Water 4 fuel? Anyone?

Discussion in 'Fuel Economy' started by run500mph, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. run500mph

    run500mph Well-Known Member

    Ok, I'm new, so what is with this? Anyone have any experience with this idea?
    The water for fuel sounds good, but why isnt it mass produced? Thanks in advance.
  2. BailOut

    BailOut My favorite holiday is Earth Day!

    Hello run500mph,

    To make a long and scientific story short it's a hoax. It gets brought up here nearly quarterly but for some reason I'm not finding any previous posts.
  3. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    That's just an automatically-generated advertisement. We don't recommend, or even approve of such things. Please try to ignore it.

    The premise is to use electricity to split the water into hydrogen and oxygen. Then inject that into the engine for a better burn. Problem is, that electricity comes from the alternator, which comes from the engine rotation, which comes from gas burned. There are losses at each step along the way. You can't get more energy out than what you put in. It's a losing game.

    There's no free lunch.
  4. JusBringIt

    JusBringIt Be Inspired

    yeah, chemically speaking, hydrogen and oxygen are pretty stable when combined and form the liquid we all know and love. breaking that bond requires a lot of energy, which is what we're short of ;). now if we could find a way to use CO2 to break that bond, then we'd have something ;)
  5. bomber991

    bomber991 Well-Known Member

    Yep, if it were true in that it made you get 100+mpg's for only $1,000 or whatever it is, I'd imagine that everyone and their grandmom would be talking about it and have it too. Something like that would just be so good it would spread quicker than AIDS. (too soon for that joke?)
  6. shifty35

    shifty35 Well-Known Member

    As Andrew mentioned, anything which claims to violate the second law of thermodynamics is a guaranteed loser, like a perpetual motion machine.

    However, hydrogen is an economy enabler in many ways. Hydrogen burns so clean and fast that it can be used to ignite extremely lean mixtures.

    However, no car is designed to take advantage of this feature, so pumping hydrogen in would only confuse the computer.
  7. diamondlarry

    diamondlarry Super MPG Man/god :D

    Ben has just hit on the key. In part of a very late night/early morning;) discussion that Wayne and I had last week, I was telling him that there are several things out and on the market that can actually increase FE but the average person will most likely not be able to take advantage of it because of the modern car's ECU trying to maintain a set air/fuel mixture. H2 does burn very quickly and can be useful in promoting a quicker and more complete/efficient burn. To take full advantage of this characteristic you would need to gain access to the ECU and retard the timing so that when the plug fires, the combustion pressure will reach peak value by ~12* after top dead center. H2 will also reduce the amount of NoX emission when burning lean mixtures because it will cause a complete burn at such a quick rate that there won't be as much time for the NoX to form. While most of us(myself included) are quick to label many of theses things as "snake oil," it's not necessarily always 100% true. The science behind them may be spot on but it's the application/method of utilization that will cause them to be less than stellar in performance. My long winded $.02 worth. Anyone out there up for reverse engineering a Prius ECU?;)
  8. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    You'd still need a cheap source of hydrogen, and splitting water onboard is never going to give you a net savings on energy.
  9. diamondlarry

    diamondlarry Super MPG Man/god :D

    For the most part I agree but there are actually some very efficient H2 generators out there that can produce several liters of gas/minute that would use ~250-300 watts. It only takes a very small amount of H2 to be effective. While they would use some fuel indirectly from the load on the alternator, I think it could produce a net savings if you could get around that pesky ECU.:( I look at it as being similar to an EBH: It may take a few cents to run the heating element but the reduction in gasoline outweighs that initial cost. The problem with many of the cheaper H2 generators out there(the ones I consider "snake oil") is that they may only have a threaded rod made of stainless steel that is suspended in an electrolyte solution. These have a too small surface area and are extremely inefficient and they would in fact not be able to produce a net savings.
  10. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    The thing is, with an EBH you are using electricity from a (reasonably efficient) power plant. If you split water in the car itself you'll be pulling electricity from gasoline... which is a very inefficient conversion.

    Now if you used something like an externally charged battery to do the splitting, you MIGHT come out ahead.

    Just my 2c. ;)
  11. run500mph

    run500mph Well-Known Member

    I don't care,, I love snake oil....just kiddn.

    Well, thanks for the replies. Makes sense. You just saved me a buncho money.

    Some good Hypermiling would be a lot more productive than the gimmicks.....

    thanks take care. O, what about magnets on the fuel line, is that bogus? anyone?
  12. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Yes, that one is also bogus. :)
  13. diamondlarry

    diamondlarry Super MPG Man/god :D

    Bogus. A waste of money. It seems that I remember some government agency(FTC?) busted some magnet company awhile back for false advertising.
  14. bomber991

    bomber991 Well-Known Member

    Oh wait, so you guys keep saying the main reason this doesn't work is because of no access to the ECU? Why don't car manufacturers just sell the cars with this stuff built into it then?
  15. diamondlarry

    diamondlarry Super MPG Man/god :D

    It mostly comes down to cost. It's kind of like the fact that a header manifold and dual exhaust is superior to a standard exhaust manifold and single pipe but the auto manufacturers usually stick with the cheaper one as standard. They would profit more by offering it as an add on option.

