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Sporkman
September 11th, 2007, 12:34 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070910/ap_on_sc/burning_seawater



Radio frequencies help burn salt water

Mon Sep 10, 5:35 PM ET

ERIE, Pa. - An Erie cancer researcher has found a way to burn salt water, a novel invention that is being touted by one chemist as the "most remarkable" water science discovery in a century.

John Kanzius happened upon the discovery accidentally when he tried to desalinate seawater with a radio-frequency generator he developed to treat cancer. He discovered that as long as the salt water was exposed to the radio frequencies, it would burn.

The discovery has scientists excited by the prospect of using salt water, the most abundant resource on earth, as a fuel.

Rustum Roy, a Penn State University chemist, has held demonstrations at his State College lab to confirm his own observations.

The radio frequencies act to weaken the bonds between the elements that make up salt water, releasing the hydrogen, Roy said. Once ignited, the hydrogen will burn as long as it is exposed to the frequencies, he said.

The discovery is "the most remarkable in water science in 100 years," Roy said.

"This is the most abundant element in the world. It is everywhere," Roy said. "Seeing it burn gives me the chills."

Roy will meet this week with officials from the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense to try to obtain research funding.

The scientists want to find out whether the energy output from the burning hydrogen which reached a heat of more than 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit would be enough to power a car or other heavy machinery.

"We will get our ideas together and check this out and see where it leads," Roy said. "The potential is huge."

epimer
September 11th, 2007, 12:55 PM
The more important question is whether or not it produces more energy than it consumes; if you're splitting water (regardless of dissolved electrolytes) into its component elements, that has a huge thermodynamic cost, and that energy's coming from somewhere - presumably in generating the radio waves necessary.

It'll be interesting to see if this goes anywhere, or ends up dismissed as more quack science (perhaps of note that Professor Roy is an advocate of homeopathy).

Chilli Bob
September 11th, 2007, 02:56 PM
It's fun to look at, but nothing special is happening here. They are putting in more energy than they are getting out, so it really only has novelty value.

igknighted
September 11th, 2007, 02:59 PM
Is there a journal article anywhere on this? Anything more scientific than a newspaper clip?

monsieurdozier
September 11th, 2007, 02:59 PM
While Salt Water might be the most abundant resource on the planet, is it really renewable?

If we burn off our water and our oceans, I don't even want to image what it would do.

Of course that would be hundreds of years from now, who cares. [/sarcasm]

Monsieur Dozier

Chilli Bob
September 11th, 2007, 03:07 PM
They are not burning the oceans. They are using electromagnetic radiation (no doubt powered by good old fossil fuels) to spit the water into hydrogen and oxygen, which then recombine (burn) to form water. (The space shuttle main engines burn Hydrogen and Oxygen the same way). This is just an alternative to electrolysis. The thing to remember is that it takes more energy to split the water than you get back from burning it. (due to inefficiencies in the equipment.)

DoctorMO
September 11th, 2007, 03:22 PM
A useful tool perhaps but until an application is found there isn't anything exciting about the process.