Energy News ArticlesExcerpts of key news articles on energy
Volkswagen's amazing 300mpg-plus XL1 two-seater diesel/electric hybrid is a supercar where mpg matters more than mph. Imagine a different sort of supercar; small, lightweight, with the ... most parsimonious engine. That’s VW’s 21st-century streamliner, the XL1, honed not for speed but to achieve an astonishing 313mpg. VW has been messing about with these cigar-thin eco cars since the 1980 ARVW concept. In 1999, it developed a Lupo capable of three litres per 100km (94mpg), but Ferdinand Piëch, VW’s chairman, was more ambitious and had already ordered his R&D team to build him a “one-litre” (282mpg) car. In normal operation, the car stays in electric drive until full throttle is used, speeds exceed 62mph or the battery charge is down to 20 per cent. In e-mode, the car remains on battery power until 10 per cent of its charge remains (about 22 miles), whereupon the motor starts to charge it and power the vehicle. The 2.2-gallon fuel tank gives a range of about 340 miles. As might be expected, the body style is all about wind cheating. With a frontal area of 16.15sq ft and a drag coefficient of 0.186, the XL1 will be the world’s most aerodynamic production car.
Note: For many exciting reports from reliable sources on breakthroughs in automotive technology, click here.
Two Italian scientists claim to have successfully developed a cold fusion reactor that produces 12,400 watts of heat power per 400 watts of input. Not only that, but they’ll be commercially available in just three months. Cold fusion is a tricky business -- some say a theoretically implausible business. Hypothetically (and broadly) speaking, the process involves fusing two smaller atomic nuclei together into a larger nucleus, a process that releases massive amounts of energy. If harnessed, cold fusion could provide cheap and nearly limitless energy with no radioactive byproduct or massive carbon emissions. Andrea Rossi and Sergio Focardi claim [their reactor] fuses atomic nuclei of nickel and hydrogen using about 1,000 watts of electricity which, after a few minutes, is reduced to an input of just 400 watts. This reaction purportedly can turn 292 grams of 68 degree water into turbine-turning steam -- a process that would normally require 12,400 watts of electricity, netting them a power gain of about 12,000 watts. They say that commercially scaled, their process could generate eight units of output per unit of input and would cost roughly one penny per kilowatt-hour, drastically cheaper than your average coal plant.
Note: For a balanced and informative article on this, see the Technology News article available here. Sadly, the only other media report on this fascinating news was a Washington Times article available here. For lots more useful information and videos on this exciting discovery, click here.
The White House is going solar after all - a home improvement that carries modest energy benefits but much larger symbolic importance. It isn't the first time the White House has used solar energy. President Jimmy Carter put 32 solar panels on the roof in the late 1970s, but President Ronald Reagan removed them in 1986. Two grass-roots campaigns have recently been lobbying President Obama to restore them as a sign of his commitment to renewable energy. The roof of the White House residence will get solar panels and a solar water heater, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and the White House Council on Environmental Quality's chair, Nancy Sutley. A campaign launched by Oakland, Calif.-based Sungevity called Solar on the White House and another by 350.org founder Bill McKibben tried to get Obama to reinstall solar panels. "The White House did the right thing, and for the right reasons: They listened to the Americans who asked for solar on their roof, and they listened to the scientists and engineers who told them this is the path to the future," McKibben said in a statement. "If it has anything like the effect of the White House garden, it could be a trigger for a wave of solar installations across the country and around the world," he said.
Cars and trucks averaging 62 miles per gallon? Seems extraordinary now, but ... automakers could be required to build lineups like that by 2025, making today's high-mileage hybrids seem conventional and turning gas guzzlers into mere relics. By a decade and a half from now, in 2025, a carmaker's fleet of new vehicles may need to meet a standard somewhere from 47 mpg to 62 mpg, the Transportation Department and Environmental Protection Agency said. Those mileage gains that would be the equivalent of an annual decrease in carbon dioxide emissions per mile of 3 to 6 percent. The government envisions gas-electric hybrids making up about half the lineup of new vehicles under the most aggressive standards, while electrics and plug-ins would comprise about 10 percent of the fleet. After little progress during the past three decades, rules adopted earlier this year will lift the new vehicle fleet average to 35.5 mpg by 2016, an increase of more than 40 percent over current standards.Fuel efficiency standards are designed to improve gas mileage across each automaker's lineup and across the nation's entire fleet of new vehicles. Vehicles must meet differing standards based on their dimensions. Compact cars must get better mileage than sport utility vehicles, for example, but requirements for all types of vehicles will go up.
