H2N-Gen

Post ImageHow would you like to make your car more efficient? I know I would, given the current cost of oil. We’ve seen prices drop a little in the last week or two, but nothing significant. That’s why the H2N-Gen looks incredibly cool:

Basically, the H2N-Gen contains a small reservoir of distilled water and other chemicals such as potassium hydroxide. A current is run from the car battery through the liquid. This process of electrolysis creates hydrogen and oxygen gases which are then fed into the engine’s intake manifold where they mix with the gasoline vapours.

It’s a scientific fact that adding hydrogen to a combustion chamber will cause a cleaner burn. The challenge has always been to find a way to get the hydrogen gas into the combustion chamber in a safe, reliable and cost-effective way.

Just how much better does this device make your fuel consumption?

Most internal combustion engines operate at about 35 per cent efficiency. This means that only 35 per cent of the fuel is fully burned. The rest either turns to carbon corroding the engine or goes out the exhaust pipe as greenhouse gases.

The H2N-Gen increases burn efficiency to at least 97 per cent, Williams said. This saves fuel and greatly reduces emissions.

That would be some pretty significant savings! Savings that would make you go, “sign me up!” And the really great thing about it is that no hydrogen is stored on board – it is “just in time” manufactured.

Some other information on the device: it’s a Canadian invention, it is supposed to last ten years, can be attached to any internal combustion engine (diesel, gasoline, propane), and should cost around $7500. If this thing is for real, it could really change up the way things work – both the oil and vehicle industries would be greatly affected.

Read: Montreal Gazette

China's Next Cultural Revolution

Think we’re advanced with our hybrid electric cars? Think again, and read the hook for a new article in Wired: “The People’s Republic is on the fast track to become the car capital of the world. And the first alt-fuel superpower.”

China has a both a huge problem and a huge advantage over Western nations when it comes to energy sources. The big problem of course is the gigantic population. A population as big as China’s, which is expcted to hit 1.5 billion by 2030, means that “pollution-related illness will suck up as much as 15 percent of the country’s gross domestic product” by the same time. Rising GDP means that more families have disposable income and thus money to spend on cars, seen as a sort of status symbol much like North America of a few decades ago. The big advantage of course, is that China lacks an entrenched energy industry.

For hydrogen powered cars to work in North America, one has to deal with the oil companies. They don’t want to see the combustion engine go – that’s their bread and butter. China doesn’t have such an industry. There are no oil companies to deal with. They could very well leapfrog the entire combustion engine era and go straight to alternative fuel automobiles. And that’s probably a good thing for the rest of the world too because as Yang Yiyong, the deputy director of the Institute of Economic Research says, “If you pump for oil, you have to fight wars for it.” China is already the world’s second largest oil consumer after the United States, so anything to avoid confrontation between the two when reserves run low is a good thing.

And in North America, clean fuel sources are being developed out of interest and a desire by a relatively select few to protect the environment. In China, the same technologies are being “created by people desperate enough to imagine it.” There’s a big difference there, and I think that’s the reason China will become the world’s alt-fuel superpower.

Read: Wired