    Edit: To clarify, I'm the only one that suggests it may or could work and not anyone else.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2008
  16. shifty35

    shifty35 Well-Known Member


    A simple piggyback microcontroller would likely handle the problems. It's possible that some of the aftermarket piggyback programmable computers, such as the Greddy E-manage might be able to do something like that.

    The idea is to intercept the signals coming from the ECU and replace them with your own signals. In this case, we would monitor the crankshaft position sensors / TDC sensors to keep track of engine position. You could also monitor RPM / TPS / MAP and come up with an ignition retard table, and substitute your own values.

    Using a system like this, or even the OBD2 / CanOpen / etc, you could datalog and fill the table with the "stock" ignition / fuel tables to use as a basemap.

    Then just make a custom setup for the H2 injection and modify the fuel / ignition tables accordingly. So long as the measured A/F going back to the ECU is in the range of what it's looking for, it won't complain or know the engine is running differently. So the measured A/F may need to be "intercepted" as well.

    Does the Prius have a narrowband or wideband O2 from the factory? If narrowband, this gets a lot easier.

    Clearly the Prius is a better candidate for such a conversion as it doesn't have any type of factory lean-burn configuration like the Insight.

    This whole conversation probably belongs in hardware / modding, but let me know if you'd like to move forward with something like this - I'd definitely be interested in assisting where I can.
  17. diamondlarry

    diamondlarry Super MPG Man/god :D

    It is a wideband-type O2 sensor. Ben, you sound as if you may have had experience at this sort of thing? We may have to talk.;)
  18. shifty35

    shifty35 Well-Known Member

    Wideband might make it trickier. Yes, I've done a lot of tuning on quite a few cars, so I know my way around the theory at least. ;)

    Hit me in PM / email if you have a specific idea or questions.
  19. nerys

    nerys Banned

    Several issues. First energy in and energy out do not matter. People need to just stop bringing that up at all. I keep seeing people say You can not get more out than you put in AS IF there "IS" some way of getting more out. There is not. its ALWAYS LOSSY. this goes for GASOLINE as well. You have to put more in than you can ever get out.

    The problem with hydrogen is this. You need electricity to make hydrogen. BY THE TIME you have enough electrical power to go say 100 miles on hydrogen YOU ALREADY have enough electrical power to go 200 miles just using the electricity to run a motor instead of making hydrogen.

    IE anyone working HONESTLY on hydrogen will STOP at 50% because they now have enough power to build an EV. IE it all comes down to batteries. Hydrogen is a rip off on the american people. They are going to charge $7 to $8 for what is equivalent to a gallon of gasoline and your only going to get the equivalent of 35mpg. RIP OFF is what hydrogen is.

    NOW if you can figure out a way to STORE the stuff reliably and you use say solar to generate it then using it as an additive in your engine MIGHT be very beneficial. But it will NEVER be beneficial to generate it REAL time in the car from water unless you have a NON electrical cheap way of doing it ??

    Diamondlarry the problem is if you are already generating 250-300 watts of power you no longer even NEED a gasoline engine. Thats enough power to run an electric motor to power your car !! But thats the problem there is NO affordable legal way to generate 250-300watts of power !! The only way is Large Format NIMH packs which are illegal thanks to Chevron's patent on them :-(

    IE your H2 car has the SAME problem the EV car has but twice as worse. IE batteries and you need twice as many as the EV would need :)

    Also the idea is not so much to SAVE energy its to use the available energy more efficiently. Using an already charged battery to produce hydrogen to increase fuel economy MIGHT work. but how well and what is the payback time period? For a Prius its 11 years or 600,000 miles. I have a feeling it will be equally as long for an H2 generation system sadly.

    NOW what might be interesting is PART time hydrogen injection. IE do it like the hybrid ONLY add the hydrogen during acceleration to offset the very inefficient engine at this point in time. This might also let you use your alternator for the power source.

    Its not about source of power but EFFICIENCY of power source. Your engine is much much more efficient at 55mph than during your 0-50 acceleration IE do it like the hybrids do it. Generate the hydrogen WHILE your cruising. yes you going to lose economy but LIKE a hybrid the economy you GAIN by the suppliment of H2 during acceleration might result in net bonus. NOT by creating energy but by doing what the hybrid does USING your energy more efficiently.

    Again the problem becomes how do you STORE the hydrogen and "how much" hydrogen does one need to go from 0-50mph efficiently enough to make it worthwhile and how long will it takes to generate that much H2 again. AND can you store it long enough to use during the next acceleration ?
  20. diamondlarry

    diamondlarry Super MPG Man/god :D

    I don't think you can get more energy out by using H2. What I'm saying is that by taking advantage of H2's quicker burning, you could get more mechanical use out of the energy in the gasoline. If you could gain control of the timing the H2 would be useful in that you wouldn't have to fire the plug while the piston is still on the upswing; at least not nearly as early.

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