Note: Despite rampant government claims of wanting independence from foreign oil, fuel efficiency has almost always been largely determined by congressional mandates which the oil companies have consistently fought against. For more on this, click here. For lots more on new energy technologies, click here.
When I meet [Edward] Moses [at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory], the 60-year-old scientist ... shows me a tiny pellet ... and swears it will provide an endless supply of safe, clean energy. The pellet Moses holds is a model, but the real version will contain a few milligrams of deuterium and tritium, isotopes of hydrogen that can be extracted from water. If you blast the pellet with a powerful laser, you can create a reaction like the one that takes place at the center of the sun. Harness that reaction, and you've created a star on earth, and with the heat from that star you can generate electricity without creating any pollution. Forget about nuke plants, coal, oil, or wind and solar. "This is the real solar power," says Moses. What Moses is talking about is controlled nuclear fusion. Instead of splitting the nucleus of an atom, you're trying to force a deuterium nucleus to merge, or fuse, with a tritium nucleus. When that happens, you produce helium and throw off energy. Scientists have been trying to produce energy with fusion for decades. So far, they keep failing. The joke is that fusion energy is only 40 years away, and will always be only 40 years away. Moses believes, however, that his lab, which is called the National Ignition Facility, or NIF, has cracked the problem. The big challenge fusion has faced is lack of power. NIF's laser ... can produce 60 times more energy than any other laser ever built. Right now it's still being tested. But next year Moses and his scientists will fire it up with a full load of deuterium-tritium fuel, and Moses feels confident it will achieve "ignition," meaning a controlled burn in which you get out more energy than you put in.
If you believed all the talk from Chrysler about how our tax dollars would help finance its fast-track electric-vehicle future, you're in for a big disappointment. Chrysler has disbanded the engineering team that was trying to bring three electric models to market as a rush job. Chrysler [had] cited its devotion to electric vehicles as one of the key reasons why the Obama administration and Congress needed to give it $12.5 billion in bailout money. The change of heart on electric vehicles has come under Fiat. At a marathon presentation of Chrysler's five-year strategy, CEO Sergio Marchionne talked about just about everything on Chrysler's plate ... except its earlier electric-car plans. With the group's disbanding, Chrysler's electric plans will be melded into Fiat's. Marchionne is apparently no fan of electric power. He says electrics will only make up 1% or 2% of Fiat sales by 2014 and that he doesn't put a lot of faith in the technology until battery developments are pushed forward. As a result, Chrysler won't have an electric car on sale as soon as next year, such as the Dodge Circuit sports car concept it had unveiled. The change has come so fast that Chrysler's website has been still featuring pictures of the electric vehicles. As late as August, Chrysler took $70 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a test fleet of 220 hybrid pickup trucks and minivans, vehicles now scrapped in the sweeping turnaround plan for Chrysler.
Note: For reports from reliable sources on promising new developments in electric automobile technologies, click here.
Advances in technology for extracting [natural] gas from shale and methane beds have quickened dramatically, altering the global balance of energy faster than almost anybody expected. Tony Hayward, BP's chief executive, said proven natural gas reserves around the world have risen to 1.2 trillion barrels of oil equivalent, enough for 60 years' supply – and rising fast. "There has been a revolution in the gas fields of North America. Reserve estimates are rising sharply as technology unlocks unconventional resources," he said. The breakthrough has been to combine 3-D seismic imaging with new technologies to free "tight gas" by smashing rocks, known as hydro-fracturing or "fracking" in the trade. The US is leading the charge. Texas A&M University said US methods could increase global gas reserves by nine times to 16,000 TCF (trillion cubic feet). Shale gas is undoubtedly messy. Millions of gallons of water mixed with sand, hydrochloric acid and toxic chemicals are blasted at rocks. This is supposed to happen below the water basins but accidents have been common. Pennsylvania's [environmental authorities] have shut down a Cabot Oil & Gas operation after 8,000 gallons of chemicals spilled into a stream. The claims of BP ... are so extraordinary that we may need to rewrite the geo-strategy textbooks for the next half century.
