One of the most relevant and promising studies in recent years is the development of alternative energy sources.
These sources must be renewable and not pollute the atmosphere. Moreover, they should be suitable for use in both industry and everyday life, including for cars.
A lot has been done in this direction in recent years, but the world is still very much dependent on oil and gasoline, and cars for electricity are still considered in many countries nothing more than an outlandish novelty.
But what if you refuel the cars not with gas, but with something else? Something much safer for the planet and easier to mine. For example, water
This may sound like fantasy, but in fact, over the past hundred years, there have been at least a few people who have claimed to have invented a way to turn water into fuel. And they even tried to demonstrate it. What happened to them and their inventions?
One of the earliest and most famous such cases is associated with an inventor from the United States named Louis Enricht. In 1916, he claimed to have invented a cheap substance that, when added to regular water, could serve as a “gasoline replacement” and could be produced at the ridiculous price of 1 penny a gallon.
He was so confident and bold in his extravagant statements that he organized a press conference and demonstration for journalists, first allowing them to inspect the gas tank to make sure it was free of gasoline, and then letting them taste the water he planned to use in the demonstration. so that they can be convinced that it is indeed water.
Then Enricht showed everyone a certain green liquid in a bottle, which he added to the water, and then filled the car’s gas tank with the resulting “solution”. To everyone’s surprise, the car started and drove perfectly as if there was gas in the tank. The only noticeable side effect was the pungent smell of almonds from the “solution.”
William Haskell, publisher of the Chicago Herald, reported on this amazing event:
“I personally examined the entire engine and tank. I even tasted the water before the mysterious green pill was thrown into the tank. Then I turned on the tap and examined the resulting liquid, which now tasted like bitter almonds. I also tasted the liquid in the carburetor, which was the same. I was amazed when the car started up. We drove through the city without any problems. “
It was a seemingly completely sensational groundbreaking discovery that not only fueled the car but also generated a lot of enthusiasm and attracted many potential buyers of this invention, including Henry Ford of the Ford Motor Company and Hudson Maxim of the Hudson Munitions Company, as well as numerous willing investors willing to invest millions in it.
Some of the critics discovered that Enricht was accused of fraud as early as 1903 and that he was generally known much more as a reseller than an inventor. However, little attention was paid to this, because the demonstration was so believable!
Then Enricht staged another demonstration, now for the British army, which also caused general admiration and reviews that “the machine worked as quickly and efficiently as it did on gasoline.”
All this was really promising, but then more and more “red flags” began to appear. The rich man Benjamin Joakum, who invested a million dollars in Enricht’s invention, was very unhappy after the inventor refused to tell him about all the intricacies of the process.
In the end, due to legal threats, Enricht was forced to show the formula to Joakum, but when the safe where it was supposedly kept was opened, it mysteriously disappeared.
Thereafter, Enricht claimed that his formula was stolen, and although he had backups, he said he was out of ingredients and therefore unable to conduct further demonstrations. Further, various experts began to massively criticize Enricht and accused him of quackery, and his invention was called a probable hoax. All interest in the invention was lost, investors retreated.
Surprisingly, Enricht was not frightened or stopped by this. In 1920, he announced that he had found a way to turn peat into gasoline, and he even managed to raise $ 42,000 from investors to move the process forward.
However, during the demonstration, it was discovered that it was all a fake and was done using a hidden hose through which real gasoline entered the gas tank.
Enricht was convicted of theft on an especially large scale and imprisoned in Sing Sing, although after a couple of years he was released on parole for health reasons. He died the next year after that, and since he never divulged his claimed secret formula or allowed the mysterious green liquid to be analyzed, he took the whole truth to his grave.
Another surprising statement in this regard was made around the same time that Enricht was selling his amazing gasoline substitute. In 1917, a Canadian inventor and Royal Canadian Navy sailor named John Andrews went to the Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels, and informed him that he had invented a green powder that could convert fresh or saltwater into gasoline.
Like Entricht before him, Andrews organized a public demonstration and test series at the Brooklyn Naval Dockyard using a motorboat, and Commander Earl P. Jessup described it this way:
“We gave Andrews a bucket of water, which was taken from a hydrant (freshwater) of a naval shipyard by one of the court attachés. He got into his car with a canister, which we checked and found it-empty, and with a small bag that he carried with him.
After about a minute, he handed us the filled canister, which I personally transferred to the open fuel tank. Pouring liquid into the reservoir, Andrews held the lighted cigarette up to the liquid that had not ignited. This showed that the substance was not gaseous or flammable in the part of the demonstration that was most important to me.
The engine cranked up just as quickly as on gas, and after an instant carburetor tweak, it got to work, developing 75% of its rated power, which is a remarkable figure for any fuel with such a small tweak. carburetor.
