Convert Your Car to Hydrogen

image United Nuclear is selling a Hydrogen Fuel System Kit that will allow you to convert your existing car to run on hydrogen. It's not for sale just yet, but they promise that they're "currently fleet-testing our systems and are in final preparation for sales to the general public." If they ever do manage to perfect this, I'd buy it. I'd love to never have to worry about going to a gas station again. But I have serious doubts that United Nuclear really does have a system like this nearly ready for sale to the public.

I've written about United Nuclear before, expressing doubts about whether they were really selling all the stuff they claim to sell. For instance, do they really sell super radioactive ore for the home hobbyist? Apparently United Nuclear was founded by Bob Lazar, who's known to be a bit of a crackpot scientist. He claims to have reverse engineered alien spacecrafts, for instance. This would seem to lower the company's credibility a little. (Wikipedia link via Gizmodo)


Posted on Tue Sep 06, 2005

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I'm a little skeptical about their claims of solving the hydrogen storage problem. I don't see how having it absorbed by "granulated hydrides" (whatever they are) will allow more capacity than storing it as a liquid. That would seem to defy the laws of physics. I would think a liquid is about as dense as you can get. (Perhaps someone else knows more about this.) Up to that point the site seems almost legit.

Of course it would only be an advantage for commuters since you can't go far from your homemade source of hydrogen. Another problem would the by-product of combustion. Hydrogen + oxygen = H20. The inside of your cylinder heads would rust overnight. You would have switch over to gasoline for a minute or so before shutting it off each time. So you would still be partly dependent on gasoline.

No mention of a patent either. Shades of Lifewave Energy Patches.
Posted by Captain Al  in  Vancouver Island, Canada  on  Tue Sep 06, 2005  at  10:54 PM
I'm having a very hard time believing this. How well can an engine designed to burn liquid gasoline use gaseous hydrogen as a fuel? And this system will even allow you to switch between the two instantly? I don't believe it.
Posted by AqueousBoy  on  Wed Sep 07, 2005  at  09:33 AM
In the UK there has recently been an upsurge in kits for converting your petroleum-powered car to a dual-fuel LPG/petrol hybrid. The conversions are reportedly very successful, but expensive. You do get the capability to run on both fuels, alhtough I cannot comment on whether you can change instantaneously. Certainly a friend of mine (a genuine friend, not a foaf) invested in this conversion for his Land Rover and claimed it worked very well.

I can think of no reason why a hydrogen/petrol hybrid should be any more difficult to do than a LPG/petrol hybrid. As LPG is butane (C3H8) or propane (C4H10), most of the problems should be the same. I can't comment on the storage front.

Use of solid oxide fuel cells is currently being investigated by many companies as a means of generating electricity or hydrogen, so one of these could be used to generate the required hydrogen from water.

My opinion is that the system is technically feasible, although not necessarily practical yet. However, with the price of petrol being about
Posted by John Wilson  on  Wed Sep 07, 2005  at  10:42 AM
AqueousBoy said:
"And this system will even allow you to switch between the two instantly? I don't believe it."

Some cars converted to propane can switch between the two fuels so that could be true.

Assuming it's real, another problem is:

" As an example, it takes over 2 days of our generator running at full power, 24 hours a day, to fill our smallest 'short range' tank."

What effect will it have on your electric bill? They don't say how many kilowatt hours it takes to make a given amount of hydrogen. The extra electricity used may be more than the price of gasoline.

With the possible exception of their storage system, this whole thing is possible. Whether or not it is practical is another question.
Posted by Captain Al  in  Vancouver Island, Canada  on  Wed Sep 07, 2005  at  10:45 AM
I wouldn't think that a standard car engine could burn hydrogen gas safely for any length of time, but I admit to not being that familiar with the compression ratios, storage and transfer issues, and such.

Still, creating hydrogen is an energy losing proposition. Water is a stable molecule, and more energy is required to convert it to hydrogen and oxygen than can be recovered by burning the resultant gases, or by using them in a fuel cell. Solar or wind power just doesn't cut it. You can't generate enough to matter. If they've found a revolutionary way to generate hydrogen cheaply and easily (which I doubt), then that alone should make them rich. If they haven't, then it'll cost more in electricity than you save on gasoline.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Wed Sep 07, 2005  at  10:58 AM
>>>Solar or wind power just doesn't cut it. <<<

Solar and wind power can generate all the electricity you could possibly want. (After all, solar power runs the entire biosphere of Earth, so running a paltry setup like a worldwide electrical grid pales in comparison.)

Assuming, of course, that you have enough collectors. Which means vast fields full of solar panels or wind turbines. Truly massive devices arranged in rows of thousands.

It would be a pretty good way to provide electricity for home usage, assuming you have several hundred square miles set aside for the collectors (which usually isn't a problem in most parts of America). You just can't put a solar panel on the top of your car and expect much.

