Run Your Car on Water

By: Michael Cooper

I've seen it over the last few days; gas is starting to top 4 dollars a gallon. Predictions are being made that the price of a barrel of oil will top $240 by this time next year. The days of cheap fuel are in the past. China and India are industrializing more and more, and when they are no longer a source of super cheap labor, that will shift to Africa, and when they industrialize it will cease being even remotely feasible to burn petroleum based fuels in our cars.

So what is all this fuss about Hydrogen and whatnot? Can't we just switch to Ethanol and burn fuel made from corn? We can, and the oil companies really wouldn't mind that much as we still need big refineries and all of their advanced distribution systems to get that Ethanol fuel to our cars. Also, most of our cars would need upgrades (new gas tanks, no aluminum parts in contact with the ethanol) to properly handle it. There is a huge lobby movement to make this the fuel of the future.

Ethanol is not a viable solution.

The reason is simple, it takes more energy to make it than we get from it and farmers are growing corn for ethanol when they used to grow it for food. I don't know about you, but I'd rather eat than drive. Don't think this is corn for your food; corn is a large part of most animal feed. More expensive corn means more expensive meat - even your cat food will go up in price.

That's why everyone from experimenters in their garages to BMW and Ford are starting to turn to Hydrogen as a fuel source.

Believe it or not, but most cars on the road today can burn hydrogen with little or no modification.

Isn't that dangerous, you ask? Isn't hydrogen rather flammable and not at all safe? You're right, of course. Few gasses have the explosive power that hydrogen has. Building an infrastructure to store and transport hydrogen around the country in the volumes needed to fuel our cars would be beyond prohibitive. But people thought about that and realized that there is a save and readily available source of hydrogen: water.

Clean, safe, easily obtainable water.

Water consists of two Hydrogen and one Oxygen atom. Both of which are very flammable. Split these apart and you've got a great fuel. This is done by running electrical current through water to break the bond between the atoms. Certain electrolytes and special metals can assist in making this easier and more energy efficient. The gas that is released is called HHO or Brown's Gas (there are subtle differences depending on the process used). People often call the devices that produce the gas 'electrolyzers' or 'hydrogen generators'.

Building a system to power your car entirely off of the gas from these hydrogen generators can be a bit of a challenge as the average car consumes a tremendous amount of vaporized air-fuel mixture, and it is beyond the means of the average person to build a car that runs entirely off of the HHO/Brown's gas fuel.

However, it is very easy to supplement your existing gas with the HHO/Brown's gas fuel and gain a vast increase in miles per gallon. Some users of these DIY hydrogen generators have reported gains of over 100% increase in MPG, though the averages are closer to 40%. Keep in mind that a 40% increase on a car that gets 30MPG is 42MPG. For the average American that is $47.84 per driver per month, or about $90/month per household. That's if you drive at, or below the average. If you are over the average miles driven per year (which is only 15000) then your savings start to increase.

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