May 25, 2007 4:00 AM PDT

Alternative fuel for thought

Alternative fuel for thought
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May 16, 2007
CORONADO, Calif.--Conventional fuel strategies seem to be running out of gas.

The world's reliance on crude oil as the fuel for transportation has to end, according to nearly a dozen speakers at the Future in Review conference this week. That's not exactly a novel idea these days, but there's plenty of debate surrounding the question of how people will consume energy in the future, whether it's electric cars, hybrids, biofuels, or something else entirely.

"The world's energy system as it is fundamentally unsustainable," said Vijay Vaitheeswaran, global environment and energy correspondent for The Economist during one panel session. "The needlessly dirty and inefficient ways we use fuels today make it unsustainable."

So then, what's next? There was no consensus on a solution, but plenty of ideas about what is needed. The next source of fuel for the transportation world must be clean, efficient, dense, abundant, safe and, most importantly, cheap.

"The politics of the energy business in the U.S. has been, 'let's make sure it's cheap and let's don't worry about having the next generation of sustainable supply,'" said Randy Foutch, president of Foutch Consulting and oil industry veteran. But at this point, both industry players and government officials have to look ahead because the means to get something done is there if the will can be summoned, he said.

Organizers of the Future in Review conference here try hard not to have a common theme, with sessions ranging from biomimicry and the future of AIDS to rocket science and global investment trends. Likewise, the participants and attendees hail from a wide range of backgrounds: information technology, finance, government, academia and venture capital.

"Efficiency itself is an alternative fuel."
--Vijay Vaitheeswaran, global correspondent,
The Economist

But the technology world is increasingly turning its efforts toward finding alternative ways to power homes and automobiles in hopes of curbing global warming, reducing dependence on the Middle East, and getting rich. That was reflected in the sessions inside the Hotel Del Coronado, where the event is being held, and in the cocktail-hour discussions afterward.

Before even getting started on alternative fuels, technologists and engineers should be finding new materials for building cars, said Nate Lewis, a professor of chemistry at the California Institute of Technology.

"You can't fight physics," Lewis said, questioning the logic of building a 3,000-pound car to haul around 300 pounds of passengers. "The transportation industry will go to lightweight high-strength materials," which will produce cars that need less fuel to move about town.

And while they're at it, figuring out how to make the good old-fashioned combustion engine more efficient would be a good idea, Vaitheeswaran said. "Efficiency itself is an alternative fuel." Hybrid cars like Toyota's Prius are a nice first step toward that idea, but they don't really solve anything fundamentally because they are still dependent on gasoline for most of the time, he said.

Several panelists and speakers supported the idea of all-electric cars. For one thing, they are much more efficient than gasoline engines, Lewis said. They also aren't locked into one future source of energy or another, since the electric car doesn't care whether its charge was produced by burning gas, solar power or a nuclear reaction, said Martin Eberhard, CEO of electric car maker Tesla Motors.

"If you can store the energy in an electric form, you have complete independence of the source," Eberhard said. Gasoline-powered cars, on the other hand, were designed to run nothing but unleaded gasoline or perhaps diesel fuel from the start, giving drivers only one way to move the wheels.

Tesla has been on a whirlwind publicity tour showing off its Roadster, which it parked on the lawn outside the Hotel Del Coronado on Wednesday. The Roadster is an all-electric vehicle that gets its power from a conventional wall socket and stores it in lithium-ion batteries. "We can make a difference by proving that tech is there to produce a viable electric car, and that people want to buy it," said Elon Musk, chairman of the company. Also on Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice got a look at the Roadster during a visit to Silicon Valley.

Others want to focus on ways to improve existing car engines. Martin Tobias, for example, has started a company called Imperium Renewables that is trying to develop refining technology for "plug and playable, hot-swappable hydrocarbons that could replace oil," as he put it.

