Fire From Saltwater

Inventor John Kanzius claims that he has discovered a way to make saltwater burn. This discovery could eventually lead, he suggests, to cars that run on saltwater. This suggestion places Kanzius in a long tradition of inventors (and con artists) who have claimed to have found ways to use water as fuel, reducing his credibility right away. But as always with these things, once is tempted to think that maybe this time the guy is really onto something.

Check out the video about his discovery on YouTube (below). Kanzius explains that he was originally searching for a way to cure cancer. He reasoned that if he injected tiny amounts of metal, such as gold, into cancer patients, that these metal bits would be attracted to the cancer cells, and he could then use radio waves to heat up the metal and destroy the cancer cells.

Fortuitously, Kanzius then discovered that these same radio waves would also heat saltwater and make it burn. He has yet to reveal the exact mechanism of his radio transmitter, but he has demonstrated the process.

Assuming the guy isn't totally lying (which is not necessarily a good assumption), then it would appear on the surface that Kanzius has discovered an interesting new phenomenon. But whether this phenomenon can be used to power vehicles is another question altogether. For instance, how much power is the radio transmitter using to ignite the saltwater? Somehow inventions like this always seem great at first, but they never seem to amount to anything.

There are more videos about Kanzius collected at

Free Energy

Posted on Wed May 30, 2007


I'm not saying I beleive it's possible to turn water into fuel.
but water is made of hydrogen and oxygen, two very volatile explosive gases. Probably take more energy to seperate them than you'd get from them though.
Posted by Sharruma  on  Thu May 31, 2007  at  02:07 AM
"I was trying to cure cancer, but I stumbled on a way to burn water instead."

Forgive me if I'm a bit skeptical... If he could have worked perpetual motion in there it would have been perfect.
Posted by Michael Moncur  on  Thu May 31, 2007  at  07:34 AM
These sorts of things always look good at first, like cold fusion, but then the 2nd law of thermodynamics always gets in the way. Just like a ball on a hill, things tend to want to find the lowest energy level. Combining hydrogen and oxygen to form water takes two elements and releases energy to form water, which is at a lower energy state that the separate elements. It will take more energy to separate them. If they were to measure the energy required to generate the radio waves they would find that the energy consumed is higher than the energy from the flame generated. When energy prices (oil, natural gas, gasoline) are high these sorts of stories come out. I do not think anybody with a fundamental understanding of the laws of thermodynamics would ever pay for such a discovery.
Posted by Shane  on  Thu May 31, 2007  at  08:37 AM
Why would gold be attracted to cancer cells? Gold isn't even affected by a magnet, so that rules that reasoning out. Maybe cancer cells are covetous.

Some other common metals, such as lead, are toxic, and iron can be found throughout the blood stream. That would really make my blood boil.
Posted by Charybdis  on  Thu May 31, 2007  at  09:28 AM
>>Why would gold be attracted to cancer cells?<<

This struck me as a bit odd also, but I thought it could be possible. Maybe something to do with the increased metabolism of cancer cells.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Thu May 31, 2007  at  10:29 AM
The ocean is not on fire.

This suggests to me that we should be highly skeptical of any claim that somebody can cause salt water to burn, without putting more energy into the process (e.g. by electolytically separating water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen) than the burning produces.
Posted by Big Gary  on  Thu May 31, 2007  at  11:27 AM
Now...just how did this guy plan on testing his cure for cancer? Did he think he was going to waltz into a hospital and tell doctors they should inject some gold into their patients so he could test his each new version of his device? And where did he get the idea that cancer cells attract gold? That's a sure sign he was lying about searching for a cancer cure. It's just a smoke screen for his seawater auto fuel scam. The video did mention something about him willing to sell the idea to a big corporation. (Hint, hint.) Either that or his wife was right. He has "lost it".

