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Old 11th September 2007, 07:42 AM   #1
stanleywinthrop
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Pennsylvania Man Claims to Burn Salt Water

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,296395,00.html

Opinions anyone?
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Old 11th September 2007, 07:49 AM   #2
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Been done here before.

There is no gain in breaking water down into it's components just to burn it again. It will take more energy to break it down than it puts out as fuel, no matter the frequency- microwave or infra-red.
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Old 11th September 2007, 07:55 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
Been done here before.

There is no gain in breaking water down into it's components just to burn it again. It will take more energy to break it down than it puts out as fuel, no matter the frequency- microwave or infra-red.
The thing that cracks me up is that time and time again so-called journalists fall for these claims as being the panacea.
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Old 11th September 2007, 08:05 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by stanleywinthrop View Post
The thing that cracks me up is that time and time again so-called journalists fall for these claims as being the panacea.
What I find odd is the guy Rustom Roy. He's a woo woo wooooo with a degree. It did confound me for a minute until I read his wikipedia article.
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Old 11th September 2007, 08:07 AM   #5
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I guess it's not a story about a really bad cook then?
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Old 11th September 2007, 08:11 AM   #6
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http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...og/aw_jeez.jpg
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Old 11th September 2007, 03:32 PM   #7
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I confess I read the same article (on a comic book forum of all places) today and showed up here to see what you guys thought about it. Can anyone give a more detailed answer as to why they think this won't work?

Is there a detailed analysis out there for me to read about the energy required to break it down contrasted with the energy net gains?

Thanks, you guys are the best.

Stamen
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Old 11th September 2007, 03:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by technoextreme View Post
What I find odd is the guy Rustom Roy. He's a woo woo wooooo with a degree. It did confound me for a minute until I read his wikipedia article.
Link?
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Old 11th September 2007, 03:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by tek View Post
Link?
This?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rustum_Roy
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Old 11th September 2007, 03:56 PM   #10
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And these:

http://www.rustumroy.com/writings%20on.htm
http://www.friendsofhealth.org/
http://www.internationalskeptics.com...ad.php?t=88831
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Old 11th September 2007, 03:56 PM   #11
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http://green.yahoo.com/index.php?q=node/1570
Quote:
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.
http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2...lvania-ma.html
Quote:
Rustum Roy, a Penn State University (my alma mater!) chemist and expert in water structure, tells the Post-Gazette the guy is not just a nut bar. He says he recreated the phenomenon last week at the university's Materials Research Laboratory in State College.



"It's true, it works," Dr. Roy said. "Everyone told me, 'Rustum, don't be fooled. He put electrodes in there.' "


But there are no electrodes and no gimmicks, he said.
http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2...el-saltwa.html
Quote:
No, we don’t believe it either, but a Penn State chemist found the science to in fact be true; the water itself isn’t burning, just the hydrogen that’s released from it using the radio wave emitter. It’s a pretty crazy notion, we agree, but when you see the simple engine moving at the end of the video below — just from the flame coming from a single test tube of saltwater — you’ll be stunned.
http://www.watertechonline.com/news.asp?N_ID=68148
Quote:
PITTSBURGH — A recent discovery by an Erie, PA, man that saltwater can be "ignited" with a radio-frequency generator has sparked interest in scientific communities, including Penn State University.

Rustum Roy, Ph.D., a chemist at the university and a founding member of its Materials Research Institute, is an expert in water structure.

He tested John Kanzius’ finding, that saltwater will “burn” as long as it is exposed to radio frequencies, and found it to hold true, reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on September 9.

Roy said the saltwater does not burn, per se, but as it is exposed to the radio frequency, the bond that holds together its key constituents — such as sodium, chlorine, hydrogen and oxygen — weakens. As this happens, hydrogen is released, and once ignited, burns continuously when exposed to the radio frequency field.

The flame’s temperature was measured at 3,000 F, and is considered an enormous energy output, the article said.
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Old 11th September 2007, 03:59 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by stamenflicker View Post
I confess I read the same article (on a comic book forum of all places) today and showed up here to see what you guys thought about it. Can anyone give a more detailed answer as to why they think this won't work?