If you want to use solar or wind power to run a car, you have to have a massive elctrical grid system to plug the car into. Back to the rechargable battery problem.

I don't believe a standard car engine can safely burn hydrogen, either. I seem to remember something about a Hindenburg...

On a side note, Bob Lazar is one very ugly man.
Posted by Barghest  on  Wed Sep 07, 2005  at  07:45 PM
Wind farms are a beautiful sight; on hills, on plains, offshore, even. As for the Hindenberg, watch the NOVA program about it -- the fabric was doped with a highly flammable substance, but they didn't know that at the time.
Posted by cvirtue  on  Wed Sep 07, 2005  at  10:23 PM
Wind farms are a beautiful sight; on hills, on plains, offshore, even.

We have quite a lot of those here, and they spoil the landscape. And they make a hell of a lot of noise too.

As for the Hindenberg, watch the NOVA program about it -- the fabric was doped with a highly flammable substance, but they didn't know that at the time.

Still hydrogen acknowledgedly is highly explosive, with or without the Hindenburg. Never done those funny hydrogen experiments during chemistry lessons on high-school? Kaboom!!!!!
Posted by LaMa  in  Europe  on  Thu Sep 08, 2005  at  02:48 AM
Wow, nothing like a minor blip in oil prices to make everyone get shakey.

As someone that has built their own electric vehicle, and helped others convert cars to electric, I can tell you conversions will probably never save the amount of money they cost to do for the average driver. Well, not until petrol is a lot more expensive.

Even using now very off-the-shelf and common EV components, you only just break even, and that's if you get excellent range out of your batteries, and you do all the conversion work yourself.

Having vehicles made right from the start suitable for the fuel is the only way to really solve it. And manufacturers are building Hydrogen cars, they are only test models for now.

The big TBD problem is the cost of the hydrogen converters. They are generally pretty damn expensive. There are better proposals to use biological/chemical means to make hydrogen than to split water using hydrolysis.

One person I helped convert a Porsche to electric also install grid connected solar panels on his house. The 1.5kW panels will pay for themselves in about 5-8 years (looking more like 8 at the moment). They are on his roof and you cant see them at all really. They generate electricity during the day(when the grid needs it most) and he charges at night(when there is surplus) and the amounts generally balance out. So, you could say he is running a zero emission car.

Could all this be done with hydrogen. Yes, it can. You can convert your engine to run safely on hydrogen, but is runs really hot and generally isnt a great solution. Is it economically and environmentally the way to solve it?
No, not by a long shot.

In short, you need some big government/industry/consumer changes in thinking to avoid a big economic meltdown when demands finally outstrips oil supply, which is estimated to be in 10-15 years time. One off conversions are for hobbyists only.
Posted by Bruce  on  Thu Sep 08, 2005  at  09:16 AM
100% fake. You cannot store enough energy to drive "over 650 miles per fill" in 4 tanks, 6.5 miles more likely. It is just a gas.
Posted by Loxx  on  Thu Sep 08, 2005  at  01:44 PM
Nuclear waste and coal dust spoil the landscape a whole lot more than a wind farm.
Posted by cvirtue  in  deleted  on  Thu Sep 08, 2005  at  06:07 PM
>>>We have quite a lot of those here, and they spoil the landscape. And they make a hell of a lot of noise too.<<<

Couldn't possibly spoil the landscape as much as having to go to war and kill a hundred thousand Arabs every six years or so. Which is where we are now with oil.
Posted by Barghest  on  Thu Sep 08, 2005  at  07:40 PM
A couple of weeks ago one of the news magazines on TV did a segment on hydrogen cars. They even had two mechanics test drive and evaluate the car. There was no gasoline engine in the car, the hydrogen/electric motor took up all the space. The way it worked, as I remember, was that hydrogen had to be stripped into an ion and the protons went through a filter that didn't let the electons through, they had to travel around the filter thus producing electricty. The motor/filter combo broke down a lot and the cost of the filter was huge, above and beyond the cost of providing/storing the hydrogen.

As far as solar panels go, they are useful in certain situations but I have never had the energy costs explained clear enough. Doesn't it always cost more to create solar panels than you will ever get from them? Something to do with entropy I believe? There ain't no free lunch.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Fri Sep 09, 2005  at  08:42 PM
I wonder how efficient it is to first make hydrogen gas out of water, and burn it afterwards to water again. There has to be a second energy source to do this. So in fact, you put energy into water to turn it into a fuel, that is NOT efficient at all. Yes, once it's hydrogen it's clean and stuff, but how to efficiently retrieve hydrogen from water?? The best way is to do it with solar power, but that would be a slow precess.

