Is a Water powered automobile too good to be true? Well, not according to Japanese company Genepax. They claim to have built a car that runs on water and air alone.
The system can generate power just by supplying water and air to the fuel and air electrodes, respectively, the company said at the press conference, which took place June 12, 2008, at the Osaka Assembly Hall.
The basic power generation mechanism of the new system is similar to that of a normal fuel cell, which uses hydrogen as a fuel. According to Genepax, the main feature of the new system is that it uses the company’s membrane electrode assembly (MEA), which contains a material capable of breaking down water into hydrogen and oxygen through a chemical reaction.
Though the company did not reveal the details, it “succeeded in adopting a well-known process to produce hydrogen from water to the MEA,” said Hirasawa Kiyoshi, the company’s president. This process is allegedly similar to the mechanism that produces hydrogen by a reaction of metal hydride and water. But compared with the existing method, the new process is expected to produce hydrogen from water for longer time, the company said.
With the new process, the cell needs only water and air, eliminating the need for a hydrogen reformer and high-pressure hydrogen tank. Moreover, the MEA requires no special catalysts, and the required amount of rare metals such as platinum is almost the same as that of existing systems, Genepax said.
But before we all get too excited, Popular Mechanics has described Genepax’s claims as “Rubbish.” The company says it “cannot [reveal] the core part of this invention,â€ yet, but it has disclosed that the system uses an onboard energy generator (a “membrane electrode assembly”) to extract the hydrogen using a “mechanism which is similar to the method in which hydrogen is produced by a reaction of metal hydride and water”.
The hydrogen is then used to generate energy to run the car. This has led to speculation that the metal hydride is consumed in the process and is the ultimate source of the car’s energy, making the car a hydride-fuelled “hydrogen on demand” vehicle, rather than water-fuelled as claimed.
Still, here is the vehicle driving around. Let’s hope that they know something that the rest of us don’t and pretty soon we’ll put fossil fuels to rest.
Where does the energy required to produce the metal hydride come from? . One would hope from a hydro-electric source; — but probably not.
This technology has been out for years now. Scientists knew that they how to create hydrogen with just water and they also knew that it could be used as a power source. I myself have made fuel cells and turned H2O into a fuel source. Its not very hard either just gotta know the trick to it.
Anthony Braden says
What a wonderful idea, but I really don’t see it actually working in a production environment.
If you can make it look like a Corvette it will take off. If it looks like a Smart Car chances are it will fail, at least in United States. The truth is many of us would rather “look good” than save the world. Sad, but true.
This should be interesting…we could go from internal combustion engines (fire based) to water engines. it would make for quite the switch. I hope for the sake of mankind that they’re telling the truth and have actually discovered something, but I have my doubts. I also hope that if they have, I can load up on their stock at the IPO :D
Amit Patel says
Lets see how long will it take for these cars to come out for general public, iam sure it would include – High Sales Price, Very less kms run in one go, very less efficiency and if everything is managed under control the other car manufacturers would bribe these guys to stop the project! :)
Armen Shirvanian says
It is smart marketing to get a speculative out into the market before the product is finished, so as to get a fair amount of attention even if the concept doesn’t follow through. It works on the notion that people think a company is releasing their intentions to get their material out in the public eye before their competition does so. Most of the time, claims made turn out to be falsities that are great for marketing, but fail as far as production.
jackie sheeler says
i’ve never heard of anything like this before, and i follow several Green blogs. while i HOPE that this is what they say it is — a system that could revolutionize car travel throughout the world and dramatically reduce reliance on fossil fuels — it really does seem too good to be true. keeping the core science of this “secret” is a bit of a red flag.