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SAFE, Inexpensive Hydrogen Fuel For Your Car?

Galesburg Register-MailBack in May I wrote an article for Green Options called “The Perfect Hydrogen Vacation,” and it was centered around a young Galesburg, IL college student by the name of James Hunt. His claim to fame is development of a hydrogen fuel generation system that would power internal combustion engines with hydrogen. To say the least, I got a few negative comments about Jim’s invention, mainly that it was nothing more than an attempt at a perpetual motion machine.

The Galesburg Register-Mail newspaper, which broke the story first last April, has two more updates, “From Concept to Company” and “Energy Source Answers some Old Problems,” written by John Pulliam. I’m particularly fascinated with this story because Galesburg is my home town.

Well, Jim, shown in the Register-Mail photo at the left with a fire engine he hopes to convert into a hydrogen fueled mobile power unit, has moved out of the lab at Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg to his own plant in nearby Monmouth, IL with 15 employees. All that, he says, in a period of 9 months from concept to reality.

The company’s name, by the way is Akvo Energy America, and the shop is full of engines undergoing conversion to his hydrogen fuel system. Part of his plan is to fuel power plants and desalinization facilities with hydrogen. He plans to use the fire engine as an emergency portable desalinization unit, something sorely needed in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina ravaged that city.

His process extracts hydrogen from water via what he calls plasmatic induction, a form of electrolysis, using electricty to zap water in a small reservoir tank which releases hydrogen bubbles. The bubbles, of course, become the fuel, a never-ending source as long as drinking water is in the small reserve tank. It’s a bit more complicated than that, he uses reserve batteries and solar cells along with non-radioactive carbon rods in the system. Hunt claims one fill-up of rods will power a vehicle for a year-and-a-half; the emissions, of course, are water vapor.

Hunt claims to have a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. and what he called “a couple of pending contracts.” Two major universities are testing the process and he said GM was ready to license his system right now.

Besides the fire truck, a 1995 Civic, a 1976 Corvette Stingray, a Hummer and a pickup truck are waiting for conversion to the system. But before they can go on the highway for testing, they must be verified by the Environmental Protection Agency. This process is underway.

Jim hopes to eventually move his plant back to Galesburg and occupy the now empty Maytag manufacturing plant. Looking ahead, he hopes to have more than 1,000 employees for production and distribution. When would this happen? Maybe in 18 months, maybe more.

I interviewed Jim on my own website in April, the Lindberg Report.org, while he was still a student at Carl Sandburg College. Since Planetsave and Green Options are going through changes that right now don’t support audio, you might want to listen to Jim talk about his invention. As soon as we get audio on this site, I’ll have an updtated interview with Jim.

We’ll keep track of this young man and his invention that may just turn the hydrogen fuel world upside down, especially when billions of dollars are being spent trying to bring hydrogen powered vehicles out of showrooms, when Jim’s research cost $22,000.




17 comments
  1. HHOGasKitWizard

    Thanks for sharing I have been researching hydrogen fuel cell technology now for the past couple of years. II can honestly say it is a great thing when you can take any old car and turn it into a gas saving car. I was able to personally increase my gas mileage 130% on my 97 saturn test car. Which already got really good gas mileage in the first place. For the ones saying this is a scam you are by far wrong. Then to the ones who think this because our government has not been supporting these type’s of programs. This is because these officials do not see it as a beneficial program because it would steal away from the money they make on oil. Until they are willing to part with some of this money we will never be free of the burdan of using fossil fuels until they are all used up and you have to take a second mortgage out on your homes just to get a tank of gas.

  2. Engineer

    Stories like this have the same elements; something you want is available easier / cheaper than before; there is some science which is well-known and valid; there is a mystery element, which might or might not be valid; there are little or no verified test results.

    Verdict, pending some incontrovertible evidence, more likely to be a scam than not.

  3. Bill

    Present your research. “A hoax” is easy to say but you present nothing to prove it. I have seen this device in service. It works. Hearing about it is one thing. Seeing with my own eyes, and knowing what it takes to make a gas engine run on hydrogen is another. You are like the folks of old, “the world is flat” but no one every ventured out to see if it was true, until Columbus. I wait to see your research. In the meantime, Mr. Hunt has sold the device to a corporation that wishes to market the HHO generator. Lets see if they can do it.

    What you have to remember is this. The Federal Governement is not ready for hydrogen or electric cars. There is big money in the gas tax for both the Federal and State governments. They are not set up to tax a vehicle any other way yet. So they are not ready to give up the revenue loss from NOT using gas. Big oil has dumped a lot of money into oil reserves and have a huge infrastructer to support and they certainly do not want us off gas yet. The magic number that keeps coming up between the government, oil and the car manufactures is 15 years. Lots of revenue from taxes to be made, profits to be had, and no pressure on manufacturers to make cars that comply.

