Can we run our cars on salt water!?

JOhn KanziusI stumbled on this interesting news the other day.

An American inventor John Kanzius in search of a cure for cancer was making a radio wave transmitter, to be able to heat up small gold and silver nanoparticles injected to the body that would adhere to the cancer cells. His theory is that this will heat the cancer cells and cause them to die.

However as a bi-product, or lets says “bi-invention” he realized that salt water burns under the influence of his radio waves. I guess this means no smoking and crying during cancer therapy sessions, but it also means that for example cars could run on salt water.

Top engineers at APV Polymer in Akron OH have checked out John’s invention and are amazed.

Salt water is the ultimate clean fuel, and abundant. Imagine eventually using this for fuel.

Check out the WKYC news coverage here:

Read more about his invention at: PESWiki or Look at a WPBF News slideshow here
Photo Credits: John Beale, Post-Gazette

There are several other projects for creating hydrogen from water going on, one of which is even funded by the Bush Administration. Looking for a way to do this is interesting; the problem as usual is to get a descent efficiency rate out of it. That means getting some reaction going that actually releases more energy than needed to fuel the reaction itself. Currently John’s invention is at a 76% efficiency *, meaning the radio wave generator chews up more energy than the burning water (hydrogen) creates.

* According to,  retrieved 2007-06-03


28 thoughts on “Can we run our cars on salt water!?

  1. Getting more energy out of this than you put in doesn’t seem possible according to the Second Law.

    What he’s basically doing is using energy to break water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen would then be burned to get energy back, which basically turns hydrogen and oxygen back into water.

    The 2nd Law suggests that you cannot go through that process: from one state and then back to the original state, without losing energy along the way. You are always going to have to use more energy to break the molecular bonds in the first place than you can get out by burning (i.e. putting the bonds back together).

  2. I truly believe we need this technology for our future generations. Let’s not empty the tank on them.

  3. Again guys, you’re missing the problem here. If it takes more energy to create the fuel than you get from burning it (which is inevitable) that means that you will have to expend more energy from some other source in the first place to reap the energy from this one (which is basically just a means to create hydrogen gas, which has a lot of problems as a fuel source to begin with such as transport, high pressure, etc.).

    In other words, you save nothing. You don’t save on, say, oil, because you have to burn oil or some other original power source like coal in order to produce the power to create the free hydrogen in the first place. The only way you can get ahead in this scenario is if the efficiency loss from oil -> car is much greater than that of oil -> hydrogen machine -> car. And this is very unlikely, once you count all the extra effort required.

  4. Don’t polymer engineers study thermodynamics and chemistry?

    Look into how a plasma torch operates if you think making water burn is NEW technology.

    A plasma torch turns water and electricity into a hydrogen oxygen flame for cutting metal plate.

    The water doesn’t have to be salted to make it work and the additional energy loss of the RF generator is not required.

    Both of these processes are energy consuming from input to output.

    Think of water as the ashes of a hydrogen fire. If you put enough energy back into the water you get to burn it again.

  5. Hook up a PV module to power the RF generator to get the hydrogen to run the sterling engine and its a winner…

  6. It’s not “supposed to be impossible.” It’s called nuclear fusion. Fusion is, in fact, a possible power source, and one that does not violate the 2nd law (but is remarkably impractical at the moment).

    As Don says: if you think that this system can truly generate more energy than it takes to create it, feel free to hook it up to itself and see if it can run indefinitely… getting faster and faster and faster…

    The only reason fossil fuels are useful is that the energy it takes to create those fuels has already been expended. Thus we can use them directly. But this process involves first expending energy to create the fuel (hydrogen) and then getting energy from converting it back into water. The expense of energy to generate the fuel in the first place cannot possibly be less than the energy you get out of the process, because they are the exact same chemical procedure: one to break a chemical bond, and the other to reform the same bond again.