Biodiesel-fueled engines have been gaining support as a relatively simple way to take existing diesel engines and run them on a cleaner fuel derived from corn, palm oil or other plants. The problem is that a government push behind ethanol hasn't really produced results, and some worry about the risks of basing the fuel economy around a crop that could compete with the food supply.

There is another push these days to explore using genetic engineering to produce plants with a higher fuel content than those used for food, or to develop types of algae that can produce a lot of energy with a small footprint, Tobias said. J. Craig Venter, in a speech kicking off the conference Tuesday night, said he's also looking into developing algae and microbes that could be used as fuel sources.

All of these ideas are still in the relatively early stages, but momentum is growing. As countries like India and China begin to consume energy at the levels used by the developed world, and the love affair with the automobile rages on, there appears to be little choice.

"There's no way in hell we're going to persuade 300 million people to get out of their cars," Vaitheeswaran said.

See more CNET content tagged:
alternative fuel, transportation, gasoline, fuel, economist

59 comments

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Add your comment
hope you like high gas prices
they cant accommidate both adding ethonal and increasing the capacity for fuel consumption
Posted by newcreation (118 comments )
Reply Link Flag
and if you believe that lie
I have a bridge in Brooklyn you might like to purchase.
Posted by dburr13 (117 comments )
Link Flag
ETHANOL IS THE BIGGEST SCAM GOING
Its takes twice as much energy to produce and produces twice as much green house gases to make and increases pestasides and chemicals to grow by 10 fold and oh ya you get about half the mileage out of 1 gallon.

Yellow if the new Green: Meaning lining the corn producers pockets with green money.

We have already seen the way to go, the guys from Purdue university have figured out a way to harness a metal reaction to water and make Hydrogen and you only make what you need, no gas stations or planning needed, now if the energy companies would get off there a$$ and get behind this we can all drive hydrogen cars

A Purdue University engineer has developed a method that uses an aluminum alloy to extract hydrogen from water for running fuel cells or internal combustion engines, and the technique could be used to replace gasoline.
The method makes it unnecessary to store or transport hydrogen - two major challenges in creating a hydrogen economy, said Jerry Woodall, a distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue who invented the process.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.physorg.com/news98556080.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.physorg.com/news98556080.html</a>
Posted by mcepat (118 comments )
Reply Link Flag
CORN ethanol is the biggest scam going, BUT...
SUGAR ethanol is the best alternative fuel thus far (that has be perfected for use).
Brazil uses sugar ethanol and is completely independant of all foreign oil.
I agree that hydrogen is the best concept in alternative fuel, but it is under-developed and incomplete.
The chance of anyone getting behind it is also slim, as it is does not generate enough money for a private company. There would be no energy industry if it were based on hydrogen.
Sugar ethanol fuels (no pun intended) the economy because of the jobs it provides and because of its competative product.
Posted by nyxoneirata (1 comment )
Link Flag
Pernicious outdated ethanol information
Some of the most quoted information on ethanol is also several years outdated...The oil lobby continues to distribute the results of these outdated studies in yet another attempt to maintain their stranglehold on the production of motor fuels.
Production of ethanol is a much more efficient process these days than it was just a few years ago...and the efficiency of production continues to improve...I don't claim ethanol as a solution to all of our energy problems...But it can act as a bridge to more advanced technologies that will come in the future...technologies that are still at this point...Pie In The Sky.
Posted by dburr13 (117 comments )
Link Flag
Hydrogen is the only bigger scam than ethanol
Ethanol from corn is a HUGE scam, but hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are an even bigger scam. Despite all the hype no one has yet managed to even match current vehicles on a well-to-wheel basis, let alone show an improvement!

Those scientists from Purdue forgot to mention just how huge the energy input is to make the aluminium. It's incredibly energy inefficient, generates a lot of pollution and greenhouse gases and fuel cell vehicles are hugely expensive.