Is there a detailed analysis out there for me to read about the energy required to break it down contrasted with the energy net gains?
Well, casebro had it in a nutshell.

what's happening here is that water molecules are being broken up into hyrdogen and oxygen which are then re-combining. Breaking up the water molecules takes exactly the same amount of energy as you get back from them reacting (burning) to form water again.

But of course you can never actually break even because you'll always be losing energy in creating the radio waves only a fraction of the energy of which will actually go into breaking the hydrogen-oxygen bonds in the water. And then you can only get a bit of the energy back if you were to try and run a generator off the burning hydrogen. In short, it's a big waste of energy.

Of course if you could break up the water using energy you didn't have to pay the electricity company (solar power, for instance, or microwave energy beamed down from satellites, for a more futuristic option) then you have a ready supply of hydrogen which can be used as fuel.
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Old 11th September 2007, 04:08 PM   #13
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Electrolysis of water using radio waves is a new discovery. It doesn't matter that there is no energy gain, it is indeed a new scientific discovery.








Except that the idea has been patented three times already.
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Old 11th September 2007, 04:19 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Hamish View Post
Well, casebro had it in a nutshell.

what's happening here is that water molecules are being broken up into hyrdogen and oxygen which are then re-combining. Breaking up the water molecules takes exactly the same amount of energy as you get back from them reacting (burning) to form water again.

But of course you can never actually break even because you'll always be losing energy in creating the radio waves only a fraction of the energy of which will actually go into breaking the hydrogen-oxygen bonds in the water. And then you can only get a bit of the energy back if you were to try and run a generator off the burning hydrogen. In short, it's a big waste of energy.

Of course if you could break up the water using energy you didn't have to pay the electricity company (solar power, for instance, or microwave energy beamed down from satellites, for a more futuristic option) then you have a ready supply of hydrogen which can be used as fuel.
I think I understand the premises, I was just wondering if there was a source I could read about the actual energy expense in creation and then upon release. I want to look at the data on the net gain / loss. Just curious of course, and thank you for the summary.
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Old 11th September 2007, 04:34 PM   #15
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It's amazing how the story is being reported as if there were free energy via this process. Science just doesn't lend itself to contemporary journalism, it seems.
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Old 11th September 2007, 04:43 PM   #16
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"Superheated Steam" is also water with it's bonds broken by energy. Simply heat the water, under pressure, to 700 degrees. Then let it out of the pipe. It's called "An Explosion".

As I said in my initial reply, infra red energy works just as well as RF energy.
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Old 11th September 2007, 05:00 PM   #17
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From the title "Pennsylvania Man Claims to Burn Salt Water"...

I thought "Wow!!! He must be a very bad cook!"
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Old 11th September 2007, 05:21 PM   #18
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It's the main story on yahoo right now...
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Old 11th September 2007, 05:57 PM   #19
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You might want to check out this post I made:

http://depletedcranium.com/?p=106

One of the visitors to the site made a comment pointing out that what is going on seems to be indicative NOT of hydrogen production but rather of the thermal decomposition of sodium chloride, with the sodium reacting. Look at the video and read what he said and it seems that this "discovery" is not only not a means of producing energy, but it isn't even a good way of making hydrogen

Also on Rustum Roy. I have links to some of his stuff here: http://depletedcranium.com/?p=105

Not only is he into the "Whole body healing sciences" he's a homeopath and is into some BS called "Science guided by religion."
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Old 11th September 2007, 10:52 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by sickstan View Post
It's amazing how the story is being reported as if there were free energy via this process. Science just doesn't lend itself to contemporary journalism, it seems.
You might think so, but on FoxNews right now, the article has this little addendum:
Quote:
[Internet commentary upon Kanzius and Roy's assertion points out that creating fire from salt water is possible by first separating it into hydrogen, oxygen, sodium and chloride, then burning the sodium. However, such a process would consume much more energy than it produces.]
A correction like that is nearly as remarkable as a working perpetual motion device.
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Old 12th September 2007, 12:32 AM   #21
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If Rustrum Roy is involved, one should take it with a pinch of salt.
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Old 12th September 2007, 09:43 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by robinson View Post
Electrolysis of water using radio waves is a new discovery. It doesn't matter that there is no energy gain, it is indeed a new scientific discovery.