Applied Materials is one of the most important U.S. companies you’ve probably never heard of. It makes the machines that make the microchips that go inside your computer. The chip business, though, is volatile, so in 2004 Mike Splinter, Applied Materials’s C.E.O., decided to add a new business line to take advantage of the company’s nanotechnology capabilities — making the machines that make solar panels. The other day, Splinter gave me a tour of the company’s Silicon Valley facility, culminating with a visit to its “war room,” where Applied maintains a real-time global interaction with all 14 solar panel factories it’s built around the world in the last two years. Not a single one is in America. Let’s see: five are in Germany, four are in China, one is in Spain, one is in India, one is in Italy, one is in Taiwan and one is even in Abu Dhabi. The reason that all these other countries are building solar-panel industries today is because most of their governments have put in place the three prerequisites for growing a renewable energy industry: 1) any business or homeowner can generate solar energy; 2) if they decide to do so, the power utility has to connect them to the grid; and 3) the utility has to buy the power for a predictable period at a price that is a no-brainer good deal for the family or business putting the solar panels on their rooftop. Regulatory, price and connectivity certainty, that is what Germany put in place, and that explains why Germany now generates almost half the solar power in the world today and, as a byproduct, is making itself the world-center for solar research, engineering, manufacturing and installation. With more than 50,000 new jobs, the renewable energy industry in Germany is now second only to its auto industry.
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on promising new energy developments, click here.
One of the newest energy lobbyists claims he has the answer to climate change: spaceships. The government has in its possession "extraterrestrial vehicles," lobbyist Stephen Bassett said. As in flying saucers. Imagine the power source, he said, behind a 30-foot wide saucer that weighs the same as a tractor-trailer yet hurtles through galaxies at 20,000 miles per hour. "What is the energy system operating that craft?" Bassett said. "They're not burning kerosene." Bassett ... is working for free as a lobbyist, representing the Hawaii-based Exopolitics Institute, an educational organization which describes itself as "dedicated to studying the key actors, institutions and political processes associated with extraterrestrial life." Bassett said he is less lobbyist and more political activist. "The UFO phenomenon is real," Bassett said. "The E.T. extraterrestrial presence is real." Bassett's been lobbying about seven months, targeting the science and technology, and defense and aviation angles. He added energy to his portfolio in a Senate filing last week. He has spoken to lawmakers in the past, Bassett said, but he's writing off lobbying Congress for now, calling the extraterrestrial issue "the third rail" of politics. Besides, he and other believers have a bigger name on their list. "Knowing that Congress could not act," Bassett said, "what we did was focus on the executive branch, the White House." Those who believe the truth is out there have been waiting for someone like President Obama to come clean about the government hiding information on extraterrestrials, Bassett said.
Note: What's highly unusual about this article is that there is not a note of ridicule. This may be a first for a UFO article in the New York Times. For lots more eye-opening, reliable information on this topic, including a Times article in which a former CIA chief describes a UFO cover-up, click here and here.
A U.S. Navy researcher announced today that her lab has produced “significant” new results that indicate cold fusion-like reactions. If the work by analytical chemist Pamela Mosier-Boss and her colleagues is confirmed, it could open the door to a cheap, near-limitless reservoir of energy. Devising a fusion-based source of energy on Earth has long been a “clean-energy” holy grail of physicists. A small group of scientists has [tried] to produce fusion reactions at low temperatures. If such experiments did produce fusion reactions, they would generate highly energetic neutrons as a byproduct. These are what Mosier-Boss says her San Diego-based group has found. “If you have fusion going on, then you have to have neutrons,” she said. “But we do not know if fusion is actually occurring. It could be some other nuclear reaction.” Today’s announcement is based partly on research published by Mosier-Boss’ group last year in the journal Naturwissenschaften. The announcement may turn heads, given its stage at the American Chemical Society’s big meeting and the fact that the organization promoted it to science journalists in advance. “It’s big,” said Steven Krivit, founder of the New Energy Times publication, which has tracked cold fusion developments for two decades. “What we’re talking about may be more than anybody actually expected,” he said. “We’re talking about a new field of science that’s a hybrid between chemistry and physics.”
Note: For a powerful documentary showing a major cover-up around cold fusion, click here. Many highly esteemed scientists have repeatedly demonstrated the reality of cold fusion, only to have their research sometimes ruthlessly shut down. For many hopeful reports from reliable sources on the array of new energy developments currently underway, click here.
