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Run Your Car on Water

You’ve seen the ads that say “Run your car on water” or the world famous “Water Car” but how does a person go about discerning fact from fallacy, truth from scams, shams and spam? The simple truth is that there is not such a simple way to do this. There are many do-it-yourself (DIY) systems on the market that are based upon 20-year-old plans that only a mad scientist in a mountaintop laboratory can read.

And then there are these gizmos with small tanks, hoses, nuts, bolts and fasteners that look fascinating, but how does one facilitate putting this together and hooking it into one’s car? Fortunately, I decided that I would take the time to research the matter a little more fully including reader feedback from those who have actually purchased these items.

There are many critics who cry fraud over these items never having tried them themselves, so I decided to listen only to the people with first hand experience. One company that says Run Your Car on Water offers a DIY system based upon a downloadable ebook with of instructions. Those who have tried this system say that the book was at times a little difficult to understand, but once they made it through to the end they were able to complete a system that saved them significant amounts of gasoline and reduced emissions as well.

There is another page that I found concerning hydrogen generators for cars and rather than recreate the wheel, I just decided to simply link to this page. One this page are several DIY systems, plus kits for cars, light trucks and large semi-tractor trailer trucks.

All of these kits and systems work by electrolyzing a small amount of water under the hood of the vehicle. The electrolyzed water is transformed into hydrogen and oxygen, which is then piped into the manifold of the vehicle, helping the cylinders to displace some gasoline or diesel fuel, burn the fuel more cleanly, increase the gas mileage and reduce emissions.

Once again there has been good feedback for the kits and systems listed on this page by people who have actually tried the products. With the price of gas approaching $4 per gallon, many people are looking to fight back and one of these kits and systems will help you do just that.

About Kevin

Kevin is both an environmentalist and a tech guy and has been writing, editing and publishing this blog since 2007. He answers questions related to how you can use tech to go greener.

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  1. Remember what your ma told you. Eat your veggies. Go to school. Tie your shoes, and zip up. If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is. And, well… let’s face facts. Moms are right about a lot of stuff.

    I want to point out that “water based hydrogen fuel” systems sound great. Too good, in fact. Especially when marketed in these times of rising oil prices and concern about the planet’s future. But, if you please, I want to walk through a few numbers that can be validated in any college chemistry text. Boring stuff, but bear with me.

    In the “runs your car on water” systems, your car’s battery, which is charged by the rotation of the engine, splits water into hydrogen gas. The hydrogen is then pumped into the carburetor, and ignited in the ignition chamber. This is a version of a scientifically impossible “perpetual motion machine.”

    How so?

    First off, there exists in science a law called the First Law of Thermodynamics: In any reaction, energy cannot be created or destroyed.

    To split Water (as a liquid) into its constituent hydrogen and oxygen gasses requires 286 kilojoules (kJ) worth of energy. When the oxygen and hydrogen recombine to liquid water, 286 kJ of energy will be released. In short… the exact amount of energy used in the electrolysis.

    A zero-sum game?

    Yes. But the actual results these systems deliver will even be worse in real-life conditions.

    In the heat of the engine, the hydrogen and oxygen will produce water as a gas. This reaction will only release 242 kJ worth of energy: a 15% loss of efficiency. The universe reclaims this remaining 15% outside of the car’s tailpipe, when the water vapor becomes liquid water again. It is of no use to us there!

    Further, internal combustion engines are only 20% efficient, since they produce so much unused heat. Using this efficiency rating, you will get only between 41 kJ worth of energy out of the combustion of the hydrogen. And that is assuming that the electrolysis chamber is 100% efficient, and all hydrogen produced goes directly into the cylinders, which is highly unlikely.

    To sum up, you send 286 kJ of energy into the water, and get out 41 kJ at. That is a 15% efficiency rating versus 20%. You are much better keeping those 286 kJ producing at the 20% and omit the water-as-fuel system all together. You will get much better gas mileage, and produce less greenhouse gasses this way.