Except that the idea has been patented three times already.
And water electrolysis with electrodes isn't cheap; you need to run huge currents at fairly low voltages through large, expensive electrodes. Given that RF generation is pretty energy-efficient (thank you, miltary radar!) it's marginally plausible that this could be a <em>better way to generate hydrogen</em> than ordinary electrolysis.

But I'd call it unlikely. Question #1: splitting up water releases both H and O. In electrolysis, the H2 bubbles up at one electrode (and goes into the H tank) and the O2 bubbles up at the other (and goes into the O tank). If you're just shooting RF at a beaker of water, aren't you getting bubbles of mixed H2 and O2 (Brown's gas)? That's fine if you want to feed it to a cutting torch, but storing it would be incredibly dangerous.
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Old 12th September 2007, 10:16 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by ben m View Post
And water electrolysis with electrodes isn't cheap; you need to run huge currents at fairly low voltages through large, expensive electrodes. Given that RF generation is pretty energy-efficient (thank you, miltary radar!) it's marginally plausible that this could be a <em>better way to generate hydrogen</em> than ordinary electrolysis.

But I'd call it unlikely. Question #1: splitting up water releases both H and O. In electrolysis, the H2 bubbles up at one electrode (and goes into the H tank) and the O2 bubbles up at the other (and goes into the O tank). If you're just shooting RF at a beaker of water, aren't you getting bubbles of mixed H2 and O2 (Brown's gas)? That's fine if you want to feed it to a cutting torch, but storing it would be incredibly dangerous.
Well, you also have to consider the efficiency of not just the radio wave generation but how much ends up being converted to chemical energy. In the video the numbers on the dial were 1-2 kilowatts. That may or may not be the amount of energy of the RF field, but if you need kilowatts of energy to split a test tube of water, that's hardly an efficient way of doing it.

On top of that, the fact that it needs to be salt water and the flame color indicate that the sodium (and therefore chlorine) may be dissociated.

So what you are left with would then be a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen, which would have to be separated, and in the mean time is just asking for a big 'splosion. Plus ontop of that you'd have some sodium compounds and a bit of chlorine gas mixed in...

I think I'd stick with other means of making hydrogen. And aside from electrolysis there are also regenerative fuel cells, thermochemical, photocatalytic and other means of doing so.

I see this concept as having rather limited possibilities...
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Old 12th September 2007, 10:25 AM   #24
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The ability to do electrolysis on salt water, without electrodes, without a catalyst, and without producing chlorine, is a huge discovery.
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Old 12th September 2007, 10:38 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by robinson View Post
The ability to do electrolysis on salt water, without electrodes, without a catalyst, and without producing chlorine, is a huge discovery.

And why do you make this assertion?
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Old 12th September 2007, 12:35 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
You might think so, but on FoxNews right now, the article has this little addendum:

Internet commentary upon Kanzius and Roy's assertion points out that creating fire from salt water is possible by first separating it into hydrogen, oxygen, sodium and chloride, then burning the sodium. However, such a process would consume much more energy than it produces.

A correction like that is nearly as remarkable as a working perpetual motion device.
A correction not found with NBC.

If you doubt me, check out the comments made by those who watched the video --- many think it's going to replace oil.
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Last edited by Just thinking; 12th September 2007 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 12th September 2007, 12:39 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by balrog666 View Post
And why do you make this assertion?
Do you know anything about salt water electrolysis? (I'm trying to figure out how much ignorance will have to be overcome before starting to explain.)
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Old 12th September 2007, 01:06 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by DRBUZZ0 View Post
On top of that, the fact that it needs to be salt water and the flame color indicate that the sodium (and therefore chlorine) may be dissociated.
The flame colour indicates that sodium is present, but says nothing about its current state.
What exactly do you mean by the word "dissociated"? As a chemist, I'd say that it of course dissociated- it's in aqueous solution, and salt is a strong electrolyte. But you may be using the word in a different context.
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Old 12th September 2007, 01:09 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by robinson View Post
The ability to do electrolysis on salt water, without electrodes, without a catalyst, and without producing chlorine, is a huge discovery.
Quote:
Do you know anything about salt water electrolysis? (I'm trying to figure out how much ignorance will have to be overcome before starting to explain.)
I've done it several times.