Well, we'll see what the future will bring.
Posted by Michel  in  sydney  on  Sun Sep 11, 2005  at  03:02 AM
BMW thinks otherwise
Posted by James  on  Tue Sep 13, 2005  at  07:04 PM
It seems Hydrogen is the way to go. But diluting it with nitrogen 80% 20% Hydrogen would be safer and cheaper.
Posted by Rick Holcombe  in  Huntsville Ala  on  Tue Sep 13, 2005  at  07:30 PM
That is a very impressive story from BMW. I wish one day soon we can all benefit from this. Just wondering what size solar cells are required to power a conventional fuel station that services as many people a day as it does today. If you fuel just one 200kW car from colar cells, and suppose this car drives 1 hour/day (full blast) you need at least 200 square meters of solar cells (assuming we have 10 hours of daylight/day). And ..... that is just 1 car.....
Posted by Michel  in  sydney  on  Tue Sep 13, 2005  at  11:59 PM
Another, better hydrogen generator.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Tue Sep 20, 2005  at  04:23 PM
Williams's device sounds cool. But did I read it right that he'll be charging $7500 for it? That's clearly not aimed at the passenger car market.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Tue Sep 20, 2005  at  08:56 PM
Well, I am very sceptic about william's device... If, as he claims, you want more than 35% of fuel to be burned in your engine why not just add pure oxygen? The hydrogen and oxygen ratio from the gasses released by electrolyse is exactly the right amount to burn your H and O gasses back to water ......
Posted by Michel  in  sydney  on  Tue Sep 20, 2005  at  11:54 PM
iT SEEMS A GREAT PORTION OF THE WORLD IS IGNORANT ABOUT THE USAGES OF HYDROGEN. H2O,is a very powerful energy source.It can be broken down into it's two components very easly.The oil companies have many peoples whom would like you(the general public)to remain 'stupid',as they like to say it.The oil co's.want a piece of any type of energy they can get and control.
The process is taught in many grade and high school classes.It is a simple form of electrolesis.A small battery and some salt water is all thats needed.I know this as I have ran my truck(a '96 ford150)on it for the last 6 months.Ther has been no damage caused by using H2+O1.In fact my milage has not only gotten better by 40%,but my spark plugs burn cleaner,My engine is now free of carbon buildup,and when I passed a laser EPA van my report showed 25% less emissions.I am in the process of building units capable of producing enough H2 continously for the average automobile.Tell me if $200 is too much for this advantage.It is a simple hookup to any car,any model.Look for BROKEN WATERS,Thanks, Rich
Posted by Rich Brown  in  Denver,Co  on  Fri Nov 25, 2005  at  10:30 PM
i have plans to make something to produce hydrogen on demand but i wish i could find a kit to make it make the thing and connect it to my MPI car. would be fun to try.
Posted by Tom  in  maryland  on  Wed Dec 21, 2005  at  06:37 PM
What a crock! Who says hydrogen is costly to manufacture? Baloney! How much does it cost for a few tablespoons of lye, a liter or two of water and 3-4 empty beer or soda cans? (Perform this at your own risk, I will not be responsible for any injury, or damages, informational only) Yes, gasoline engines can very easily run on hydrogen (and do!). A company by the name of Hydro-gen Inc., A company that mainly makes hydrogen and oxygen welding gases from water was on the local news recently driving a car totally powered by water. In a car hydrogen is also cheap to make. I have never yet seen a Kilowatt meter attached to the alternator/generator of a car. The hydrogen part has well been overcome, believe me. A hobbist wanting to convert a car encounters other problems:
1.) Regulation of the hydrogen so that it is manufactured at the same rate of usage, not too much lingering around to be a pressure/explosion hazard, not too little that the engine hesitates on acceleration.
2.) Engine DOES need to have stainless steel valves, not a problem for newer higher end American made vehicles.
3.) Catalytic converter removed from syste (no need anyway as byproduct of hydrogen combustion is water vapor
4.) Mufflers fill up with water and exaust system needs to be made stainless steel

Most of these problems can be avoided simply by just running a gasoline/hydrogen hybrid. It supplements the gasoline with hydrogen, and you can boost your milage by 10-50% depending on your hydrogen generator design.