The process to make aluminium from alumina takes roughly 12-15kWh per kilogram. From the article they are getting 6kWh per pound, or 2.72kWh per kilogram. Using our best-case 12kWh figure for making the stuff, we're looking at 23% energy efficiency. Now figure 70% efficiency for a fuel cell (current cells are ~50-60% efficient but this should improve to ~70% in the next decade or two) and you've got a wall-socket-to-wheels efficiency of just shy of 16%.

For comparison the wall-socket-to-wheels efficiency of fuel cell vehicles using compressed hydrogen from standard electrolysis is about 40% (about 65% on electrolysis, 90% on compression and storage and 70% fuel cell). For an all-electric vehicle using Li-Ion batteries your efficiency is better than 90%.
Posted by Hoser McMoose (182 comments )
Link Flag
Some silly claims
Those that are talking lighter weigh car components are completely missing the point.
Autos are going electric. When you substitute electric for gasoline, you gain enormous economies. Disregarding battery costs, an electric gets from 3.5 to 5 miles per kilowatt
hour, for vehicle weights 4,000 to 2500 pounds.
The cost of an average kilowatt hour is 8.5 cents. $3.00 gasoline costs about 5 to 12 times as much per mile. We have enough spare electrical capacity available right now to power our entire
gasoline powered fleet (which would require about 11% of our total electricity). Therefore, lightening up the cars in this low cost per mile enviromnent is money poorly spent. It makes no economic sense.
Posted by theBike45 (90 comments )
Reply Link Flag
ya electric cars are really great
now are coal burning plants that produce the largest amount of green house gases that produce 80% of the electric power in the US will need to go full throttle all the time and we will need to build a 1000 more to keep up with the power needs for all these electric cars

sounds like a great idea

or we could go with hydrogen and use the purdue discovery that elimnates filling stations and only use what we need all self contained that requires no electricy no strain on the grid and has 0 emmissions?

what would you pick

I dearly hope the worlds cars are not all going electric, it would be a mistake
Posted by mcepat (118 comments )
Link Flag
Efficiency...
Do you expect the cost of electricity to remain at a happy low? Where do you think electricity comes from? Primarily from burning or fission-ing finite resources; (Uranium used in nuclear reactors is dug out of the ground just like coal and can only be pulled out so fast and from so many places - economically). That's cost will almost certainly increase over time as supply decreases and demand increases.

Improving efficiency will be an important part of the energy soltion, whatever your purely economic argument looking not beyond the consumer suggests.

Best Wishes,
-Ben
Posted by ben332211 (7 comments )
Link Flag
We have to get a Alternative fuel or we will all die
We have to get off of oil based Fuel and here the reasons.

Iran with nukes controls oil and threaten the world.
Gas now cost over half of the minimum wage. leads to large scale gas thieves.Kids in middle night carrying rubber hoses. Gas station drive offs
Ask yourself this if all those countries that control most of Oil tell America that they don't want to sell us Oil Because they Got China and India as customers now.
Could lead to Socialism in America and all the oil and wall street people could come under state control.
Every dollar you spend 20 cents go to Support people that want to hurt you through terrorism .
Gobal warming
Remember America not like Europe We don't got large train Systems to take the place of large scale Fuel shortages.
Posted by cohaver (189 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Mass transit, Mass transit, Mass transit, ...
Not the wasteful, inefficient, polluting, tax-supported, over-priced, fuel-guzzling, political toys that U.S. city &#38; county governments promote. More like the clean, rational rail systems of Malaysia and Singapore. Once used to it, even U.S. fat people can discover the joys and pains of affordable public transit.
Posted by Ngallendou (27 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Mass transit depends on the locale
Mass trasnit works in cities designed for it. Most older cities work well, because they were designed around people walking or carts. Many american cities are not designed to use mass transit well. The costs and pollution to rebuild these cities would be much more than developing more efficient transportation.
Posted by Philo\ (10 comments )
Link Flag
Car already runs on water(link inside)
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdVevvgM3ho" target="_newWindow">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdVevvgM3ho</a>

Yes its true and yes its possible. If i had the time and money to survive for a year(and the tools to measure) I could GIVE you a easy to implement technology that would run YOUR CAR on water without much cost and a completely free fuel source.