Having watched the video, I retract my claim that it might be "vaguely plausible" that this is more efficient than electrolysis. No way is this as efficient as electrolysis.

Robinson, what's huge about it? Is there some application in which you'd want to produce H2-O2 gas mixtures from salt water without electrodes? I sure can't think of one. It's no good for H2 production (inefficient, products are mixed), it's not a good source for an oxyhydrogen torch (inefficient, expensive) ... what else is there? The only people saying "this is huge" seem to be the ones who think it's a net energy source.
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Old 12th September 2007, 01:46 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by sickstan View Post
It's amazing how the story is being reported as if there were free energy via this process. Science just doesn't lend itself to contemporary journalism, it seems.
There are two articles that are related right on this page. It might be prudent to merge them because one goes into detail of the "cancer treatment".
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Old 12th September 2007, 02:20 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by ben m View Post
I've done it several times.

Having watched the video, I retract my claim that it might be "vaguely plausible" that this is more efficient than electrolysis. No way is this as efficient as electrolysis.

Robinson, what's huge about it? Is there some application in which you'd want to produce H2-O2 gas mixtures from salt water without electrodes? I sure can't think of one. It's no good for H2 production (inefficient, products are mixed), it's not a good source for an oxyhydrogen torch (inefficient, expensive) ... what else is there? The only people saying "this is huge" seem to be the ones who think it's a net energy source.
It is sad to me what is going on the net with people jumping all over this "The battery in your car could run this and then for fuel you can..."

My response is "OH OH! How about this! We run a generator by connecting it to a motor which is powered by a battery with the generator charges!"


I'm still not sure exactly what is going on here, but I am certain that it is not generating energy (Unless there is fusion going on, which I *HIGHLY* doubt) and that it is most probably much less effecient than carbon-rod electrolysis.


This is my best guess: Salt water is considerably more conductive than fresh water. The salt water, especially in a properly sized vial, may be acting as a sort of antenna. The RF energy is thus inducing an alternating current (well, not really current because there's no complete circuit. More like a charge) within the water itself.

In other words, with each cycle, the top becomes more positively charged and the bottom more negatively and then reversing with the frequency of the RF field.

This charge is causing the water - or to be more accurate, brine - to act as it's own electrodes and the charged regions cause the liberation of some of the ions. This forms the bubbles in the water and thus the gas. Of course some sodium and chlorine are released as well and due to the alternations, there's no way to separate the two.

That is the best I can infer. Any chemists in the house? Sound plausible?

In any case, that would not be that efficient.
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Old 12th September 2007, 02:50 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by robinson View Post
Do you know anything about salt water electrolysis? (I'm trying to figure out how much ignorance will have to be overcome before starting to explain.)
You misunderstand my question.

Why do you think this is non-obvious? What makes it a "discovery" in your mind?
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Old 12th September 2007, 06:26 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by stamenflicker View Post
I confess I read the same article (on a comic book forum of all places) today and showed up here to see what you guys thought about it. Can anyone give a more detailed answer as to why they think this won't work?

Is there a detailed analysis out there for me to read about the energy required to break it down contrasted with the energy net gains?

Thanks, you guys are the best.

Stamen
All you need to understand that it is crap is the Laws of Thermodynamics
(very short: heat/energy flows from where it is to where it isn't. YOU always lose!!)(and eventually, all energy is heat, heat is the only thing there is, it is spread evenly throughout the universe: SO the universe is all at a temperature of just above absolute zero (the famous heat-death of the universe)

By-the-by that means no planets, no stars, no meteorites, no atoms or molecules, NO MATTER AT ALL, just evenly distributed heat energy and blackness.
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Old 13th September 2007, 12:10 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by fuelair View Post
By-the-by that means no planets, no stars, no meteorites, no atoms or molecules, NO MATTER AT ALL, just evenly distributed heat energy and blackness.
What a woo concept.
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Old 13th September 2007, 12:26 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by ben m View Post
Robinson, what's huge about it?
There are two issues here. (Forget the over unity crap, that is just nonsense).

Is it really electrolysis of salt water? Without electrodes? A video doesn't provide much to go on, except that salt water is producing flammable gas when exposed to RF, which IS something novel, and very interesting.