    There is no such thing as a free lunch (Okay mom, you’re right. Again!).

    The moral? Spend your money on something that will make a difference. Donate to one of the excellent charities that will allow you offset your carbon footprint by investing in truly effective green technologies, such as solar panels and wind farms. Grow trees, herbs and vegetables instead of grass to produce O2 and remove CO2 by fixing it into the plant material. And watch out for PT Barnum, whose expecting one born every minute.

    And heed your mum!

  2. You guys are completely misunderstanding the approach this system takes to accomplish what is says it does but these simple points may clear it up for you

    • Hydrogen burns much more rapidly than gasoline so in mixing with the gasoline would cause the fuel mixture to combust more rapidly thus the energy produced would be within a more useful range of the power stroke
    • The quicker the combustion process takes place within the cylinder the cooler the exhaust gases are when the exhaust stroke takes place thus cooler exhaust flows through the head of the engine and engine runs cooler
    • Increased evaporative cooling due to added steam being formed, which leads to a cooler running engine
    • Also in burning rapidly more of the fuel would be burnt in the allotted power stroke time thus the gasoline is more completely and purposely used
    • The system is based not on the ability of the hydrogen to be burnt and produce power, as this would be a system that is over unity in efficiency, which is impossible. The system is based on the hydrogen acting as a catalyst, thus releasing more useful energy from the ‘power packed’ gasoline

    The only doubts I have for the system is the ability of the electrolysis process to produce the amounts of hydrogen the would be needed. But this can be easily remedied with proper system design and catalyst selection

    Mechanical\Energy Engineering Major

  3. llLeoll, you might want to re-educate yourself on the finer points of HHO production and exactly what benefits can be derived from it. Instead of outright denying the obvious benefits of the process.

    Have you tried it yourself? Why don’t you post your results for us to see? If not, I think you owe it to us HHO’ers to do just that before commenting on anything..

    And by the way, this has nothing to do with violating the law of conservation of energy. There is no law-breaking going on. The process simply releases energy that is already there, naturally compressed in the water in the first place.

    This process works and has worked for many, many individuals. Fleet operators are using this technology and saving hundreds if not thousands per week. I myself have utilized this system in both my vehicles and observed a modest 20% gain in fuel economy. I don’t know about you, but an extra fifth of a tank is worth something to me.

    I plan on improving my design and hope to see an even further increase.

    Thanks for listening!

  4. I am far from an expert, I’m not a physicist, chemist, or rocket scientist but I do have a fairly good understanding of the basics of chemistry and and the such. One thing that has failed to be mentioned up to this point is that the process to extract HHO (Brown’s Gas) does not use electrolysis, there is no breaking of molecular bonds through electrical means. From what I have gathered, this process uses the disassociation of hydrogen and oxygen by using there an exact frequency that causes the bonds to spontaneously separate and disassociate. This method requires little energy in for the amount of gas out. Granted, I understand the laws of conservation and thermal dynamics, but there is still a loss in energy, however small.
    I am in the middle of building one of these systems for myself, I figure I have a little to loose when gas is now $4.43/gal! If my buddy can get this system to work than I know I can, it just takes a little bit of “outside the box” thinking and lots of homework.
    By the way… there are already several companies that have products on the market that use this technology for producing electricity and for welding. Also, DARPA has been working with this technology trying to make more efficient military vehicles.
    ** Before you bash the concept, try it first, if it doesn’t work then you have a foundation to stand on**

  5. admin

    Most of the run your car on water HHO generators that I know about do use electrolysis and some electrolyte to crack the water. There are also I few minority of devices that use radio waves or a combination of metals, chemicals and H20 to create hydrogen-on-demand as a supplementary fuel. And, of course their are also a few proprietary companies with patents pending who won’t say exactly what they use to crack the water into its components of hydrogen and oxygen.