As for the video above, the government bought him out and payed 100+million to put his technology into hummers for the army and promise(probably in blood) that he wont give the technology away to anyone else.
Posted by Zupek (85 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Are you a conspiracy nut?
[b]Quoting:[/b] [i] "... As for the video above, the government
bought him out and payed 100+million to put his technology
into hummers for the army and promise(probably in blood) that
he wont give the technology away to anyone else. ... " [/i]

Did you even watch the video you posted?

Nobody got paid off to go away. This new company seems to be
thriving.

The one thing that makes me very skeptical is that they claim
the technology can run a car on 100% water, HOWEVER, their
own company demo vehicle is a gasoline &#38; water hybrid.
Posted by Sparky672 (244 comments )
Link Flag
Aqua Fuel
Totally agree - there is already a gasoline replacement readily available using a water source that can be used in existing gasoline-powered vehicles, burns cleaner than gasoline, and costs about $0.12/gal to produce at 120 octane WITHOUT additives - see links below. This is a huge sham - the more I probe into it the dirtier it gets - hydrogen/fuel cells/all electrics/ethanol are just meant to keep the cash cow flowing and will take decades, if ever, to produce on a mass scale, not to mention the huge expense. There are alternatives to what the inventor of your YouTube video has created under various trademarks, and I believe that the original patent awarded in 1898 could trump "derivative" patents, but I'm not a patent expert.

AquaFuel: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://jlnlabs.imars.com/bingofuel/html/aquagen.htm" target="_newWindow">http://jlnlabs.imars.com/bingofuel/html/aquagen.htm</a>

Aqualene: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://definitiveenergy.net/motorfuel.html" target="_newWindow">http://definitiveenergy.net/motorfuel.html</a>

Definitive Energy: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.definitiveenergy.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.definitiveenergy.com</a>

How about an article on this technology CNET?
Posted by fxjamusa (36 comments )
Link Flag
Ethanol is the second biggest scam...
Man made Carbon dioxide (CO2) as being the cause for global warming is so manifestly wrong. It is a researchers golden parachute. The proof of its wrong headedness lies in the history lying at our feet - in the form of sedimentary cores, also ice cores and tree rings. Global warming and cooling is a natural phenomena. Has been happening for millions of years - long before man came on the scene.
Posted by Blaydonracer (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Answer:
Yes...Although it may have great promise...it is years away from mass implementation...We need something on the table now...to get us through the uncertain years between now and when "pie in the sky" becomes a workable solution.
Posted by dburr13 (117 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Electric cars may be viable soon.
For one reason: scientists are using nanotechnology to develop advanced power storage systems that could store a lot of power in a small package yet recharge very quickly. A good example is MIT's research into nanotube-based supercapacitors.

With these new supercapacitor packs, we could see within ten years all-electric cars that--because we finally eliminated the space-wasting engine compartment--have a lot of interior space but with smaller external size (imagine a car with the interior space of a Honda Accord but smaller externally than a Honda Civic!). And unlike fuel-cell vehicles, these electric cars can take advantage of the electric power grid now in place or take advantage of cheaper solar power panels coming in the next five year (again, thanks to nanotechnology).
Posted by SactoGuy018 (1360 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Nano-Tech also making batteries more of a possibility
Nano-technology is also eliminating one of the serious shortcoming of battery power electic cars (BEV) and that is recharge time. BEV were impractical because low specific energy storage (KWh/kg) meant that they couldn't go very far, while low power density (KW/KG) meant that they couldn't generate a lot of power so performance was low and took forever to recharge.

