Water- and Air-Powered Cars: Do These Vehicles Really Work?

| 6/15/2010 2:22:03 PM

AirWater CarsI keep hearing about alternative vehicles that can be powered by air and water. Are these cars for real?

Natalie Bogard
Riverside, California


Yes, with the right combination of hardware, it is possible to create an air-powered car or a water-powered car. But are the technologies good enough to replace our gasoline-powered cars? That’s a tougher question to answer.

 Water-powered cars are not a new idea. Water heated into steam propelled horseless carriages long before the development of the internal combustion engine. But with steam, you need another fuel source to heat the water, so the water isn’t actually the vehicle’s fuel, but instead a means of transferring energy to turn the wheels. The goal of a water-powered vehicle is to propel the vehicle using the hydrogen and oxygen contained in the water.

Hydrogen is a powerful and clean fuel, and the element is abundant in nature. However, hydrogen molecules in their natural state are bonded to other elements, such as oxygen or carbon. To use hydrogen as a fuel, you have to break the bond with the paired element. Applying electrical current in a relatively simple process called electrolysis is the easiest way to split hydrogen from water. Unfortunately, the energy trade-off between the electricity required to free the hydrogen and the power the hydrogen can produce isn’t a favorable one. Clearly a better process than electrolysis would be required for this. There are claims that the process does exist, but so far this is the stuff of urban legends and conspiracy theories.

John Doe
1/27/2012 7:54:22 PM

I hope for the best:) What i do know is there in NO reason we should still be using gas i wish the scientists would stand up to the oil companies for the rest of us. We are actually having a discussion about this..... http://www.mforums.org/showthread.php?tid=101

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