water as fuel

I have been seeing a lot of ad’s for water as fuel lately on the internet. Has anyone tried this or know it it works for real ? It would seem that if it did I would be hearing even more about it.

I’ve never had much luck lighting it.

Water as a fuel only works if you extract the hydrogen out first (could use the oxygen too). This is done via electrolysis. Presumably you can use renewable energy source (wind, hydro, etc.) to make this happen. Then, when a hydrogen fuel cell generates electricity the waste product is water.

There are also ideas to get oil from algae. In some methods they can use sea water to grow the algae in. While the water itself is not fuel it is obviously a necessary part.

Then there is hydro power.

Of course you can’t use water as fuel. How would that work exactly?

You can split water into hydrogen and oxygen, and then burn the hydrogen, but it takes more energy to split the water than you get back when you burn the hydrogen.

Gasoline works as a fuel, because you can react hydrocarbons with oxygen to produce water and carbon dioxide, and that reaction produces quite a bit of heat.

Now, what do you react the water with to produce excess heat?

Yes, such substances exist. You could have a tank of water, and drip metallic sodium into the water, and you’d get a bunch of excess heat. But the trouble then is that metallic sodium takes a lot of energy to purify…more energy than you release when you react it with water. So it would be more accurate to say that you’re using metallic sodium for your fuel, not water.

Water won’t burn for the same reason ashes won’t burn. They are already burnt.

It is complete, 100% bullshit.

Perhaps some interesting stuff around the edges, but the “interesting stuff around the edges” mostly winds up obfuscating the fact that any claimed substantial increases in fuel economy are pure hokum. Exactly why they’re hokum depends on exactly what is being claimed.

And magical water-powered increases in fuel economy seem to be a pretty popular topic. Previous threads:
Hydrogen power in a car, no fuel cell (6/04)
Isn’t this a perpetual motion machine? (11/05)
Motors running on water (6/06)
Please Settle the Daniel Dingle Debate (10/06)
Any validity to this? (H2O–>HHO power) (11/06)
Cheap hydrogen generation… is this bunk? (10/07)
“Water Powered” cars (4/08)

Why did they use water injection to improve the performance of the jet engines on the B-52 bomber? I’ve always wondered how that worked.

Interesting question. My first guess was cooling the ignition process.

Luckily, Wiki had the answer.



shakes fist at silenus

Water fuels my backup alarm clock.

That’s what you get for editorializing. :stuck_out_tongue:

Not really. It’s just a weak battery, extracting power from the difference in electrical potential between the zinc anode and the cathode. Eventually the zinc will dissolve and it’ll stop working.

Then I’ll have to buy some rubber sheets.

From the Master:
Is there a pill that can turn water into gasoline? (14-Dec-1984)

I have read of drag racers using water injection to slightly boost power when a carbureted engine is running full out. The water isn’t burned, though. Small amounts of water enter with the fuel-air mix, and it turns to steam as the fuel burns. Water expands over a thousand times its volume as it turns to steam.

I didn’t get the impression it was very effective. The system I saw pictured was cobbled together from a windshield washer pump. :rolleyes: Pretty wacky, right?

I thought this referred to a helpful family member ready to pour a glassful on that sleepy ol’ head.

More a weak whoosh, actually.


Try pouring it on burning magnesium powder.

I foolishly did that once in the school chemisty lab.

I don’t know if the rest of you cats can see this but my screen in this topic is loaded to the gills with irksome ads for this ‘water as fuel’ nonsense. Great that the site gets paid for or something but it is still very annoying to see as one skips past to the discussion. OTOH, anybody that pays for this kind of thing thinking that it’ll work deserves to have their money taken from them. They should just send their money to me instead and I’ll teach them how to flap their arms and fly so they can dispense with their cars all together.

I logged out just to take a look. Yeesh. What’s interesting is that some of the sites trying to sell the snake oil actually use the word SCAM in their title or description -presumably they’re just whoring to the search engine and they go on to explain how (in their opinion) it’s not a scam.