So you wound up with something like the GM EV1 with 40 miles of range and 6 hours to recharge. Only very few people could live with a vehicle with type of duty cycle. But now things are changing.

New Lithium-ion battery technology using nano-scale materials in the anode and cathode yield a battery with high energy density and even more importantly high discharge and recharge rates (2000 - 3000 W/kg). In addition batteries like the AltairNano battery are showing life times at better thanan order of magnitude longer than current generation LiOn batteries (9000+ charges vs 500-750)

The result is a vehicle like the Tesla Motors White Star sedan currently being developed that will have 200 or so mile range with 0-60 mph acceleration under 6 seconds and, with the use of new generation LiOn batteries, a recharge time of 10 to 15 minutes. And assuming a full discharge/recharge per day would last 25 years. These aren't pie-in-the-sky estimates.

Tesla is already demonstrating the performance capabilities with their roadster. The sedan will use the same basic techology. Phoenix Motors is using the AltairNano batteries in their SUT and SUV and have demonstrated 10-15 minute recharge times using an off-board high-voltage/hi-amperage charger.

The result is that we could have an all-electric car that could recharge over-night in your garage using low-amp service yet still be able to drive cross-country with brief stops to recharge every couple hundred miles. Yes this is less range than my Honda Accord, which can go more than 500 miles on a tank of gasoline.

But does that make any effective difference? I know that I personally need to make a pit-stop about every 150-200 miles regardless of what the car needs. The real reason that most cars have 400-500 range isn't because people want to drive 6-8 yours without a bathroom break. It is so that folks don't have to go to the gas station more than two, three, maybe four times a month. With a BEV plugged in at night, you would never have to find a charging station during 99.9% of your average around town driving.

The big change with this type of BEV duty-cycle compared to current conventional gasoline powered cars is that there isn't one. BEV with these types of batteries could be used in nearly the same way we use cars now. To me this is the real key. We get to move away from oil to any power source that can produce electricity all without tearing up our entire infrastructure and putting a new one in and/or requiring everyone to adopt lifestyle.

To me BEVs with rapid-recharge LiOn batteries is a game changer.
Posted by jlfelder (61 comments )
Link Flag
Obviously Water holds a better promise as the Alternative Fuel
In our school days we have learnt in Physics that it possible to split water into its basic atomic components with the application of electricity but even great scientists overlooked the fact that
Water is the better and safer storage of power, the promise water has as an alternative fuel has been unlimited using a simple process of using electrolysis to split water into hydrogen and oxygen only when required, where the hydrogen power to drive a car engine will also recharge the battery that originally did the electrolysis splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen and also the hydrogen will be only produced when needed just before starting the engine and the electrolysis process will be switched-off when switching off the engine at the same time. This hydrogen-run engines will run cars, SUVs, trucks, buses, trains and airplanes so cheaply and successfully that not other alternative fuels would ever be needed but these technologies will be suppressed owing to big business money and political scams from Oil Producers and other vested interests. They might even commit murder to suppress these inventions from propagating and flourishing successfully.

Please watch related report of the Water Car Inventor who had been murdered:- Link:-

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6yRn4IAsrU&#38;mode=related&#38;search" target="_newWindow">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6yRn4IAsrU&#38;mode=related&#38;search</a> =
Posted by K A Cheah (241 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Physics also teaches conversation of energy...
You cannot create or destroy energy... only transform it...

And no process is 100% efficient; Waste heat (and sound and emmisions in the EM Spectrum) will occur in any process, even if it's only a few percent.

Your post seems to claim that you can magically turn water into oxygen and hydrogen (true) and then burn it again (true) and, here is where you break from physics, somehow, not only get from that the energy to power your car to travel, but also pay back the energy that was used in the first place?

Not so; even with 100% efficiency, it would be the same amount of energy to recharge the battery as it would use to - there would be none lef tto power the car.. Before you even consider the iniefficiencies of the recharging process!