    As for the Water4Gas, they are not saying you can run soley on hydrogen. The best their little device can do is supplement gas with hydrogen and extend the fuel mileage. What Mr. Hunt has is far different and can supply an engine with hydrogen ONLY. This is the difference in normal electrolysis vs. plasma to extract hydrogen from water.

    Again, I look forward to your research.

  4. randy

    I’m a firm believer in hydroxy gas as fuel, I currently have a cell as a supplimental supply in an older carbeurated truck, it gets way better fuel mileage then anything offered from the showroom, it works, it’s real, believe it. I’m working toward totally hydroxi powered vehicle, it might not be me, but it will be done.

  5. Info seeker

    I really do believe this is for real however We are not going to see it produced because it does work The only problem here is Mr Hunt wanted to make money from it and applied for a patent.
    The only way we will ever see stuff like this at this level is to make it open source and publish all the plans for free – then and only then could people like Mr Hunt actually produce these units as well as others and still make some money as not everyone will have the ability to make one at home

    A good dite would be http://hydrogengenerator.cc/

    Lets see these ideas and get the system out there – there are some countries that would allow this to be used on public road with a small road user charge per/Km as not all fuels are fully taxed at the pump ie Diesel

  6. Hoax Buster

    IF this were real and the inventor had any balls what-so-ever, he would take it underground and get it to the world. You can bet on this. The former is a big check. How about the latter? CHECK!

  7. Hoax Buster

    This is a hoax. The water4gas guys REALLY are interested because its another way for them to glean money from the poor saps who believe all this junk. ITS FALSE. DON”T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THIS SNAKE OIL…

  8. Bill

    As with any threatening technology, Mr. Hunt has been given the rabbit chase by the Federal Government. They have further threatened him to NOT drive his converted vehicles on our highways as they have not been tested and approved. Here we go ladies and gentleman. Big Oil wins again. This isn’t over. I have met Mr. Hunt and he is genuine. I have seen the device and it works very well. I watched a Chevy 305 V8 run on just his device. My amazement wasn’t how much hydrogen he was producing, which in itself was amazing, but the pressure he was producing was about 8 times or more than any other HHO device I have seen. He actually has to reduce the pressure before the hydrogen hits the intake manifold. He has the generator and all the electronics that goes with it to produce hydrogen on demand. As for energy used to make the hydrogen…..the unit I saw was running strictly off of the alternator and battery of the Chevy engine. Mr. Hunt has other devices that are running on his HHO device, such as a small home generator. My interest is to convert diesel and gas turbines to hydrogen. I also want to experiment with his HHO device and a fuel cell to power my home. It’s doable and he has done it. Now we need to all get off our combined apathetic asses and help get this technology through our closed minded government.

  9. William Green

    OK…So what ever happened to AKVO Energy Corp. ? The website was registered but has never materialized. The newspaper article from back in Nov has no follow up. The writer of the newspaper article will not answer my e-mails asking for update. No new mentions on the web of any of the people in the articles from Nov 2007. This is very odd! Anyone in contact with AKVO Energy? Anyone know what’s happend to them?
    William Green
    wdgreen5@hotmail.com

  10. Guy Folks

    Hybrid Cars,

    After studying and following the renewable energy debate and developments for well over 30 years many useful and useless inventions/solutions have crossed my road of discovery.
    One tendency, which always seems to stand out, is the all or nothing approach.
    All wind power or all nuclear power or all wave, solar etc. and lately all hydrogen; rarely ever a composite/combination of current conventional and renewable energy resources.
    The latest fads seem again all nuclear or all hydrogen and the most laughable of them all “Carbon Sequestration”.
    Compressing CO2 to send it to the bottom of the oceans or into some geological cavity is as costly in energy as the decommissioning of nuclear power stations and the storage of radio active waste and equally hazardous.
    Using Bio Fuels, with its current technology, is a bit like incinerating your breakfast, lunch & dinner to drive your car.
    Even more fascinating is that all of these latest offerings are not feasible for another 10 or 20 or 30 years requiring huge amounts of funding to prove or disprove their viability.
    Methods such as cogeneration (the recovery of waste heat) or preheating by renewable resources rarely rate a mention. Both methods are only a few of the many options guaranteeing substantial reductions in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
    Again the aspect of the hydrogen as fuel debate is the all or nothing approach. It is nothing new that cars (and planes) can run on hydrogen. The catch here is the, currently, enormous cost of the fuel, system and the non-existent infrastructure. It is even proposed to generate the hydrogen from, would you believe it, carbon based fuels or, lo and behold, nuclear power.
    One can only wonder why the viable and relatively low cost conversion of existing means of transport is so rarely being considered as an option. For many years now the conversion of petrol powered vehicles to LNG was feasible, economical and aided the reduction of greenhouse gases.

