Sunday, September 9, 2007

Salt Water as Fuel?

This Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article reports experiments using salt water as fuel, in the presence of a radio frequency generator developed for other purposes. Actually, what supposedly occurs is that the salt water breaks down, giving off hydrogen which then recombines with the oxygen in a combustion process.

We are right to be skeptical of this claim. We are also correct to wonder if the energy given off by the combustion exceeds that required to drive the RF generator. Remembering the bad science in the "cold fusion" bubble of a few years ago, we should be highly cautious about this claim.

On the other hand, if it is true, and if it means virtually unlimited power from salt water, which covers over half the globe, then this could possibly be the biggest story in our lifetimes. Perhaps OPEC becomes no more important than the copper cartel or DeBeers.