From a military point of view, it is almost impossible to imagine what such an invention means. This is so important that we rushed to Washington to report to the naval department. Apparently, Andrews discovered a combination of chemicals that breaks water down to an inert form until it is mechanically vaporized by the carburetor when a spark makes it burn like gasoline. “
The Navy was in awe of it all, but there were certainly skeptics as well. One of the observers of Andrews’ incredible demonstrations was Dr. Miller Reese Hutchinson, chief engineer of Thomas A. Edison, who wrote about it:
“I was surprised. When I got home that night, I tried to figure out how he could do it. I smelled exhaust fumes to make sure it wasn’t gasoline. And then it dawned on me: he must have been using acetylene.
By using acetone to absorb the acetylene and dissolve the acetone in water, a satisfactory combustible mixture can be obtained. I went back to the test engine and it worked great on my mixture. You see, the water was just a carrier that delivered the explosives to the cylinders.
The action was the same as if you poured oil on the ash. The ash will burn again, but only until the oil runs out. Of course, it is a substitute for gasoline, like picric acid. But you have to see what happens to the cylinders! “
However, Andrews denied any tricks that did not stop him from hastily fleeing to Canada, claiming that he was being followed by nefarious parties who wanted to steal his invention.
Fast forward a few decades to the 1950s when a former Illinois miner, Guido Frank, began claiming that he had invented a green powder (green powder again!) That could turn water into gasoline.
Frank named this substance “Mota” (“Atom” vice versa). According to Frank, the substance was originally invented by a German scientist named Dr. Alexander Kraft, and he has organized many very convincing demonstrations of Mota in action. Gary Boltz, a carburation and fuel engineering consultant, described one such test:
“The granules were dark olive green in color. Once in water, they dissolve into green filaments, which begin to spread through the water like fibers. When the water begins to react, a swirling effect occurs. The reaction is complete after a few minutes. If the crystals are mixed with water in in a 1: 1 ratio, the resulting liquid is highly explosive and can explode on a small shock. But it is not sensitive to shock when mixed in the normal ratio of one ounce of powder to half a gallon of water. The finished fuel is lighter than water. “
Frank managed to maintain the hype of his invention for surprisingly many years and during that time he collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations for his invention, evading several charges of fraud. But he never released a single real product for his investors. He explained the reason for this by paranoia, that, allegedly, the oil industry was trying to suppress his formula.
In 1979, it was discovered that not only “Dr. Kraft” was a fictional person, but several people who claimed that Frank had told them about his formula were a hoax.
Frank was eventually convicted of fraud and sentenced to five years probation, but remained adamant that his invention was real. Unfortunately, he took with him all the secrets he had when he died in 1983.
The alleged inventors of fuel from water were also in later years. In 1983, Chinese scientist Wang Hongcheng announced that he had created a liquid that could turn water into fuel by adding just a few drops.
This was pretty big news for China at the time and drew a lot of attention to Wang, including government funding, but this supposedly surprising discovery ended up giving his inventor a lot of trouble.
The Chinese government at the time pushed for the elimination of marginal ideas and pseudoscience, and, unfortunately for Wang, their views turned to him. He was publicly discredited in scientific publications and sentenced to 10 years in prison for fraud and deception. It is unclear if this has ever been proven or how true his claims were.
In 1996, an Indian inventor named Ramar Pillai of the Indian Institute of Technology (ITT) claimed that he could convert water into gasoline using an herbal formula derived from a special bush.
He boiled the leaves and bark of the bush in water and added secret ingredients to obtain his miracle liquid, resulting in a substance that could “burn like kerosene”, was more efficient than gasoline, and did not produce exhaust gases.
Pillai enjoyed the full backing of the government, which provided him with 20 hectares of land to grow the bush, and he even applied for a patent for the process, but while he conducted successful demonstrations, he was mostly written off as a fraud. However, like others before him, Pillai continued to claim that his secret recipe was valid.
More recently, businessman Tim Johnston allegedly created a “magic pill” that reduces emissions and extends fuel life. Johnson managed to raise a staggering $ 100 million from investors, but his company went bankrupt anyway, with no evidence of his pill or prescription coming up.
In all of the cases we’ve looked at, there are several common recurring themes. The inventor comes up with this fantastic game-changing statement, makes some intriguing demonstrations, and then the formula behind it gets lost, hidden, or otherwise hidden from the attention of scientists, inevitably to die with its creator.
There was never a compelling concrete example of these “gasoline pills” that needed to be analyzed. None of these have ever been produced on a large scale, despite the fact that they could change the world as we know it.
Scientists basically say that the very idea behind this is not possible, but this is the habitual path of science with new, complex ideas from time immemorial, so this does not mean automatic failure. However, as far as any so-called “gasoline pill” is concerned, no breakthrough is foreseen yet.