17 June 2008

2008's Flavor of Snake Oil

I'm still looking for the 'Blame Bush' angle here:
The latest example comes from Japan created by a company called Genepax. They have devised a system that consists of a fuel cell and a so called energy generator. The energy generator is claimed to consume water and breaks it down to hydrogen and oxygen which is fed to the fuel cell. While fuel cells are well understood and are known to work, the hydrogen generator is the issue. Hydrogen can actually be separated from water quite easily with no energy input. Just put a piece of aluminum in into some water and hydrogen will be release as the surface of the aluminum oxidizes. The problem is that such processes are not sustainable. Once the surface of the aluminum is fully oxidized, the reaction stops. After this, the material needs to be reprocessed so it can be used again. This part requires significant energy input.
Even thought the mechanics are unsound, look for fools to rush in.

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