Salt Water Fuel powers a Stirling engine

Did anyone catch this on youtube?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lud1qceKqyQ&mode=related&search

It’s running a Stirling engine.

That is awesome. And the best part is, he is still working on his cure for cancer rather than turning greedy and trying to make all the money possible off of his new invention.

I am impressed but the issue I have is how much energy is he putting into the system to create the flame. It seems to me that without the effency noted for this process it isn’t that big of a breakthrough.

Yeah, I’ve been trying to find out that question too. No where does it say how much power is radio freq generator uses. If it uses more than it produces, it’s not really that energy savings. However it’s still pretty crazy I must say.

Would it be “pretty crazy” if it used less than it produced?

no that would be “very crazy” as it is impossible.

its not impossible. this machine is supposedly releasing stored chemical energy in the salt water. meaning you just need to input enough energy to release it.
just like cars that use the spark plugs to release the chemical energy stored in gasoline.

correct me if i’m wrong

Conservation of energy is a physical law that says that energy can not be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.

While you are correct that a chemical reaction can seem like new energy is created you must think about the initial cost of the energy. In the case of the car gasoline, an amount of energy was put into the fuel to let you burn it. The drilling for crude, transportation, and refinement, should all be accounted for when discussion the efficiency of an energy source. But it is still the case that Ein will always be greater then Eout. The real challenge is to find processes which Ein ~= to Eout.

Looking at the microwave generator using salt water, it is a process which could be optimized because salt water is essentially free (if ocean salt water works) but I still want to see the power required in the microwave generator to produce “X” amount of heat. Until then the jury is still out on this technology.

Unless something completely novel and previously unsuspected in the history of chemistry is going on, you’re wrong. Salt water is not a fuel like gasoline. There’s no stored chemical energy in it. It’s more like the ash produced by burning hydrogen.

This machine is merely using RF energy to dissociate water into hydrogen and oxygen. In order to do that, it must supply at least as much energy as one can get by recombining them. This process has at least one advantage over straight electrolysis: it has no electrodes that corrode and require maintenance. So if it’s efficient enough, it might be a reasonable way to produce hydrogen for use as a fuel. (The next step to solve is then separating the hydrogen from the oxygen, and the step after that is storing the hydrogen.)

so the question is does salt water even contain any stored energy in the first place
if it did then it may surpass the amount of work done by his machine. just like car engines put out more than enough power to fire spark plugs.

Our local newspaper (I live in Erie, where this work is being done) did a story on the machine.

I know its not the most scientific answer in the world but the Erie Times News said the machine used the same amount of energy as one household lightbulb. Vague I know, but its the best I can offer.

If that’s the case, then it sounds like it will be the leading power source. If not, then eventually it will as technology becomes smaller and more efficient. It’s even better that he does want to continue working on curing cancer.

none the less, that is pretty cool to see.

After considering it for a while, I realized that the flame looks a lot more like burning sodium than burning hydrogen. My use of the word “merely” was probably a mistake.

Good catch. Doesn’t “real” hydrogen burn with a faint blue, almost invisible flame?

I just have a couple of questions that I don’t know if anyone could answer:

Why is it necessary that the “invention” use salt water? I could see that the radio waves could be inducing some kind of current or something like that, which would require dissolved ions of some kind to make the solution conductive.

Which begs the second question- doesn’t chlorine have a lower (or is it higher- I don’t remember) reduction potential then oxygen? Meaning that if it was electrochemical (which would explain the necessity of the salt), the products would be chlorine and hydrogen? The chlorine gas could also explain the yellow flame, although I’m not exactly sure which color excited chlorine atoms produce.

From the original article:

But John also came across yet another extrordinary breakthrough.

His machine could actually make saltwater burn.

John Kanzius discovered that his radio frequency generator could release the oxygen and hydrogen from saltwater and create an incredibly intense flame.

“Just like that. If that was in a car cylinder you could see the amount of fire that would be in the cylinder.”

As you can see, there is a disappointingly small amount of real explanation as to how exactly this process works.

Bah! This invention is NOTHING next to the perpetual motion cold fusion carburator that I have developed! I can get 250 miles per gallon from a Hummer using just discarded dish soap and hamster saliva as fuel and emitting only lightly scented fairy farts as exhaust. I could tell you about it, but the oil companies have already sent hit men to sabotage my operations using government technology obtained from the Alien craft stored at Area 51.

Either that, or it is a case of reporters without a science background being asked to cover a science story and not having the slightest clue what kind of questions to ask. Just another reason why FIRST matters.

“Imagine that… hamster saliva as the ultimate clean fuel!”

Sigh… I should be doing something useful right now…

Jason

Come now, they must have had some scientific background. I mean, they managed to find a polymer engineer to exclaim the amazingness of an obscure RF based electrolysis machine. They could have asked an entomologist after all.

Well, I’d bet a lot of the reporters did know what questions to ask but there was no point in asking them because the target audience with these stories were local people who wanted an alternative way to power their car and wanted to know what the benefits of this innovation could be, not how it works. The point is, even if the reporters had asked the questions, the answers would have ended up on the editing room floor because the target audience wouldn’t care, or worse change the channel.