But is it electrolysis of salt water? I doubt it, but if it really is, then it is even stranger. But the yellow flame makes me think sodium, so it can't be electrolysis of salt water.

Electrolysis of salt water is one of the biggest and most important industrial processes in the world, it is that huge. If somebody came up with a way to do this without electrodes, and with any increase in efficiency, it would be giant. Astounding really.

Is that really what we are seeing? What is happening to the salt water? Is chlorine being produced? Is sodium hydroxide being produced? What is the composition of the gas that is burning? What is the composition of the salt water? What is the end product of the burning?

Has this been done in a closed system? What if you immerse the RF generator in the brine? Can you generate the frequency underwater with a waveguide, and get hydrogen? What happens if you bubble the resulting gas through water? Through salt water? What is the Ph of the water? How long does it take? What is the rate of production? A thousand questions come to mind. None of them have anything to do with free energy.

Getting salt water to give up just hydrogen alone with RF is astounding. If it is also generating oxygen, it is huge. If it is generating sodium and chlorine along with hydrogen and oxygen, it is one of the most astounding discoveries ever.

No kidding. Forget that over unity carp, how is this happening? And if it can be dome to brine, can it be used on other dissolved metals? I'm surprised the "News" is focusing on the nonsense and avoiding the science of the matter.

Or maybe not.

Last edited by robinson; 13th September 2007 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 13th September 2007, 10:10 AM   #36
Madalch
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Originally Posted by robinson View Post
But the yellow flame makes me think sodium, so it can't be electrolysis of salt water.
If you bubble a flammable gas through salt water and ignite it, it will burn with a yellow flame due to the sodium ions in the salt water. So if the water is being decomposed to give hydrogen and oxygen, and the hydrogen is burning, yes, it will give a yellow flame.
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Old 14th September 2007, 09:34 AM   #37
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Ah, here's the right forum. I saw the story on ctv and wondered how "real" it was, especially once I saw the name Rustum Roy.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNew...0911/20070911/

The story linked is sourced from the Associated Press, so it may be the same across other places. But the key here, according to RR, is:

Quote:
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.
So according to him, it's the hydrogen, not the sodium, that is burning. And of course, we should all believe RR since RR is The Expert.
(Note: previous statement contained a healthy dose of British sarcasm)

Thanks for all the info. So this really is a non-story after all? (Or at least a story on how lacking the press is on scientific news coverage?)
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Old 14th September 2007, 09:47 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by robinson View Post
I'm surprised the "News" is focusing on the nonsense and avoiding the science of the matter.
There is no science here because there is no data.
And therefore, there is no news either.
Thank you for pointing out the obvious.

Have the guy issue another press release when he has something to report.
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Old 14th September 2007, 10:05 AM   #39
ben m
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Originally Posted by robinson View Post
Electrolysis of salt water is one of the biggest and most important industrial processes in the world, it is that huge. If somebody came up with a way to do this without electrodes, and with any increase in efficiency, it would be giant. Astounding really.
Electrolysis is huge for producing hydrogen gas. Electrolysis to produce mixed H2/O2, which is suitable only for immediate use, is a tiny niche market.

Now, it's possible---I don't really know---that hydrogen plants routinely store their product as a cryogenic liquid. In that case, it wouldn't cost much additional energy to separate the H2 and O2 by distillation. I wouldn't dare speculate on the explosion hazard of a distillation column full of mixed liquid H2 and O2 .... ugh.

Again ... if the efficiency is worth thinking about, i.e. better than (I think) 80% metered-electricity-to-stored-chemical-energy which you get with electrodes. I think that 80% efficiency is marginally possible for electricity-to-RF-beam ... fat chance of it being 100% efficiency for RF-beam-to-hydrogen. We've already seen how much the water heats up.

-Ben
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Old 14th September 2007, 10:12 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Baron Samedi View Post
So according to him, it's the hydrogen, not the sodium, that is burning. And of course, we should all believe RR since RR is The Expert.
It requires much less energy to form hydrogen than sodium from aqueous solution.

If sodium does form, it will react immediately with the water to hydrogen.

So, yes, it is the hydrogen that's burning, since the sodium (if any formed) won't last long enough to burn.

I may not be RR, but I am An Expert.
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