WATER FOR FUEL

Economical production of energy from water may be realistically available in the near future. It is well known that water could be an important energy source if the energy required to dissociate its components were reduced. The energy requirement for dissociation may be lessoned by reducing water bodies to sub-micron sizes and suspending them in an even dispersion, using non-miscible flammable liquids as the suspension medium. The reduced water bodies would then be exposed to concentrated electrical high temperature zones created by a conventional hot spark plug, laser or a glow plug or other means where the hydrogen and oxygen in the water are dissociated and exploded along with the flammable liquid to create energy, thereby eliminating the need for dangerous hydrogen storage and reducing harmful NOx and CO2 emissions in the process. 

There have been many methods tried, and some developed, for using water as fuel since the invention of the internal combustion engine. There are about 50,000 btu's of hydrogen energy contained in each gallon of water but the energy required to make use of this energy has been notoriously high. There are two known ways of separating the hydrogen from the oxygen in water, electrolysis and thermolysis. Electrolysis has been the most explored method and the most widely used (fuel cells) but the energy requirement for electrolysis has  been shown to be too high for efficient separation of hydrogen by dissociation. However, there has been no method demonstrated that includes the reduction of the size of water bodies for exposure of more surface and less volume to effect more reactive conductivity. Thermolysis has shown promise for separation. However, the energy requirement for this process has also been too high to generate enough heat for the process to occur with a cost effective result. 

The problem that has yet to be solved is the problem of the high heat or electrical conductivity energy requirement. Conductivity through a large body of water, in excess of 20 microns in thickness or diameter, is restricted by the surface tension resistance that is created by the positive/negative polarity of the water molecules. Although electrical conductivity is high in water, the dissociation of the components is slow because of surface tension resistance. This problem has prevented the extraction and use of the hydrogen energy contained in water in an efficient manner.

Water is a substance consisting of two hydrogen molecules and one oxygen molecule held together by what is known as hydrogen bond. Water retains its integrity by surface tension. Surface tension is created by the high polarity of the water molecule. The hydrogen atom is electropositive and it has a relatively high positive attraction to oxygen which is a highly electronegative atom. Surface tension is caused by the positive hydrogen atoms, precisely 104.5 degrees apart on the surface of the oxygen atom, attaching themselves to the negative oxygen atoms (hydrogen bond) each fighting for preference. This condition exists no matter how large or small the water droplet. This struggle for inclusion causes the surface of the water to be electronegative because the molecules are trying to get inside the droplet, positive hydrogen pointing inward, leaving the surface covered with electronegative oxygen. That is why water beads up on a hard surface and is attracted to a substrate. It is also why the hydrogen in water is not readily available for ignition.

The larger the body of water, the more energy is required to heat it or conduct electricity through it. The reverse is also true. The smaller the body of water, the less energy is required to heat it. Water will turn into steam at 1 atmosphere at 212 degrees F. When steam is formed from water, it becomes a gas. However, the gas (steam) is still made up of water molecules that are not separated into its component parts of hydrogen and oxygen. When steam is passed over a bed of red hot coal, the heat from the coal will dissociate the components of water which will react with the carbon monoxide produced from the coal, producing water gas or "town gas". 

Water gas is a combination of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. The hydrogen is derived from the water, thermally dissociated by the high temperature of the coal. The small droplet size of the steam exposes the water to the hot coals in a fine droplet that is easily dissociated because of the reduction of droplet size and subsequent reduction of surface tension caused by creating more surface and less volume in the down-sized water bodies.

Oil refineries use the Claus process for dissociating hydrogen from sulfur by heating hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas to approximately 950º F. At this temperature, the hydrogen and the sulfur dissociate and are separated into their component parts, hydrogen being taken and stored away from oxygen to prevent combustion and the sulfur component being accumulated as solid granules of elemental sulfur. An important difference in dissociation of hydrogen from sulfur is that surface tension, caused by the positive hydrogen bonding to negative oxygen is not a major factor in H2S gas like it is in water (H2O).

According to Einstein’s formula, E=mc2, there is actually enough energy in a liter of water to surpass the burning of many thousands of gallons of gasoline if it were made possible to have full use of it. What does this say for the second rule of thermodynamics? More energy out than energy in, come on, that is impossible, right? Not only wrong but dead wrong. In relativity Einstein also concluded that matter and energy are interchangeable. That can be quite simply demonstrated by the observance of the interchangeable behavior of the gas consisting of two elements, carbon and oxygen called carbon dioxide. 

When a tree is formed, the plant acquires carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and dissociates the component parts (carbon and oxygen) by using the energy of the sun and chlorophyl as a catalyst. The tree accumulates the carbon component in the form of cellulose (carbon) and discards the oxygen back into the atmosphere. The cellulose will not burn without oxygen. The oxygen required for combustion is acquired from the atmosphere where it was originally placed when the tree was formed. 