  6. I have looked at this system for quite a while now and I will admit that I dont have one of these on my car. I will also admit that I am quite skeptical.

    Those who are saying that because one does not have one of these systems that arguments to the contrary are not valid. I think this is a bit backwards thinking. Perhaps this argument could be settled once and for all by a simple test.

    Drive a car with one of these systems at 60 miles an hour down a straight highway with the HHO system off.

    Now turn the HHO system on without changing the gas pedal position. If this system works as is claimed the car should accelerate to a percentage equal to the claimed increase in power.

  7. admin

    These tests have been done but ignored by the critics. Just check the Ronn Motors website for third party testing and verification of results.

  8. in regard to akenergy’s remark: HHO (Brown’s Gas) does not use electrolysis, there is no breaking of molecular bonds through electrical means

    Not true! Unless of course you know about some new previously undescribed form of physics. I do have a PhD in Chemistry and this is pure BS. This is part of the problem, some of you guys have no training in chemistry. Where’d you get this,? It’s totally bogus..

    Hydrogen boosting is a pure scam:

    Ronn Motors is selling stock and may be just another stock swindle. Like the GenH injection system that has magnets to “energize” the fuel. Do any of you actually believe magnets can “energize” carbon hydrogen bonds? Come on! I spent 3 years running a 600 MHz NMR, this is pure clap trap.

    Just read the aardvark and consumer affairs articles.

    This is an excellent web site on hydrogen boosting fraud from New Zealand: http://www.aardvark.co.nz/hho.shtml

    Consumer affairs has an article: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2008/07/water4gas.html

    If you truely believe in the develpment of a greener world, then these con artist should really piss you off.

    You CANNOT significantly, if at all, increase the mileage of a gasoline powered car by using hydrogen electrolysis, certainly not a retrofit.

    The NASA article from the 70’s that these guys quote used a generator that made a HUGE amount of hydrogen from methanol, not in any way what these guys are selling.

    If you could do this, GM and Ford would be all over it, so would Boeing, Fedex and Cessna. Not to mention Volvo, BMW, Toyota and the Chinese Military.

    The excuse is always that they are in bed with the oil companies. Sure, ALL OF THEM?

    Have these things tested by someone that is not sellign anything, Ronn Motors is hardly unbiased.

    I know a bright guy who’s tried to get one to work on his car for months. I’m smart enough not to waste my time.

    I’m converting a truck to electric, now that will work. That will make a difference. And it won’t just enrich some shylock who’s selling junk…

  9. admin

    The guy who is offering the “One Million Dollar HHO Challenge” from the article that you reference sounds like a scammer himself. He doesn’t actually have the money to pay the winner. He says, “And for those wondering where the one million dollars will come from… I have a number of investors who will be more than happy to front up with the prize-money if the threshold of 25% improvement in fuel efficiency can be achieved.” He also requires a payment of $5000 as an entry fee. Or is that fee and flee?

    Here’s some other links that show the legitimacy of HHO technology:




    By the way the Canadian Hydrogen Energy Company, the largest player in the field guarantees a 10-percent minimum fuel mileage gain for truckers.

    The National Hydrogen Association, the largest and most well respected industry organization also endorses this technology.


    Also, here are 10 HHO websites filled with inventors and other happy users of this technology. Please argue with the hundreds or thousands of them and convince them that the results they have first hand experience getting aren’t real.


  10. llLeoll,

    In my view the arguments you are setting here are an example of what one can do to misinform with the supposed authority of an engineer…

    You set the wrong arguments and lead to results on your false assumptions making everyone believe that you know the subject…

    In fact you know very little of it.

    Besides the arrogance of the type “I have no time to waste” as somebody else said here is returned to the sender…

    If you do not have the time to try get out to this Blog… Do not pollute our environment with your biased assumptions, probably paid by the same people who killed the maker of the most efficient of the electrolysis devices in the first place…

    Thank you Admin for your cool replies with substance and reasoning…

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