    So why not use hydrogen in combination with conventional fuel? It is a proven technology. A low cost on board hydrogen generator produces small quantities of hydrogen which serves as a combustion enhancer. This hydrogen generator only operates while the engine is running making it perfectly safe, saves substantial amounts of fuel and does not require any hydrogen storage. In other words no hydrogen is produced when the engine is stopped. More information can be found clicking this link http://tinyurl.com/257w5x

  11. Albert Amorino

    BRAVO!!! The neighsayers can just continue down that same old distructive, waistful path. I love to see anything or anyone who tries to improve on this current state of affairs. According to the American Hydrogen Association, even burning lesser amounts of hydrogen in combination with other carbon based fuels can negate the overall negetive effects of our carbon based economy… THANK YOU FOR TRYING & GOOD LUCK with your project! ! !

  12. Ed Starr

    I am interested in details of th technology – especially the electrolysis system – if available.
    How does the system compare to the OPEN SOURCE water4gas.com technology?

    Sounds like it may be the same but a bit more professional in appearance and production.

    My main interest is in whether the system will run an engine 100% or is it in addition to gas or diesel.
    Hope to see a reply,
    We will gladly share our details as well – a buddy and I are upgrading the w4g idea and putting it into cars trucks, boats, etc.
    Great good luck,
    Ed Starr
    619-749-9647

  13. Dale Beckman

    This is a good and interesting story of someone trying. However, it is discouraging when these stories do not disclose the watts (power values such as voltage type, and current) required for a sustained release of hydrogen to run a certain sized engine. Not including these things always hold the story to suspect.

    As I am an optimist, I am willing to be a neutral researcher and possible investor if I was asked. I think I could have a good idea in about 1 to 2 hours. If you are for real, contact me at beckmanresearch@gmail.com .

  14. Todd Gregory

    I think that if you have a system that produces high amounts of hydrogen from extremly low electric input you could be a huge player in solving world wide energy problems.I am sure that have heard of Stanley Meyer,he claimed to have done this many years ago.The affects of this system are clear,we would not need oil.You would be a threat to the established fuel oil system,how do you plan on handling this problem?Meyers system never got establisched on the market.And he was mysteriously killed.How are you going to deal with with that kind of force?

  15. Thomas Wahl

    Oh no, not another scam artist! And right here in Central Illinois no less. Well, they come and they go.

    The so called “plasmatic induction” has been known for a long time and was not invented by Hunt. This process has no advantage over any other form of electrolysis. It is well known that any form of producing hydrogen from water consumes more energy than the energy contained in hydrogen. The result is a net energy loss.

    People are hoping for some magical cure for the approaching economic catastrophy of diminishing oil. Panic will indeed set in when liquid fuel is soon not available in any form. But who is listening? This is why people will grasp at anything that promotes hope in even “educated” people who do not take the time to do even the most rudimentary basic research.

  16. Water + Carbon = Enriched Hydrogen to run your car « The Keelynet Blog

    […] Posted by keelynet on November 12th, 2007 An interesting new development about using carbon and water to produce a hydrogen fuel you can burn in your engine. It appears to only need the conversion kit installed and the inventor claims the carbon rods only need to be replaced once every year and a half. Always, the answers are new high dollar vehicles whether hybrids using electric and combustion engines, or electric rechargeables or fuel cells to power electric, etc… I like this one because it allows a conversion of existing vehicles, much cheaper, efficient and ecologically sound than dumping all the cars and trucks out here now. SAFE, Inexpensive Hydrogen Fuel For Your Car? – “Back in May I wrote an article for Green Options called “The Perfect Hydrogen Vacation,” and it was centered around a young Galesburg, IL college student by the name of James Hunt. His claim to fame is development of a hydrogen fuel generation system that would power internal combustion engines with hydrogen. To say the least, I got a few negative comments about Jim’s invention, mainly that it was nothing more than an attempt at a perpetual motion machine. Well, Jim, shown in the Register-Mail photo at the left with a fire engine he hopes to convert into a hydrogen fueled mobile power unit, has moved out of the lab at Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg to his own plant in nearby Monmouth, IL with 15 employees. All that, he says, in a period of 9 months from concept to reality. The company’s name, by the way is Akvo Energy America, and the shop is full of engines undergoing conversion to his hydrogen fuel system. Part of his plan is to fuel power plants and desalinization facilities with hydrogen. He plans to use the fire engine as an emergency portable desalinization unit, something sorely needed in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina ravaged that city. His process extracts hydrogen from water via what he calls plasmatic induction, a form of electrolysis, using electricty to zap water in a small reservoir tank which releases hydrogen bubbles. The bubbles, of course, become the fuel, a never-ending source as long as drinking water is in the small reserve tank. It’s a bit more complicated than that, he uses reserve batteries and solar cells along with non-radioactive carbon rods in the system. Hunt claims one fill-up of rods will power a vehicle for a year-and-a-half; the emissions, of course, are water vapor.” – Source […]

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