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Can saltwater be burned as fuel?

Joshua Topolsky
September 11, 2007
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A gentleman from Erie named John Kanzius made a somewhat "shocking" discovery while he was working on a radio-wave generator he had developed for the treatment of cancer. While attempting to desalinate sea water using radio frequencies, he noticed flashes, and within a few days, had saltwater burning in a test-tube as if it were a candle. The discovery spawned interest from the scientific community, mostly concerned with whether or not the water could be used as a fuel, and of course, healthy doses of disbelief. Last week, a Penn State University chemist named Rustum Roy held a demonstration proving that the science is sound, noting that the water doesn't burn, though the radio frequencies weaken the bonds holding together the salt, releasing hydrogen which is ignited when exposed to the RF field. Mr. Kanzius and Dr. Roy say the question now is the efficiency of the energy, and are presenting the technology to the US Department of Defense and Department of Energy to investigate how useful the technology will be. Of the plentiful maybe-fuel (which apparently burns so hot it can melt test-tubes) Dr. Roy says, "This is the most abundant element in the world. It is everywhere," and (without recognition of the poetic irony, as far as we can tell), "Seeing it burn gives me chills." Check the TV report after the break to see the water in action.

[Thanks, Paul]







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