First Publication Date: 12th January 2011
This is in furtherance to the post, titled “Driving on Hydrogen”, on using Hydrogen as a fuel in automobiles. Recently I happened to come across a video on YouTube titled “Salt water into Fuel”, which they have mentioned as an accidental invention. I was quite excited to see this and went in search of more details of this invention. I found out that the story goes like this. John Kanzius of Sanibel, Florida was running experiments with a radio frequency generator he designed to help zap cancer cells. When he trained radio waves on a test tube of salt water, it produced an unexpected spark. Mr. Kanzius and his colleagues became curious and they decided to ignite salt water with a match. Surprisingly, the water lit and kept on burning as long as it remained in the radio frequency field. On later research, they found out that water brakes into oxygen, hydrogen and salt upon exposure to the radio wave. Hydrogen, which is a combustible gas, burns as far as it remains in the radio frequency field.
I felt that further research on this “ accidental invention “ will definitely be useful since salt water which is present in sea in plenty, contributes to almost 70% of the earth and hence will be cheaply available to the consumers.On performaing a patent search on alternative fuel system and came across some old patents related to it which I have mentioned below for reader’s reference.
On 28th July, 1981 Larry A Rodriguez, Antonio A Padilla, Robert A. Ashworth and Ned B Spake filed a patent application titled “Alternate Fuel Comprised of Sewage Sludge and a particulate Solid Fuel”. The invention provided a method of providing a pumpable admixture of a non-dewatered sewage sludge and a solid fuel and incinerating the admixture. In the said method, the admixture was formed in such a way that it comprises about 25 to 40 percentage by weight of non-dewatered sewage sludge and about 60-75% by weight of the solid fuel. The non-dewatered sewage sludge further comprised of 88-99.5% by weight of water and about 0.5-15% by weight of combustible solids.
On 30th march, 1992 Tom W Hill and Bryan S.Memmot filed a patent application titled “Alternative Fuel System for Powered Industrial Vehicle”. The method described in this application comprises a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) conversion kit. The CNG tank is mounted horizontally outside the engine compartment. A high pressure line is used to connect the conversion kit to a regulator which is mounted within the engine compartment for decompressing the gas to a pressure suitable for mixing with air in carburetor of the engine. A refilling receptacle with an electrical interlock was provided with the CNG kit so that it can prevent accidental drive away. A mounting arrangement within the engine compartment efficiently transmits heat from engine cooling system in order to counteract refrigeration effect due to gas decompression in the compartments of the system. Guard structures were employed in order to protect the system components from damage during normal operation of the vehicle.
Since fuel price hike is happening frequently, people find it difficult to maintain their daily budgets. Hence the necessity of more and more inventions for alternative fuel systems is definitely of prime importance.
Image from Wikimedia Commons