Contributed by Mark Daniels
It seems like much less than 34 years ago when the movie “Back to the Future” had Doc using banana peels and soda pop to fuel his time travel vehicle. But the last few decades have seen serious research in the production of vehicles that can use alternatives to fossil fuels.
The alternative fuel research field has experimented with many possibilities. The idea of a pollution-free mode of transportation that actually goes faster than the horse and buggy has remained troublingly elusive, yet it continues to inspire.
What the experts say about water-powered cars
An article in Scientific American explores using water to fuel cars. Dr. Fabio Chiara of Ohio State University warns against the kits marketed to make an internal combustion engine run on water.
The main problem is not getting power from water by breaking it down water into oxygen and hydrogen (electrolysis). Adding hydrogen to existing engines creates more pollution than regular gasoline. It also presents safety risks for consumers where the systems that use the hydrogen are not handled properly or not installed correctly.
While hydrogen can power an internal combustion engine, its best potential is in powering fuel cells to create electricity. Fuel cells have many potential benefits, but it is not yet possible to make them economically competitive.
Alternative fuel vehicles becoming high priority
Tight environmental laws are increasingly common. They make cars more expensive Consumers must increasingly turn to poor credit car loans for relief. In Europe and elsewhere, high taxes make gas prices exorbitantly expensive.
More and more, alternative fuel vehicles are coming to market. Hybrids, such as the Nissan Leaf, use a lithium-ion battery to produce electric power, combined with gasoline/internal combustion for their second source of power.
Some makers have explored using compressed air as a source of stored energy.
For now, it seems most of the research is concerned with further refining the production of engines that can store hydrogen in cells and turn it into electricity that can power an electric motor. That kind of engine doesn’t need to rely on a secondary gasoline engine as in today’s hybrid models. The advantage of the hydrogen-only engine, the most ideal situation, is that the only by-product of the combustion process is water.
Some heavily polluted cities could be nearly instantly transformed by such a change. The health benefits of making no-emission engines a possibility are in no small part, “fueling” all this research and development.
The Future of Water-Powered Travel
For now, it seems that finding water-powered cars at buy here pay here car dealerships might be quite a long way in the future if they ever do come to fruition.
But historically, the human race has been very able to produce uncountable miraculous discoveries and inventions that have improved quality of life forever. Is there any reason to think that trend is over? In fact, the opposite is probably true.
We have brilliant young minds set keenly on tackling the problems that have not yet been solved. Pollution affects the global population, and thankfully a growing population of bright and eager minds is working finding solutions. Pollution-free travel and transportation is a worthy goal. All the effort, including finances, collaboration, and research will likely make it happen. The rewards, though as yet unclear, will be huge, that is a sure thing.
This article was contributed by Mark Daniels with AutoMax. Mark is a versatile writer with extensive experience creating interesting, engaging, and unique articles in automotive industries.
Toyota FCV. Some rights reserved by smoothgroover22
Hydrogen fuel cell in Toyota. Some rights reserved by Joseph Brent
Fuel cell diagram. Public domain from Wikimedia Commons rel=”nofollow”