And shame on that TV station for even considering the idea that retired broadcast engineers work on cancer cures. Didn't that seem even a little weird to them? They should have interviewed some real scientists before airing this report. Any chance they'll do a follow up report a year from now to see how things are progressing? I doubt it.
Posted by Captain Al  on  Thu May 31, 2007  at  01:49 PM
If I find the solution to the world's energy problems, I am not going to be posting about how I made this discovery on YouTube. I'll be building powerplants and selling the energy to build more powerplants, rinse and repeat, and within a few years, I'll be the richest man on Earth.
Posted by Rocket-Surgeon  on  Thu May 31, 2007  at  04:34 PM
If the radio waves make salt water burn then they would have made the cancer patients burn as we are full of water and salt.
Posted by Robert N  on  Fri Jun 01, 2007  at  06:26 AM
If you run an electric current through a beaker of water, you produce hydrogen and oxygen gas. Both will burn. Shane is absolutely correct.
Posted by WileECoyote  on  Fri Jun 01, 2007  at  03:15 PM
I am too sorry, but please allow Raoul to be correcting something, Okay? Oxygen does not burn- it is an accellerant that hastens the combustion of other materials... yes, it is okay now for you, because Raoul some times channels great scientists, like he did just the now. That is okay, thank me later when we are alone... Rrrraoul
Posted by Raoul  on  Fri Jun 01, 2007  at  03:26 PM
Gold per se isn't attracted to cancer cells, but this guy is claiming that gold (and other) nanoparticles are more likely to adhere to the surface of cancer cells than normal cells, maybe because of their higher metabolism--the same reason most chemotherapy drugs kill cancer cells while sparing most normal cells.
Posted by Carl Fink  on  Sat Jun 02, 2007  at  12:07 AM
I call scam. It's like rocket-surgeon said. If you really have a way to burn sea-water for energy, you can make a fortune without telling the world your secret. You just build a power plant, sell the energy, and finance your business from retained earnings.
Posted by elguapo  on  Mon Jun 11, 2007  at  05:19 PM
I think the fellow has found a new phenomenon. That alone is worth something to our understanding of the universe. I also think that many of the wild claims and spin were from the various news reporters working on the story who have science IQ's of zero. THEY perpetrate hoaxes every day on the 6:00 news. . .

Others have asked the questions of efficiency and that is important. But no one seriously asked how clean the process is. Electrolysis is notoriously dirty. This process is not electrolysis but it is similar. One person commented that the flame did not look like an oxy-hydrogen flame. The bright yellow indicates burning sodium. When you remove sodium from salt water you get chlorine gas. It does not burn but is very reactive with other things, especially organic substances like flesh. This is why salt is not used as an electrolyte for electrolysis. So where did the chlorine go?

That is the limit of my chemistry. I HAVE done electrolysis with salt waster and I know it produces a LOT of chlorine. But what happens to burning sodium in a hydrogen rich environment? Sodium hydroxide? However, there are tons of processes where the byproducts are as important as the primary process.

Salt may not be the only activator or "electrolyte" for this process. So there are MANY unknowns at this time.

I am skeptical but I think it has possibilities. I am sure it is not the answer to the energy crisis.

What is important is that the resulting gases are portable and may be used in another location to make heat, fuel and internal combustion engine or via a fuel cell to make electricity. Even if it is not efficient IF it is cleaner than other methods of the same efficiency then it may have commercial value.
Posted by anvilfire guru  on  Tue Jul 03, 2007  at  12:34 PM
He is putting more energy in than he is getting out. He's got this massive device sucking big Amps to generate enough Radio frequency enegry to burn the water. It's interesting but not energy saving.
Posted by Dr. K.R. Brown  on  Sun Jul 08, 2007  at  01:28 PM
first mention that I found was my local area 2 years ago. nbc-2

interesting like many perpetual moption machine hawkers he goes after donations to improve his machine?
donations from fire fighters

his radio frequency generator looks like off the shelf radio equipment. his use of this equipment is aka a microwave oven.

as everyone is aware salt water is a conductor and when you place a conductor in a microwave oven you get an electric current.

