•better to try turning water into wine than to try running your car on it.‏ : letter to Express 2/8/13

Fred Forsyth is such a knowledgeable and knowing man, that it is depressing to see him waste six column inches on the notion that cars can be fuelled by water.

If he had an education, which involved basic Science, then the relevant teachers would be spinning in their graves.

His Chemistry teacher would be concerned that the statement that Hydrogen and Oxygen were both flammable gases would betray the fact that he had not, successfully, put across the concept of combustion.

More disappointed would be his Physics teacher.

One of the most basic laws is that Energy can be neither created, nor destroyed.

All we can do is exploit the conversion from one form into another, invariably releasing/wasting some, as less useful heat and sound.

In the car, we turn high grade chemical energy into lower grade kinetic energy, releasing/wasting most of it as low grade heat and sound energy.

There are only two known ways of creating high grade chemical energy from water.

Plants use Light (Plus Carbon Dioxide) in photosynthesis, to create sugars (and this is being researched).

The other is electrolysis (This would be a better way of exploiting wind turbines than the present dumping into the National Grid). This would necessitate an alternator, running off the car’s engine.

I’m sure Fred doesn’t believe in perpetual motion machines but that is what you would need here.

The alternator converts motion into electricity, creating Hydrogen, which is burned in the engine to provide the motion.

At each stage, most (70%) of the energy is released as heat and sound.

It’d be very hot, very noisy and, possibly, unable to pull the tanker of water needed for it to run for any length of time.


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