water is an exhaust product of hydrogen combustion, not a fuel source.

    Fuel cells are well understood. These run using hydrogen as fuel; a simple google search will yield many useful sites.
     
  14. Danger

    Danger 9,879
    Gold Member

    If you get Discovery Channel, then there's a fair chance that you also get Spike. Start watching the Power Block series (Muscle Car, Horsepower, Xtreme 4x4, etc.). It can teach you a lot about engines as well as other aspects of vehicular design. It wouldn't be my first choice for a definitive education, but it's certainly a decent start.
     
  15. surely you can use some of the engines heat energy to heat water in to steam and run some of the car off steam.
    www.steamcar.co.uk/
     
  16. brewnog

    brewnog 2,793
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    Course you can paddy. But the water there is not fuel, it's just a medium by which to transfer heat.
     
  17. did you guys see the circuit that is enclosed in the plans
    can it really do what it is meant to do i.e.break water in to hydrogen and oxygen can any one verify that circuit or test it

    also i just wanted to ask if suppose that we had hydrogen and oxygen in the gas form then could a mixture of it be used to run a car, not keeping in mind any disasters or other impacts
     
  18. Well the whole thing is a hoax, but the concept to using water for the heat transfer is the same as used by Crower in his six stroke engine....
     
  19. It is possible to break water into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity. It is called electrolysis. The setup used to do this is simple. You simply need a source of electricity connected to two electrodes (and an electrolyte dissolved in the water to conduct the electricity).

    As for your second question, yes, it is possible to run an engine off of gaseous hydrogen and oxygen, although it is technically challenging.

    carp
    PropulsionAccess.com
     
  20. brewnog

    brewnog 2,793
    Science Advisor
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    It's possible to run a normal (slightly modified) engine to run on a hydrogen and oxygen mixture, but it's extremely knock prone.

    It's also possible to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, but this requires an energy input.
     
  21. Mech_Engineer

    Mech_Engineer 2,299
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    The point is that you need an energy input to break water into hydrogen and oxygen, so where would you get the energy? When you burn a hydrogen/oxygen mixture the only energy available from the reaction is whatever energy was theoretically put into it from the electrolysis process, which means there is no available excess energy to drive the car.

    Just give up, this hoax will not work :grumpy: It's basic conservation of energy.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2006
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