  7. The difference in temperature between the surface of the Sun and the corona is driven by nuclear fusion in the core, the energy of which is delivered to the corona by jets of high energy plasma. These jets appear as sun spots which are in cross-section from our vantage point. The side view appears to us as solar flares in the corona, as seen in an eclipse. These jets are essentially a pipeline between the core, where fusion is taking place and the corona, where it is radiated away.

    There is no violation of the second law here. The surface temperature is the black body equilibrium temperature reached through Boltzmann’s Law.

    Before Max Planck, this relationship appeared to be a violation of the second law. This was sorted out a hundred years ago.

    The common understanding of thermodynamics applies well when the heat transport mechanism is dominated by conduction, as it is in our environment. To understand what is happening when the energy transfer is through radiation, Quantum Mechanical principles must be used.

    At very small scale Quantum Mechanics allows for the temporary violation of the second law however at the scale of the Sun there is no exception.

  8. how to make it man you dont no than why you write you are a big fool

    Hello person in India 5th Floor Windsor Building… (Aren’t whois databases excellent sometimes 😉 )
    It’s not good manners calling people fools. At least I can spell… 🙂
    Comments like this will not be tolerated, but I’ll let this stand as an example.


  9. Cheap electrolysis… Cool, yes. But just for hydrogen and oxygen production using nuclear fission power. Cars can run on it, sure, but there’s no sense in driving around with the water tank and the batteries – a system like BMW’s 7-series Hydrogen engine fueled up from a station producing hydrogen using this method would make a whole lot more sense. After all, why waste 24% efficiency if you’re carrying the batteries, when you could just run an electric motor??

  10. This was written in 2007 when the process was 75% efficient. What is the status today in 2011?

  11. How many watts does the wave generator require?If less than 5000W could engine run a 15-15kw generator and be self sustaining?

  12. We got an email with a link to the tv station broadcast, both of the ‘cancer treatment’ idea – that was impressive, especially if it is indeed doable – and the burning salt water power idea. However, immediately I wondered how much ‘input power’ it took to get how much(?) ‘output power’ from this process. Well, I see by the years long list of comments that this is an idea that aired long ago, and I haven’t heard anything of either idea being implemented yet.

  13. Clearly the RF wave generator is using much electricity and you could never get back that much by burning the resultant H & O. Surely the crucial info is the efficiency %age. If we can come up with an efficient water splitting technology we can then collect the H for use in H fuel cell cars. We can generate electricity for the grid by many means but cars are hard to run once oil becomes too expensive so we need to come up with alternatives or go back to horse and cart.

  14. H burns with a much hotter flame than diesel so I add H to the air intake of my old 2.4 Ford Transit ute. This also ensure more complete combustion of the diesel.
    I electrolyse weak caustic soda solution using high frequency 12 V DC and produce a bit over a litre a minute which is sucked in to the air intake between the air filter and the turbo unit. It’s a crude system which is easily achievable in your own back-yard and can give an extra 100 km from an 80 litre tank of diesel.
    I use this set-up to make my home-made bio-diesel pack a bit more punch. Bio-diesel has a slightly lower calorific value than mineral diesel.
    If Kanzius can improve the efficiency of water dissociation to HHO he’s on to a winner. I know people who have improved their milage by 20% by using various HHO supplement systems but I doubt any oil company or Government will be keen to see this take off.

  15. Bingo…Big company’s and Government will crush the idea because it’s not a money maker in the end.

  16. Even in the days of the horse and cart… cities were polluted beyond measure. Now… EVEN back before the Gasoline powered internal combustion engine, Hydrogen Horseless Car(rage)s, Electric and Steam driven were prolific. From the mid 1800’s onwards… shame we didn’t follow through with all the technology that was developed then. The first Horseless Car(age)s used in New Your city in 1899 were electric. There may only have been 14 of them, but they were there… just a thought. :).

  17. Pretty great post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted
    to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your weblog posts.
    In any case I will be subscribing for your rss feed and I’m hoping you write once more very soon!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s