It is definately out there....You're obviously on the Web this far, just open Google and search "Hydrogen Generator" "Water Engine" and soon you'll be on the right track.
Yes Santa Claus, there really IS a Hydrogen powered car from water! :D
Posted by Laurence Lareau  in  Houston, Texas USA  on  Thu Feb 02, 2006  at  02:23 AM
I understand your concern about hydrogen's use in a conventional auto.However,I own a 1996 Ford F-150 pulling a trailer that gets approximently 20 miles per gallon of gas using hydrogen as a fuel 'addative'.I built a small generator and put it in my truck,and drove from Minneapolis,Mn. to Denver,Co. The truck has 2-16 gallon tanks.I filled up and drove until my tanks were empty.(and I do mean empty)... I had to use a gas can(Iwas carring) to make it to a gas station.When I filled up,I had driven 401.7(with the extra gallon of gas) miles,or,roughly 12.2 miles per gallon.After filling up,I turned on my'prototype',and zero'd my odometer.When I ran out of gas the next time I had driven 551.3 miles.The unit I built was very simple,I even used large McDonald's soda straws as insulaters between the plates of my electrolizer.Also,a hot melt glue gun was used for assembly.I have since upgraded my design and have about200'customers'waiting for me to start producing units for them(Ilive in a large apartment complex).I have had no negative effects on my vehicle.In fact,I can hardly hear my engine running as it is much quieter now.My spark plugs are still the origional ones(145,000+miles on the truck).My tailpipe which was black and sooty is now grey,like when the truck was new.When my truck is running I can almost hold my hand on my header pipes as the engine is running cooler.Remember,1 gollon of water produces 1300+'gallons of hydrogen/oxygen gas.When the computer analizes the output of the engines performance with the hydro-oxy mix,(common duct electrolizer)the computer reduces the amount of gasoline released by the injectors.The hydro-oxy mix causes the gas to burn more completly and quicker.After .5 milliseconds the hydro-oxy remixes into water(steam).That is a reduction of volume in the cylinder of about 1000/1.Less pressure to push out of the cylinder,means more horsepower to the wheels.Also, cooler running engine means longer life for your engine.My last oil change showed the old iol still had good viscosity.I am very pleased with my unit,as I have bought 2 'like'(well sorta')units off the web.My unit produces about 8-times the 'fuel'as these units using far less current from my battery/alternator,and my mixture is not toxic,like the others are. Thanks for letting me put in my 'nickle's worth..See you on the other side.. Rich..
Posted by rich brown  in  plymouth,mn.  on  Thu Feb 02, 2006  at  02:00 PM
We provides high quality cng,lpg kits.
Posted by john kerry  in  USA  on  Thu Jul 20, 2006  at  02:07 AM
We provides high quality cng,lpg kits
Posted by john kerry  in  New York  on  Mon Jul 31, 2006  at  01:54 AM
thanks for your comment rich. please send me a link to your site. thank you
Posted by Thomas  in  21014  on  Mon Jul 31, 2006  at  10:33 AM
Captain Al, Granular hydrates DO hold more hydrogen than liquid hydrogen, any entry-level chemistry class should teach you that. Liquid hydrogen is much less dense than a metal hydrate - when it comes to hydrogen content.

Anyway, United Nuclear is completely real, I have ordered many things off of it including chemicals and equipment. I know someone who ordered one of the radioactive kits as well.

As for their hydrogen system, I have great faith that they will optimize it and have it ready for the public. As of when, I do not know, but it is a great idea and deserves respect.
Posted by Cyroxos  in  Missouri  on  Thu Jan 25, 2007  at  08:00 PM
Well, i have been looking around on google, and apparently several people have made homemade hydrogen cars, and i guess it is fairly simple, but costs 1-3 grand (you have to convert most of your engine valves to stainless steal to prevent rust) but apparently whenever the people try to get it out to the public they are always turned down. One of them even had someone tell them that by letting this out the economy would crash, big oil companies would not be making money etc. and energy would be basically free, the government cant control when it rains, only thing they could make money on would be by converting salt water to distilled water.
Posted by Jared  on  Sat Jan 27, 2007  at  09:44 AM
Jared, whenever I hear some inventor/advocate claim that they can't get whatever done because of a conspiracy by the government/big business I immediately place them in the crank heap. There may be conspiracies out there but the sheer number of people who would have to be involved in something like you say means that the whistle would get blown by somebody. Think of Watergate, and there was nowhere near as many people involved there as wouold be involved in a conspiracy as you describe. Free eneregy won't happen with hydrogen because the hydrogen must be processed into either liquid or some metalic form so that mass use can happen. You could, on a small scale only, break pure water into hydrogen and oxygen and then recombine the two but the energy costs to purify the water and break the water down would be more expensive thatn burning gasoline. And it would have to be pure water, any impurities would clog any engine. Big oil would still make money on plastics. By eliminating the use of oil for gasoline, the present reserves would last for hundreds of years thus eliminating the expensive search for new oil reserves. Also, some of the more dangerous locations, the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea, etc, could be capped off and thus cut costs by a large amount. Plus, Big Oil would then have a reason to explore new uses for oil which would potentially improve our quality of life and their profits. Sorry, until I see some hard proof and not just "somebody told somebody" tales, I see no reason to believe in such conspiracies.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Sat Jan 27, 2007  at  10:00 AM
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