now picture really powerful microwave oven.

so what you have is .. salt water + very powerful radio fields = electricity + water + heat = electrolosis of water + heat = burning hydrogen+oxygen

which is of course the flame coming out of the tube.

the engine he "made" which this burning hydrogen runs, looks like a cheap off the shelf sterling engine which you can buy from any science kit manufactuer for 30 - 200 dollars.

so far i havn't seen anything he invented or done that is new.

btw the doctor mentioned in the article... he has been working on that idea for over a decade. the cancer cure idea wasn't kanzius' it is an old idea which medical researchers have been working on for over several decades.
Posted by john burns  on  Fri Jul 13, 2007  at  10:32 AM

The inventor does not say but he puts his hand in the path of the radio beam to show how safe it is. He also has other scientific types standing around that have probably been briefed on more technical aspects of the invention and if it was microwaves then I would expect them to observe from another room. . .

The flame from the tube is much more than hydrogen and oxygen or it would not glow bright orange. It has to have sodium in it (from the salt). UNLESS it is perhaps melting the glass which has sodium and thus makes what is known in glass blowing as "sodium flare".

There are still more questions than answers. But the size of the machinery sure makes it look like a huge energy waster.
Posted by anvilfire guru  on  Sun Jul 22, 2007  at  10:11 AM
This guy is not claiming anything special, in fact he makes reference in a video I watched that the salt water thing needs more refinement to be practical. He is not claiming free energy or anything of the sort, he just thinks the thing might have applications as a desalinator or energy generator. He doesnt have to get free energy to make it practical, he only has to release the energy for less than the cost of competitive energy mediums such as petrochemicals, alcohol, or coal.
Posted by Joel Mackey  on  Wed Jul 25, 2007  at  12:12 PM
In my experience many cations burn bright orange. Hydrogen is one of them. A little Chem 101 here. If the flame were bright green, red, pink or better brilliant bluish white I'd be more surprized.

Many non-magnetic metals heat in the microwave. It is all a matter of matching the microwave frequency to one of the quantum energy state gaps a molecule will absorb. (sorry I forget the jargon)

For medical purposes I assume he seeks to avoid a frequency absorbed well by water (used in microwave ovens). The metal is to be distinct from the body to absorb energy at a wavelength minimally harmful to the rest of the body. Thus I suspect this guy and his collegue are very aware of how save/cauteous they need be around these microwaves.

I wish he'd state the frequency(s) used. Microwave is vague.

I agree with Joel Mackey. At very least, even if impracticle for drinking water or feul, this is a cool phenomena to study. This may be no more a hoax than when I put a little ash on my sugar cube to show that it can ignite from a match.

It seems to be the "new" media that is playing this up so hard. Just because a newspaper's name is "The Truth", doesn't mean it is true.
Posted by Brian Ash  on  Tue Aug 07, 2007  at  01:44 AM
From microwave pyrolysis experiments here at the U of MN, I know devices are available to detect paths of microwave travel. I'm sure they checked such details before any media arrived:)
Posted by Brian Ash  on  Tue Aug 07, 2007  at  01:49 AM
Actually yahoo ran the story from the Pittsburgh Gazette.
Posted by Joco  on  Tue Sep 11, 2007  at  10:03 PM
Just to be clear, Kanzius is claiming to have invented a perpetual motion machine. He has specifically said that he has "over unity" results (more energy out than put in) and he has encouraged media speculation about using sea water as a power source.
Posted by David Schwartz  on  Fri Sep 14, 2007  at  04:07 AM
Hey, am no expert people, but COME ON. I get half down the list and none of you have supported your rationale from your area of specialty. Everyone has a belly button, that does not make a belly button the best source of wisdom.