Supertankers that once raced around the world to satisfy an unquenchable thirst for oil are now parked offshore, fully loaded, anchors down, their crews killing time. In the United States, vast storage farms for oil are almost out of room. As demand for crude has plummeted, the world suddenly finds itself awash in oil that has nowhere to go. It’s been less than a year since oil prices hit record highs. But now producers and traders are struggling with the new reality: The world wants less oil, not more. And turning off the spigot is about as easy as turning around one of those tankers. So oil companies and investors are stashing crude, waiting for demand to rise and the bear market to end so they can turn a profit later. Meanwhile, oil-producing countries such as Iran have pumped millions of barrels of their own crude into idle tankers, effectively taking crude off the market to halt declining prices that are devastating their economies. Traders have always played a game of store and sell, bringing oil to market when it can fetch the best price. They say this time is different because of how fast the bottom fell out of the oil market. “Nobody expected this,” said Antoine Halff, an analyst with Newedge. “The majority of people out there thought the market would keep rising to $200, even $250, a barrel. They were tripping over each other to pick a higher forecast.” Now the strategy is storage. Anyone who can buy cheap oil and store it might be able to sell it at a premium later, when the global economy ramps up again.
Exxon Mobil Corp. ... reported a profit of $45.2 billion for 2008, breaking its own record for a U.S. company. The previous record for annual profit was $40.6 billion, which the world's largest publicly traded oil company set in 2007. The extraordinary full-year profit wasn't a surprise given crude's triple-digit price for much of 2008, peaking near an unheard of $150 a barrel in July. Since then, however, prices have fallen roughly 70 percent amid a deepening global economic crisis. In the fourth quarter alone crude tumbled 60 percent, prompting spending and job cuts in an industry that was reporting robust, often record, profits as recently as last summer. Irving, Texas-based Exxon said net income slid sharply to $7.8 billion, or $1.55 a share, in the October-December period. That compared with $11.7 billion, or $2.13 a share, in the same period a year ago, when Exxon set a U.S. record for quarterly profit. It has since topped that mark twice, first in last year's second quarter and then with earnings of $14.83 billion in the third quarter. Revenue in the most-recent quarter fell 27 percent to $84.7 billion. The industry went into retrenchment toward the end of the year with demand falling. The company, which produces about 3 percent of the world's oil, said overall output fell 3 percent in the most-recent period. For the full year, Exxon Mobil's massive profit amounted to $8.69 a share, versus $7.28 a share a year ago.
Note: How can it be said that this record-breaking profit "wasn't a surprise," when ethically we would all expect the oil companies not to gouge consumers world-wide at the time when oil prices were artificially driven to record highs? Why should the oil companies be allowed to rake in huge profits causing the vast majority of us to suffer even greater losses at the gas pump? This is generally called gross profiteering. Shouldn't these "windfall profits" be taxed away?
If ever there was a car made for the times, this would seem to be it: a sporty subcompact that seats five, offers a navigation system, and gets a whopping 65 miles to the gallon. Oh yes, and the car is made by Ford Motors, known widely for lumbering gas hogs. Ford's 2009 Fiesta ECOnetic goes on sale in November. But here's the catch: Despite the car's potential to transform Ford's image and help it compete with Toyota Motor and Honda Motor in its home market, the company will sell the little fuel sipper only in Europe. "We know it's an awesome vehicle," says Ford America President Mark Fields. "But there are business reasons why we can't sell it in the U.S." The main one: The Fiesta ECOnetic runs on diesel. Automakers such as Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz have predicted for years that a technology called "clean diesel" would overcome many Americans' antipathy to a fuel still often thought of as the smelly stuff that powers tractor trailers. Diesel vehicles now hitting the market with pollution-fighting technology are as clean or cleaner than gasoline and at least 30% more fuel-efficient. Yet while half of all cars sold in Europe last year ran on diesel, the U.S. market remains relatively unfriendly to the fuel.
In the world of higher education, summer is usually the off-season. But for some students, this summer was the culmination of years of hard work in a 2,400-mile solar car race from Plano, Texas to Calgary, Alberta. Fifteen teams of students drove photovoltaic-powered cars across the North American Solar Challenge finish line in Calgary Tuesday, led by the University of Michigan Solar Car Team and its vehicle, Continuum. Michigan's victory, which took about 51 hours and 42 minutes on the road, is its fifth NASC championship. The school also won the last NASC, in 2005. Jeff Ferman, the race manager for Michigan, talked about how rewarding it was to enter Calgary and be greeted by 40,000 people."The streets were lined with people," he said. "There were people on overpasses with tripods taking pictures." The Michigan team led almost the entire race from Texas, trailing only on the first day of driving when it had to stop to fix a minor electrical problem. But that 20-minute stop was the only time it had to pull over to make repairs, which team members said was one reason they did so well.