In addition, it would be foolish to convert water into H and O and then burn then in an engine; Just use the electricity direct to power motors if that is the case...
Posted by ben332211 (7 comments )
Link Flag
You got the sign wrong
Water is an excellent storage medium for... NEGATIVE energy. That is, water is not useable as an energy source directly, as you well say it has to be split into hydrogen and oxygen to be useable. And to do that you have to ADD energy. Water in itself doesn't provide any energy, it just can, very inefficiently, store some energy when split in its component elements and return part of the energy when the components are mixed back into water.
Water (in the form of split hydrogen and oxygen) is also less energetically dense than most other fuels, it is more dangerous, expensive, difficult to handle and difficult to deploy.
So it's no solution at all.
Just plain batteries (LiIon or whatever comes next) are a much better solution.
Posted by herby67 (144 comments )
Link Flag
Can't people at least watch The Simpsons?
Since it's clear from K A Cheah and MANY other's comments in here that our schools science programs are total and complete failures (why else would anyone make such a stupid comment as the above and not recognize how much of an idiot they sound like?) can people at least watch The Simpsons?

Even Homer Simpson, not exactly known for his intelligence, knows why the above comment is moronic to the point of being laughable! As he put it:

"Lisa, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!"

Hint: With water electricity in is MUCH more than the electricity out. Always has been and ALWAYS will be (yes ALWAYS unless you wish to count nuclear fusion, and Mr. Fusion isn't going to appear in our cars any time soon).
Posted by Hoser McMoose (182 comments )
Link Flag
Efficiency...
Do you expect the cost of electricity to remain at a happy low? Where do you think electricity comes from? Primarily from burning or fission-ing finite resources; (Uranium used in nuclear reactors is dug out of the ground just like coal and can only be pulled out so fast and from so many places - economically). That's cost will almost certainly increase over time as supply decreases and demand increases.

Improving efficiency will be an important part of the energy soltion, whatever your purely economic argument looking not beyond the consumer suggests.

Best Wishes,
-Ben
Posted by ben332211 (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
In Same Principles-Water Power could be used to run Power Stations Instead
The same principles will be applicable to Power Stations which will save most of the money from fuel costs and they can now reduce their present tariffs by 80% with hydrogen &#38; oxygen gases extracted &#38; derived from Water as their final fuel source. Quote: "Obviously Water holds a better promise as the Alternative Fuel:-In our school days we have learnt in Physics that it possible to split water into its basic atomic components with the application of electricity but even great scientists overlooked the fact that Water is the better and safer storage of power, the promise water has as an alternative fuel has been unlimited using a simple process of using electrolysis to split water into hydrogen and oxygen only when required, where the hydrogen power to drive a car engine will also recharge the battery that originally did the electrolysis splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen and also the hydrogen will be only produced when needed just before starting the engine and the electrolysis process will be switched-off when switching off the engine at the same time. This hydrogen-run engines will run cars, SUVs, trucks, buses, trains and airplanes so cheaply and successfully that no other alternative fuels would ever be needed" Unquote
Posted by K A Cheah (241 comments )
Link Flag
Uranium
Uranium is readily available in many parts of the world, and extractign it is not expected to become more difficult or expensive with time. Actually, there's more uranium on the earth's crust than humanity could ever dream of using in a billion years.
Enritching it IS complex, but the technology is becoming cheaper with time.
The problem with nuclear is what to do with the fuel AFTER it has been used. Getting it is the easy, and cheap, part.
Posted by herby67 (144 comments )
Link Flag
We need to keep corn as a food source, Solar Energy is the Answer
The answer is right above you for 10-12 hours a day.
There are 2 questions that need to be answered. What will be the mobile energy carrier that replaces gas/oil and what will be the energy source that is transferred into that fuel source?
The answer is Solar Transfer technologies to capture the energy as efficiently as possible and hydrogen and electrically charged batteries for the mobile fuel carrier.
If you have legitimate reasons why we should re think our strategy let us know.
Posted by Manhattan2 (329 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hydrogen is not the answer
Using hydrogen as an energy carrier takes 100 KWh of electrical energy off the grid and turns it into 22 KWh of electricity coming out of the hydrogen fuel-cell (70% electrolysis efficiency *90% compression * 40% fuel-cell = 22% system efficiency).

