John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Thursday, October 06, 2005
  Free Energy Schemes
The link is "Eric's History of Perpetual Motion and Free Energy Machines" which gives a list of the various scams that have been tried over the decades as mechanisms to get energy out of thin air.

The OM Energy scheme as far as I can tell talks about separating hydrogen from oxygen in water by generating a magnetic field by spinning the water. This is "powered" by the exhaust gases from a petrol engine. The "hydrogen" is mixed with petrol and used as part of the combustion system.

Superficially it would be possible to inject some hydrogen into an internal combustion engine and add to the fuel that way. Whether this would work that well or not is not the big issue.

The big issue is that when hydrogen is burnt it turns into water. So there is a defined amount of energy needed to separate oxygen and hydrogen and a defined amount of energy released when they are united. Even if no energy was wasted either way those amounts are exactly the same.

If we define the energy of Oxidation as Eo and the energy of Hydrolysis as Eh then the argument OM Energy have is that Eo>Eh. This is a complete non starter as it breaks the laws of conservation of Energy. In other words it is a "Free Energy" or "Perpetual Motion" machine.

In any event splitting the water atoms by spinning the water presses my scepticism button, the idea that it generates a magnetic field by spinning the water does the same. It is true that swirls could be created through viscosity.

Even if the splitting idea worked there would be energy losses as the water is generally heated up whilst being spun. There would be energy losses (see Carnot a couple of days ago) through the use of exhaust gases to generate torque. There are also energy losses on the oxidation of the hydrogen (also Carnot and Second Law of Thermodynamics)

What does not surprise me is the government wasting taxpayers money. What does surprise me is that this proposal has actually been press released by the government as a sensible way forwards.

Generally Patent offices won't register free energy machines (because they break the laws of conservation of energy).

Still it is nice to have a laugh from time to time.
 
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