The reassociation of carbon and oxygen when carbon is burned produces a tremendous amount of energy which is exactly equivelent to the energy required to dissociate the two elements by photosynthesis. Deriving energy by burning carbonaceous substances such as wood, coal or petroleum is simply the completion of a chemical cycle. The fuel (carbon) is burned by re-associating the carbon (in this case wood) with the oxygen and returning it to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (CO2) where it was originally acquired to create the tree, thus completing the cycle. 

When a tree is cut into blocks to be used as fuel, the blocks are difficult to set afire unless they are cut into small pieces. If the wood is finely shaved it can be set afire with only a spark produced by striking a piece of flint against a steel object or by spontaneous combustion, the heat being  produced by friction. If the use of carbonaceous fuels, the common contemporary source of energy could be reduced by replacing it with the dissociation and reassociation of hydrogen and oxygen instead, the production of CO2 in the attmosphere, the most common of greenhouse gases, would be greatly reduced.

Water (H2O), an association of hydrogen and oxygen, much like the association of hydrogen and sulfur (H2S) and the association of carbon and oxygen (CO2). We know that the re-association of carbon and oxygen will produce energy as will the re-association of hydrogen and oxygen but first the components must be dissociated. In order for dissociation to occur with low energy requirement, the water needs to be cut into as fine of particles as possible, making "kindling", like wood. Tiny particles of water require much less energy for dissociation than visible quantities. This is true in both electrical and thermal processes. The amount of electricity required for dissociation of components of water by electrolysis is higher in large visible bodies than in sub-micron particles where conductivity is less restricted. The same applies to thermolysis. A common spark plug will produce the amount of electricity and/or heat required for electrical or thermal dissociation of the components of water when the water is made available in the form of sub-micron bodies. The use of a catalyst will lower the temperature requirement for dissociation to occur but a catalyst may not be necessary, nor more effective when the water is made available in small enough particles to be compatible with the small, high voltage, high temperature zones of spark plugs.

The re-association of hydrogen and oxygen (combustion) requires less heat than is required for dissociation so when enough heat is provided to separate the components, an explosion will occur, creating an immediate re-association of the hydrogen with the oxygen, and producing a great deal of usable energy in the process. The resulting re-association of the hydrogen and the oxygen results in the discharge of pure water which can be vented or recycled for re-use in the process. Perpetual motion, well not quite, but it is perpetual recycling. Pure water is the most environmentally friendly substance on the earth, consequently, no pollution.

In order for water particles to exist individually, they must be suspended in a medium such as air or liquid. Billings' U.S. patent #3,983,882 introduces the use of water vapor with hydrogen and air. This method requires that the water droplets be separated in a space containing air which is mostly comprised of nitrogen, a non-combustible substance. The most practical suspension for use as fuel is to suspend them in a non-compatible substance such as kerosene, oil, diesel or gasoline because these substances are also flammable and will burn simultaneously with hydrogen. A small amount of any of these substances will provide a separation of the water particles in an emulsion that is sufficient to make them available for thermal dissociation in sub-micron form. A mechanical emulsifier or homogenizer will produce a sub-micron suspension of these substances in the form of an emulsion that is tight enough to pass through a fuel filter and the injection system of an internal combustion engine without restriction. 

Water bodies can be made smaller by homogenizing and suspending them with a non-miscible fluid such as vegetable oil or petroleum products by the use of homogenizing or emulsifying means. Homogenizing the oil or gasoline with water creates a separation of the water droplets or particles into suspended fine bodies that can be readily dissociated by small concentrations of electrical energy and/or heat that are produced by a conventional spark plug, high compression or a glow plug. 

The resultant homogenized emulsion, when subjected to these small, electrical or pressurized heat zones, are subjected to dissociation of the hydrogen and oxygen in the sub-micron water bodies and then subsequently produce energy by immediate re-association. The dissociation will occur in varying degrees. Generally speaking, the hotter the spark plug, laser or glow plug, and the smaller the water droplets, the more complete the dissociation of the hydrogen from the oxygen and the more effective the use of water as fuel until a conduction level is reached that will dissociate 100% of the water.

The finer the H2O droplet size, the lower the energy requirement to dissociate its components. The more complete the dissociation of the water components, the less ambient air required for combustion because the oxygen required for combustion is provided in the water. Since ambient air is made up of approximately 80% nitrogen, a non-combustible element, the production of photochemical smog (NOx) can be greatly reduced or perhaps even eliminated.

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© Garry Isaacs 2013