From a down and dirty view it could work, is not stated to create more energy than it draws as of yet, different frequencies will "appeal" to different elements and compounds, Some people do not care about making a buck, they know how it destroys if one is not careful, burning the cells themselves by having conductors in them (extra gold, due to uptake of the MINERAL (uhh, like in a VITAMIN, only much more) and there is also: Inject liquid gold into the middle of the tumor of cancer, and it will spread, like a nickel (five cent piece) along and around it, the tumor imbibing it as it grows so fast uptakes the conductor (gold)and becomes more reactive to radio waves, what is the mystery there?

(just like a nickel rubs nickel off onto your tissue (skin) it surely would (or gold would) "rub off" when immersed in tissue.

It all holds together rather well after a day or two of study (frankly I jsut heard about this yesterday)

There are numerous details created nobody in this list has dealt with: He provides the frequency.

The experiment is directly in view. I see strong RF generators and not so strong that everyone in the room is boiling (their blood and eyeballs) so it is not a monstrously large RF generator- well under 50,000 watts, and perhaps as little as 500 watts (five one hundred watt light bulbs)

Anything emitting 1500 centigrade is putting out a substantial energy, no matter how small.

Think of the first transistor. It was half the size of a sugar cube- very limited usefulness- now a trillion would fit in that space (if anybody cared to make a silicon wafer that tall).

I am impressed he actually made the output turn a tiny machine. I accept the fact that heat can be used to create reciprocal motion, but so much the better the chain from "energy source" to "work" is so in my face.

Achilles heel: There are two components to heat, very much (no coincidence) like electricity: Voltage and Current (temperature and the systems tendency stay at 1500 centigrade, the available "Current". A steam generator operating a sawmill is a vast difference from turning a flywheel that the power of a tiny bird could power with it's muscles (for example)

Uh, he DID hire a laboratory, and yes, they ARE doing plant and animals studies at this current date of 9-07.

Take care, everyone. Watch your oil stocks, if you dare.
Posted by Mike  on  Sun Sep 16, 2007  at  08:44 PM
The Conservation of Energy and the First Law of Thermodynamics Can
Posted by BSChemistry  on  Sun May 11, 2008  at  11:47 AM
Thank you BCS chemistry for correcting me so admirably.

The only issue I found hard to accept right off (please enlighten me) is how the first law of thermodynamics is used as evidence as well as conservation of energy.

My only thought (every other aspect you delineate and refute well) is there is an unthinkable amount of energy in ANY mass of visible size, for example the oft quoted "Cup of water has enough energy in it to run all of New Yorks electricity needs for _______ days or weeks". (a large amount of current to say the least)

So I respectfully submit the first law and conservation of energy do not apply in that water indeed posesses a massive potential energy, just as uranium has great energy and it is such that we can liberate it rather easy.

To test my contest, I believe if a sufficiently powerful implosion were to occur most any element or molecule would react thermonuclear, and thus the first law and conservation is either not an issue or is in abeyance.

To help refute me, I propose the energy released in atomic or nuclear explosion vastly exceeds the power applied by the C-4 or other explosive used to cause the reaction.

Admittedly there is no evidence of "explosion" in this demonstration- however man has a way of thinking that "If we cant do it it is impossible to do" which surely you agree is continuously overturned as time passes.

Thanks very much for your thoughtful reply.