Note: If you do the math, this amazing solar powered car built by college students averaged 46.5 mph over a 2,400 mile course! Why didn't this make news headlines? Try doing a Google search on "Solar Challenge" (the annual solar car race). You will find that almost no major media cover this amazing event at all. The few who have (including this CNN article) usually fail to mention anything about the speeds attained by these cars. Why is the media not giving better coverage to these incredible breakthroughs? For a possible answer, click here.
“Ten years ago I could never have imagined I’d be doing this,” says Greg Pal, 33, a former software executive. “I mean, this is essentially agriculture, right? But ... this is the one hot area everyone wants to get into.” He means bugs. To be more precise: the genetic alteration of bugs – very, very small ones – so that when they feed on agricultural waste such as woodchips or wheat straw, they do something extraordinary. They excrete crude oil. Unbelievably, this is not science fiction. Mr Pal holds up a small beaker of bug excretion that could, theoretically, be poured into the tank of the giant Lexus SUV next to us. Not that Mr Pal is willing to risk it just yet. He gives it a month before the first vehicle is filled up on what he calls “renewable petroleum”. After that, he grins, “it’s a brave new world”. Mr Pal is a senior director of LS9, one of several companies in or near Silicon Valley that have ... embarked ... on an extraordinary race to make $140-a-barrel oil (Ł70) from Saudi Arabia obsolete. “All of us here – everyone in this company and in this industry, are aware of the urgency,” Mr Pal says. What is most remarkable about what they are doing is that instead of trying to reengineer the global economy – as is required, for example, for the use of hydrogen fuel – they are trying to make a product that is interchangeable with oil. The company claims that this “Oil 2.0” will not only be renewable but also carbon negative – meaning that the carbon it emits will be less than that sucked from the atmosphere by the raw materials from which it is made.
Note: For a treasure trove of exciting reports on new energy inventions, click here.
Tired of petrol prices rising daily at the pump? A Japanese company has invented an electric-powered, and environmentally friendly, car that it says runs solely on water. Genepax unveiled the car in the western city of Osaka, saying that a liter (2.1 pints) of any kind of water -- rain, river or sea -- was all you needed to get the engine going for about an hour at a speed of 80 km (50 miles). "The car will continue to run as long as you have a bottle of water to top up from time to time," Genepax CEO Kiyoshi Hirasawa told local broadcaster TV Tokyo. "It does not require you to build up an infrastructure to recharge your batteries, which is usually the case for most electric cars," he added. Once the water is poured into the tank at the back of the car, the a generator breaks it down and uses it to create electrical power, TV Tokyo said. Whether the car makes it into showrooms remains to be seen. Genepax said it had just applied for a patent and is hoping to collaborate with Japanese auto manufacturers in the future. Most big automakers, meanwhile, are working on fuel-cell cars that run on hydrogen and emit -- not consume -- water.
Note: To watch a Reuters video clip on this amazing car, click here.
Texas may be best known for "Big Oil." But the oil that could some day make a dent in the country's use of fossil fuels is small. Microscopic, in fact: algae. Literally and figuratively, this is green fuel. "Algae is the ultimate in renewable energy," Glen Kertz, president and CEO of Valcent Products, told CNN while conducting a tour of his algae greenhouse on the outskirts of El Paso. "We are a giant solar collecting system. We get the bulk of our energy from the sunshine," said Kertz. Algae are among the fastest growing plants in the world, and about 50 percent of their weight is oil. That lipid oil can be used to make biodiesel for cars, trucks, and airplanes. Most people know algae as "pond scum." And until recently, most energy research and development projects used ponds to grow it. But instead of ponds, Valcent uses a closed, vertical system, growing the algae in long rows of moving plastic bags. The patented system is called Vertigro, a joint venture with Canadian alternative energy company Global Green Solutions. The companies have invested about $5 million in the Texas facility. "A pond has a limited amount of surface area for solar absorption," said Kertz. "By going vertical, you can get a lot more surface area to expose cells to the sunlight. It keeps the algae hanging in the sunlight just long enough to pick up the solar energy they need to produce, to go through photosynthesis," he said. Kertz said he can produce about 100,000 gallons of algae oil a year per acre, compared to about 30 gallons per acre from corn; 50 gallons from soybeans. Valcent research scientist Aga Pinowska said there are about 65,000 known algae species, with perhaps hundreds of thousands more still to be identified. A big part of the research at the west Texas facility involves determining what type of algae produces what type of fuel.