Batteries on the other hand take that same 100 KWh of electricity on the grid and turns it into 85 KWh of electricity coming out of the battery (92% Charger efficiency * 93% battery efficiency = 85% system efficiency).

The choice of energy carrier seems pretty clear to me. That is unless the goal is to waste most of the energy generated and require an entirely new hydrogen distribution and storage infrastructure to boot.

Three times the energy efficiency and a distribution system that is already in place. Batteris are the only real choice.
Posted by jlfelder (61 comments )
Link Flag
alternative energy pros and cons
First, if you move to lighter materials you reduce the weight and increase the mileage. I'm always surprised that more people don't ask if it's possible to have a truck/van/suv that weighs 1 ton instead of 2 tons.


here's a list of pros and cons:

1) Biomass - I believe the food vs fuel issue eliminates ethanol as a serious contender. However, biodiesel is viable if algae, (50%+ oil by weight), is used since it doesn't require arable land. Also, diesel is approxomately 30% more efficient than gas engines.

2) Hydrogen - assuming you overcome technical issues, (storage, collection..etc..,), the tanks would still end up too big for a passenger car.
Here's why: liquid hydrogen ,(densest form), is approxomately 1/10th the weight by volume of gasoline. So, if 1 gal hydrogen = 1 pound
then 1 gal of gas = 10 pounds.
Now, hydrogen produces 3x the power per gram compared to gas. So, you would need a tank 3x the size of a gas tank to go the same distance.
Possible for buses but not passenger cars.

3) Electric - batteries are expensive and don't go very far by themselves.

4) Hybrid - gas/diesel electric can help. A plug in variety could further boost mileage. What I don't get is why not focus more on having an engine to assist/charge the battery rather than have a battery assist the engine?
Posted by mgarfein (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
search youtube.com
You'll find MULTIPLE people, including someone from the 1970's have had cars run on water. The government says they are going to do this and that and blah blah blah. Yes 30 years later, no change.

THE WORLD ECONOMY CANNOT HANDLE A MASSIVE AND FREE ALTERNATIVE FUEL. THATS TEH PROBLEM WITH WATER. YOU CANT TAX IT.

Just do the search on youtube.com "Cars that run on water" and you'll find that its been done plenty of times and is perfectly viable. Im working on mine as I write this. Hopefully I can give it to you for free
Posted by Zupek (85 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Search a high-school science textbook
And you'll find out why these designs are all scams. No conspiracy theory required.
Posted by Hoser McMoose (182 comments )
Link Flag
9v battery will create hydrogen from water
Go home, fill a small dish with water. Go get a NEW and FULLY CHARGE 9v battery. Put one wire to the postive and put it in the water and do the same for the negative.

Those bubbles you see in the water are HYDROGEN and OXYGEN. and it took hardly any power...
Posted by Zupek (85 comments )
Reply Link Flag
WHY NOT.....NATURAL GAS
Natural gas has been used in the early 70's to power vehicles of natural gas companies...NO EPA standards are necessary, because it is the cleanest burning fuel used and supply is infinite! Downside is the oil companies capture natural gas before they can get to the oil underground. Again, the oil companies have control. Natural gas was and should be 2/3's cheaper than electricity or gasoline.
Posted by BARTLOW (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Nothing can be cheaper & cleaner than Water(The Rocket Fuel) Miracle
Water(The Rocket Fuel) Miracle -The Truly Divine Gift of Enormous Power Storage &#38; Reserve

Every Country in the World has a great responsibility to control the further release &#38; emission of Green House Gases from Fossil Oil/Fuels and to look for the really clean &#38; cheap alternative fuels to replace Petrol/Diesel/Coal/Natural Gas in order to reduce the incidences of Global Warming that will cause hardships &#38; deaths in many Natural Disasters cause by adversed climatic changes.

