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Water Fuel Cell
Few things in alternative energy sources stir as much controversy as do water fuel cells (often referred to as HHO cells). The most well-known of these cells is the Stanley Meyer water fuel cell (pictured as schematic), which first appeared as a patented process in 1990.
Water fuel cells are properly called water electrolytic cells, since the term "fuel cell" specifically denotes a redox reaction (i.e. hydrogen combining with oxygen to make water) rather than an electrolytic cell which splits molecules (in this case water) into elements.
The difference is important since Meyer's plans do not use hydrogen as a fuel cell (adding it to oxygen, deriving the resulting electron for a circuit), but instead use electricity to split H2O into H2 and O, sending the hydrogen into the combustion chamber to "burn".
Thus, a "water fuel cell" actually uses electricity in the process whereas an actual fuel cell creates it through a chemical combination.
Regardless, claims about how well the HHO process works for automotive have been prolific and receive ridicule from most mainstream scientists because they fundamentally violate two physical laws (both the first and second laws of thermodynamics). Of course, laws have been broken before and resulted in reconstruction of our understanding of physics.
How HHO Works
Most HHO systems work through a variation of the Stanley Meyer process (which became public when the patent expired in 2007). Water is split via electrolysis to create oxidized hydrogen (HHO), which is then burned in a combustion engine to propel a vehicle. Meyer claimed he could run his entire vehicle from the process, no gasoline required, but most systems add the HHO to the air mix for gasoline engines, boosting both the combustion fuel and oxygen content in the cylinder, thus improving efficiency and lowering the amount of conventional fuel (usually gasoline) required for the combustion.
Claims of fuel efficiency increases of up to 30% have been made, but so far the technology remains a cottage effort by small businesses without the resources to prove their claims through acceptable scientific study.
Nevertheless, anecdotal claims as to the efficacy of various water fuel cell designs have proliferated heavily throughout the Internet.
The following is video of the late Stanley Meyer demonstrating his water fuel cell:
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