Note: For many exciting reports of new energy inventions, click here.
IBM Corp., Nokia, Sony and Pitney Bowes are expected to announce Monday that they have put 31 inventions into an "Eco-Patent Commons" designed to make these Earth-friendly manufacturing and waste-reduction processes more widely available. "This is an open source effort along the lines of the Creative Commons," said IBM assistant general counsel David Kappos, who is responsible for the company's intellectual property. The open source movement, symbolized by the free Linux operating system, believes that innovation occurs more quickly when new ideas and processes are open to the public for anyone to troubleshoot and improve. The Eco-Patent Commons adopts this activist tactic in certain fields - like waste reduction - where the participating firms have decided that the societal benefit of having every willing manufacturer adopt these cleaner processes outweighs any potential advantage they might gain by keeping the idea close to the vest. One of the newly freed eco-patents is an IBM invention for using a specially folded piece of corrugated cardboard to cushion electronic components against shock during shipping - replacing the Styrofoam products that can easily become an environmental headache. Likewise, Nokia is giving away a patent designed to help safely dispose of mobile phones by reusing their components in other gadgets such as digital cameras. Kappos said the Eco-Patent Commons would be run by an independent, nonprofit group, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and expressed hope that other companies would follow the lead and add real clout to what is more a symbolic than substantive effort to make global business a little greener.
Straddling a 619-pound motorcycle, Scotty Pollacheck tucks in his knees and lowers his head as he waits for the green light. When he revs the engine, there's no roar. The bike moves so fast that within seconds all that's visible is a faint red taillight melting in the distance. Pollacheck crosses the quarter-mile marker doing 156 mph; he's traveled 1,320 feet in 8.22 seconds, faster than any of the gas-powered cars, trucks or motorcycles that have raced in the drag sprints on this weekend at Portland International Raceway. It's particularly impressive given Pollacheck is riding a vehicle that uses no gasoline and is powered entirely by lithium-ion batteries. Pollacheck and his bike — dubbed the KillaCycle — are part of a growing movement that's exploiting breakthroughs in battery technology and could soon challenge the world's fastest-accelerating vehicles in the $1 billion drag-racing industry. "In professional drag racing I expect to see the electrics eventually pass up the fuel dragsters," said Dick Brown, president of AeroBatteries, which sponsors White Zombie, the world's quickest-accelerating street-legal electric car — a 1972 white Datsun 1200. "Electric gives you instant torque whereas gasoline you have to build up," Brown said. The KillaCycle runs on 990 lithium-ion battery cells that feed two direct current motors, generating 350 horsepower. The bike accelerates from zero to 60 mph in just under a second — faster than many professional gas-powered drag motorcycles and within striking distance of the quickest bikes that run on nitromethane. With that hyper-potent racing fuel, riders can get to 60 mph in 0.7 seconds.
Note: For more on this amazing motorcyle and an unassuming electric car that does the quarter mile in under 12 seconds, click here.
A Florida man may have accidentally invented a machine that could solve the gasoline and energy crisis plaguing the U.S.. [John] Kanzius, 63, invented a machine that emits radio waves in an attempt to kill cancerous cells while leaving normal cells intact. While testing his machine, he noticed that his invention had other unexpected abilities. Filling a test tube with salt water from a canal in his back yard, Kanzius placed the tube and a paper towel in the machine and turned it on. Suddenly, the paper towel ignited. Kanzius performed the experiment without the paper towel and got the same result -- the saltwater was actually burning. [He] said he showed the experiment to a handful of scientists across the country who claim they are baffled at watching salt water ignite. Kanzius said the flame created from his machine reaches a temperature of around 3,000 [°F]. He said a chemist told him that the immense heat created from the machine breaks down the hydrogen-oxygen bond in the water, igniting the hydrogen. "You could take plain salt water out of the sea, put it in containers and produce a violent flame that could heat generators that make electricity, or provide other forms of energy," Kanzius said. He said engineers are currently experimenting with him in Erie, Pa. in an attempt to harness the energy. They've built an engine that, when placed on top of the flame, chugged along for two minutes. Kanzius admits all the excitement surrounding a new possible energy source was a stroke of luck. Someone who witnessed his work on the cancer front asked him if perhaps the machine could be used for desalinization. "This was an experiment to see if I could heat salt water, and instead of heat, I got fire," Kanzius said.
Note: Why aren't millions of dollars being channeled to explore this exciting field further? To watch a video clip of this exciting machine igniting sea water, click here.
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