Posted by Mike  on  Sun May 11, 2008  at  08:37 PM
There is a scientific law called the Law of Conservation of Mass, discovered by Antonie Lavoisier in 1785 In its most compact form, it states: (MATTER IS NEITHER CREATED NOR DESTROYED).
In 1842, Julius Robert Mayer discovered the Law of Conservation of Energy. In its most compact form, it now called the First Law of Thermodynamics: (ENERGY IS NEITHER CREATED NOR DESTROYED).
Most calculations for Energy Efficiency of burning (solid, liquid or gas) fossil fuels in the power plants, boilers, gas turbines, internal combustion engines, and so on..., are based in these two laws. In metallurgy (high-temperature chemistry), these two laws are used in daily bases for material and energy balances. I know these things and this is my profession.
In 1907, Albert Einstein announced his discovery of the equation E = mc2 and, as a consequence, the two laws above were merged into the Law of Conservation of Mass-Energy: (THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF MASS AND ENERGY IN THE UNIVERSE IS CONSTANT).
The Law of Conservation Mass-Energy is used in daily bases for Nuclear Reactors, Nuclear and Thermo Nuclear Weapons.
The energy change in a nuclear reaction is considerably greater than that of a normal chemical reaction. This change can be calculated using Einstein's equation: ?E = ?mc2
Where ?E is the change in energy, ?m is the change in mass (mass of products - mass of reactants), and c is the speed of light (3.00 x 108 m/s).
As written, this relation gives the energy change in joules and the mass change in kilograms. Usually small quantities of a sample decay, and the energy change is very large, so it's more common to get an energy change in kilojoules (kJ) corresponding to a mass change in grams. Using the relations
1 kJ = 103 J and 1 kg = 103 g
Einstein's equation may be rewritten
?E (in kJ) = 9.00 x 1010 ?m (in grams)
This is more complicated, for more details go to:
Based on this theory you can gain weight by warming up, or lose weight by cooling down. Is this possible? Yes. Is this practical?
I don
Posted by BSChemistry  on  Mon May 12, 2008  at  02:00 PM
BSC chemistry,

If I understand your very eloquent and patient correction of me (thank you) the Kanzius methodology is NOT nuclear, but chemical, and I stand humbly corrected.

You also may know the answer to this other thing I have been considering, and it may actually have value, here you go:

Gravity Warps Space (as is generally accepted)

My life experience seems to indicate that electricity and or magnetism warps matter variably depending on the type of matter. Magnetism may be the end result of electricity's influence on matter that is "frozen" (locked, preserved, sealed) into a magnetic state, therefore, a magnet is (in nature) produced by this phenomenon.

I had only one quick way to test this, using an electric guitar, when I lock the string over the pickup (a coil of wire around a magnet is the pickup) so it does not move back and forth when struck elsehwhere, it regardless rings almost as strongly as if the string actually moved over the pickup.

Your time is surely short, this is my last submission to you to respect it.

Have you any thought about this? As you might quickly note, it is no small thing if right, to realize this. If wrong... humble pie for me!!!

Thank you again for your painstaking efforts and sharing your expertise.

Posted by Mike  on  Mon May 12, 2008  at  02:14 PM
Dear Mike,
Having a great respect for you, your honesty, and your interest in science, my answer is, I really don
Posted by BSChemistry  on  Mon May 12, 2008  at  08:43 PM

Either you are testing me or the world is so complex an untrained (but experienced) mind can actually reveal something to the brighter one.

Glass is no barrier for magnetic lines of force exuding from the E shaped coils. This is precisely how a engine ignition coil works, but the windings are much much closer. 600 volts to 60,000v 400 times a second, easily.

You can hear the field on a poorly grounded old car on a AM radio a long distance away, for example. Striking quartz with a hammer (my little experiment as a kid) near a car radio also reveals action in the EM field. (I mention quartz as it ties in nonmetallic, non ferrous, materials that still create an EM field with stress)

You might find it interesting at Youtube there is a demo that uses a air core (that is the two word search term) winding. As you surely know the magnet in a motor is not attracted to the copper- being non-ferrous- therefore in my understanding the air core motor should not work-but it does seem to in the youtube bit. And with a multimeter, wire and a magnet.

In other words, as you so eloquently point out, conservation of energy states one must trade mechanical energy to generate and electrical energy to create mechanical- so think about what you could do (IF TRUE) with a copper winding under a car and magnets on the roadway. (I only point out the contradiction here not saying it would work, but indeed, am trying here)

Again, if copper is not perturbed (slowed) as it cuts through lines of magnetic force (all that is required to generate electricity in the copper wire is pass by a magnet as shown) then what force, what downside, what mechanical resistance, is the exchange? None. (so it is impossible).