Obviously Water holds a better promise as the Alternative Fuel

Alternative fuel for thought:-

In our school days we have learnt in Physics that it is possible to split water into its basic atomic components with the application of electricity but even many great scientists overlooked the fact that Water is the better and safer storage of power, a Tremendous Amount of Power is stored efficiently, the promise water has as an alternative fuel has been unlimited using a simple process of using electrolysis to split water into hydrogen and oxygen only when required, where both the hydrogen &#38; oxygen (HHO) gases power to drive a car's internal combustion engine will also continuously recharge the battery that originally did the electrolysis splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen and also the hydrogen gases will be only produced when needed just before starting the car's internal combustion engine and the electrolysis process will be switched-off when switching off the said car's engine at the same time. This said hydrogen gases-run engines will run cars, SUVs, trucks, buses, trains and airplanes so cheaply and successfully that no other alternative fuels would ever be needed. The same principles will also be applicable to run the present Coal or Gas Fired Power Stations which will save most money from fuel costs and they can reduce their present tariffs by 80% with hydrogen gases (HHO) as their final fuel source, the released of Greenhouses gases, CO2 &#38; NO2, would also be eliminated. But these technologies will be suppressed owing to big business money and political scams from Oil Producers and other vested interests. They might even commit murder to suppress these inventions from gaining popularity and flourishing successfully.

Please watch related report of the Water Car Inventor:- Links Here:-

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6yRn4IAsrU&#38;mode=related&#38;search" target="_newWindow">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6yRn4IAsrU&#38;mode=related&#38;search</a> =


<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdVevvgM3ho" target="_newWindow">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdVevvgM3ho</a>
Posted by K A Cheah (241 comments )
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alternative fuels
solar energy the eternal source
Posted by raamji (1 comment )
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The Conservation of Energy and the First Law of Thermodynamics Can?t be Ignored.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_of_energy" target="_newWindow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_of_energy</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_law_of_thermodynamics" target="_newWindow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_law_of_thermodynamics</a>
The Iceland produces hydrogen from hydrothermal energy. The cost of production is cheap because is only a combination of Capital investment and Plant Operation Cost and FREE (geothermal energy).
To produce Hydrogen we have to spend a lot of Energy.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/Hbase/thermo/electrol.html" target="_newWindow">http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/Hbase/thermo/electrol.html</a>
By providing energy from a battery, water (H2O) can be dissociated into the diatomic molecules of hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2).
H2O =&gt; (H2) + ½ (O2) -285.83 kJ @ temperature 298K (Eo = 1.229 V)
The efficiency of water electrolysis is not 100%.
This event will occur on any conductive surface. When the proper amount of energy is applied, however, certain materials such as high surface area metals are more efficient and consume less energy to produce a given amount of hydrogen. The precious metal platinum has shown great activity for water electrolysis, attaining over 50% efficiency. Using electrodes composed of QSI nanometals, QSI has achieved up to 80% efficiency at lower current flow rates (100 mA/cm2) and approximately 60% efficiency at higher rates (1000 mA/cm2). The feed water of the electrolyzer must be distilled or deionized water, which is not cheap too.
Using ready to go technology with 80% efficiency and the electrode current density of (100mA/cm2), the water electrolyzer is not very compact and efficient, and the electrodes don?t last forever.
Installed in a car, the energy sourced from the battery has to be replaced by alternator, which in return used car engine energy with an efficiency of 25% to 30% of the burned gasoline. Producing free electricity from the Regenerative Braking System, or from Thermocouple Electrical Power Generator using the heat of exhaust system, is a different but not a simple story.
Posted by BSChemistry (28 comments )
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