UPDATE 2: For a detailed explanation of the physics involved and the calculations needed, as well as to see what happens when HHO religious nuts go against nerds that are far smarter than myself in terms of physics knowledge, you’ll enjoy reading this series of forum posts!
UPDATE: If you came here from one of the “I found this LINK” sites, you probably need this short version of this post: HHO has been scientifically tested in a real Honda Civic, with a professionally installed HHO system. It slightly reduced mileage in a before-and-after dyno test. HHO as the sole fuel can’t exist as an electrolyzer system because it requires perpetual motion. As an additive to the air intake of a gas engine, it doesn’t work because the electrolyzer (A) is inefficient, (B) puts a mechanical load on the engine that negates any benefit, (C) unless you have one the size of your trunk, it doesn’t make enough HHO gas to have a significant effect. Read on if you want all the details.
There’s a reason that you can’t comment on the YouTube videos by MagDrive aka FuelFromH2O.com, and that’s simple: the guy doesn’t want that pesky thing called logic to ruin his source of income. Back in 2006, I became intensely interested in the concept of fueling a car using electrolyzed water, and the MagDrive videos (particularly one about their so-called “SuperGen” gas generator in a two-tank F-150) were pretty convincing to me at the time. Additionally, I read and watched a lot of things about Stanley Meyer, Daniel Dingel, and other players in what we now know of as “HHO” or “Brown’s Gas” powered vehicles. I wanted to give it a shot myself, and I even played with some electrolysis stuff, but I eventually realized that the concept of a vehicle which runs on water is religion, not science, and a false religion at that.
Why would a computer business owner write a blog post about this, though? It seems that people continue to get taken despite the mountain of evidence out there that this stuff doesn’t work, and searches on these terms reveal far more websites that indicate HHO works than those which declare it false and explain. In particular, there seems to be no single page online that exists solely to explain that HHO does not and cannot work, covering not only the purely technical reasons but also the real-world tests and even some of the more ridiculous “religious beliefs” of the HHO crowd.
Thus, here’s the “short list” of why HHO devices are pure scams, and why they cannot and will not do what they claim, ever.
HHO electrolyzers don’t produce enough gas to run a vehicle. If a car consumes about 500L/min of air at idle, how is an HHO-producing electrolyzer that cranks out not even 2% of that going to keep the engine running at all? One might claim that hydrogen is more powerful than gasoline, but that’s ignorant of the workings of good old fashioned chemistry. The next item also explains why HHO generators can’t increase mileage by reducing fuel consumption in a gasoline engine.
HHO generators consume electricity to create HHO gas. The car’s electrical system is drained significantly by an electrolyzer system. That means the battery or the alternator is drained. Alternators and generators convert mechanical energy to electrical energy, which is required to run an HHO generator, but the problem is that they resist their mechanical power source more as the current demand on them is increased; thus, attaching an electrolyzer for HHO generation drags down the engine, forcing it to work harder than normal to make the gas. In the end, the engine requires more fuel to power the electrolyzer AND perform normal engine functions, so there’s no way to magically create free energy here.
MythBusters did a test of HHO and it failed, but HHO proponents claimed it failed because of poor construction. The truth is that it failed because it doesn’t work, for the two big reasons stated above. No amount of electrolyte in the water or modification of the specifications of the HHO generator will change the law of conservation of energy: you can’t create or destroy energy, only transfer it.
HHO generator pushers have something to hide and it shows. Look up MagDrive/FuelFromH2O on YouTube and notice how comments are always disabled on their videos. Why is that? Because this guy doesn’t want anyone to damage his revenue stream with a reasonable explanation that the laws of physics don’t get suspended by electrolyzing water! THAT is why they’re disabled! Dateline NBC also destroyed a waterfuel vendor by using actual dyno tests of a Honda Accord to see what difference was made, and when the vendor was confronted with the test results, they replied that “it must need re-tuning, obviously!” Anything which points to these systems not working is automatically and immediately laughed at or concealed by these scammers.
HHO has been commercialized many times in the past, and every time the pusher of HHO “technology” is sued by their funding sources or pursued by the Federal Trade Commission. Look up the big names who “pioneered” HHO, and look at what they ended up doing. Stan Meyer was sued by his investors because his product was snake oil. Daniel Dingel is spending 20 years of his life in prison for defrauding investors. Dennis Klein’s company Aquygen has a website which lists off partners (none), affiliates (only one Romanian company which has an empty website), and licensees (one whose website doesn’t even exist anymore).
HHO vendors aren’t legitimate businesses. Look up MagDrive on Google Maps. Seriously, go to fuelfromh2o.com and look up the address of the business in Google Maps Street View. I’ll save you the trouble; here’s a picture of “MagDrive FuelFromH2O L.L.C.” in Google Street View:
Essentially, MagDrive FuelFromH2O L.L.C. is some guy’s double-wide with a couple of tiny add-on buildings in the yard. It’s not a real commercial establishment, it’s some guy making hydrogen generators in his backyard building and selling them over the Internet for hundreds of dollars to suckers who believe in the religion of HHO. Look up Hydrogen Technology Applications (Aquygen) in Florida, and you’ll see that they’re in an office building full of small garage bay doors; there’s simply no way that they’re doing research and manufacturing of machinery with highly volatile and explosive gases inside a tiny office in a building jam packed with bail bonds places and medical practices.
No one else has done this before. Hydrogen has been known and thoroughly documented for a very long time. Research by large corporations in highly competitive industries on using it as a fuel for powering mechanical devices such as cars spans many decades. Why, then, with billions spent on hydrogen fuel cell research, is this obvious solution not already mass-market? Because it’s not practical with current technology! Conspiracy theories exist claiming “big oil killed Stan Meyer because he was going to destroy their industry.” Once you start making the conspiracy stretch to validate your non-working product’s existence, it’s basically over, folks.
In conclusion, HHO is a heap of BS. Given the information presented here, you’d have to be a fool or a religious nut of HHOlogy to think otherwise.
If you think of anything you’d like to add, or have questions you’d like to ask me about this, please feel free to post a comment.
UPDATE: If you want a scientific explanation about why HHO electrolysis to fuel a car doesn’t work, you need to check out this Aardvark Daily article which explains it very well, and should put any normal human being’s mind to rest on the subject. Oh yeah, and read this article which responds to such silly notions as “HHO improves the efficiency of the gasoline engine, it’s not supposed to fuel the car entirely.”