Yet the experiment is rather easy to test, I can change tenths of a volt by passing a coil of wire by a magnet.

So maybe we dont have to know HOW it works, but imagine the potential of using warped matter (magnets) under a car. At the very least, the alternator, and fan could be removed from the MPG equation, but I am shooting for more.

Use my REAL first name (if wanting to discuss) and I like Area51 because it is both secret and out in the open, And Gmail is cool because Google made it.

Will enjoy your links at length. Thank you.
Posted by Mick  on  Mon May 12, 2008  at  10:05 PM
Rocket fuel is hydrogen and oxygen. Dont really care for a site where a discovery that has not been made invalid is considered automatically to be a hoax. I only looked in to see if there was any discussion on engineering a salt water combustible engine. Moving on now...
Posted by Mockingbirdslayer  on  Sun Aug 31, 2008  at  06:41 PM
I'm not a chemist but...
NaCl & H2O = Salt water
Na(sodium is a metal). Even non ferrous metals behave strangely in a microwave. They get really hot and spark. Knowing that metals overall have electrons that move easily (as evidinced by ohm meter across a metal)
Normal hydrolysis of salt water(2NaCl + 2H2O → Cl2 + H2 + 2NaOH ) or chlorine gas, hydrogen gas and sodium hydroxid (which does react with the silica of glass, a frosting of the glass) the last I heard, hydrogen in air will in fact catch fire(hindenburg)
What's happens when the radio waves hit the salt water... well there's NaCl and H20 there.

First off. Cl (chlorine gas) can be deadly.
If the metal Na breaks free of Cl then a violent reaction occurs with water. 2(Na) + 2(H2O) --> 2 (NaOH) + (H2).(sizzle,bang!)
Or maybe the hyper sodium is acting as a brief magnetically polarized annode/cathode/catalyst in hot water to break down the whole thing into basic elements. H2 O NA CL. In which case you'd have H hydrogen fuel, O oxidizer a Cl toxic gas and a highly energized sodium metal which reacts with any water/water vapor it touches.
Heck, for all I know some kind of hypochlorite could be forming(strong oxidizer). Goes bang with hydrogen. Cl2(g) + 2NaOH(aq) → NaCl(aq) + NaClO(aq) + H2O(l)
Simple physics holds true. There is energy in salt water. The addition of radio energy could rearange, break down and/or create chemical bonds in a way as to release that energy. So it's not the creation of energy. It's just the release of energy compounded with the energy injected.

I happened on this site after a google search for {microwave saltwater} brought me here.
I'm looking for more information on the Kanzius observation. What interests me is the efficiency of the thing. P is pretty good for getting hho out of H2O. Anything that would improve that would be a bonus.
The reason why I'm interested is that at present for non-constant renewable energy sources such as solar and wind there isn't much choice in the way of battery systems.
So the battery I'm looking into now is electrolysis of water to make H H O to store and later burn on a stirling or closed loop tesla turbine type engine.
A P energy loss in a normal hydrolysis seperation of water is a big choker.
So maybe if I use radiowaves on saltwater I can do better...
Supposing the result is Cl2 + H2 + 2NaOH well, maybe good for industrial applications but the chlorine gas and lye(sodium hydroxide) I'm not much interested in for this application if all I want is combustion.
However if the result is H O Cl Na then...hmph
I might be able to get H and some O but would still be stuck with chlorine gas and lye.
I guess maybe I could use some hypochlorites for combustion but seperating those from a hot steam could be tricky. That and I don't really want to truck in salt.
Maybe someone else can figure it out. I'm more of an electro mechanical guy.
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Posted by home drug test kits  on  Thu Apr 02, 2009  at  01:04 PM
what if you are all wrong?what if some science is wrong?like when you could not go sailing ,in fear of falling of the earth?maybe there is something different something better, maybe someone has to think out side the box!!
Posted by colin humphrey  on  Fri Mar 12, 2010  at  04:34 PM
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