A booming segment of the Perpetual Motion Machine industry is capitalizing on the hype over the "Hydrogen Economy" with claims to produce Hydrogen for impossibly low cost.

2004-07-17

Tathacus Due Diligence on Xogen

When Tathacus first proposed to acquire a stake in Xogen, they claimed to perform some due diligence on Xogen which they describe in their prospectus. About the DD report the prospectus says
The Corporation (Tathacus) engaged Evans & Evans, Inc to prepare a Feasibility Study Report dated October 1999, and amended by an Addendum dates February 25, 2000 in support of the proposed acquisition of an interest in Xogen and as required by Circular No. 1 of the ASE policies. The Feasibility Study provides an independent assesment of the critical aspects of the business and business plans of Xogen. The information in the Feasibility Study has been derived from information collected from the management of Xogen. A confidential engineering report prepared for the Corporation on Xogen's technology was reviewed by Evans & Evans and the following summary also contains extracts from this report.
I add the emphasis around how Evans & Evans gathered their information since so much of it is obviously wrong. They had two sources, the Xogen management, and a confidential engineering report of unknown authorship that were the basis of the incorrect claims they make about the Xogen process.

The Evans & Evans report starts on page 17 of the prospectus, and contains a few interesting items I'll skip over like a brief account of the demonstration unit that exploded. Going straight to the "Comparison with Existing Methods" on pages 21 and 22 one can see it's troubled.
1. The Xogen process uses power-consumption levels that can be orders of magnitude lower than conventional electrolysis to produce useful volumes of hydrogen. Conventional electrolysis requires heavy currents and is therefore much more expensive. The relative efficiency of the Xogen system makes wind and solar-powered hydrogen generation feasible, possibly in conjunction with battery power.
One need not read past the first sentence to see that E&E are not engineers. Power is the rate of energy used over time, not a measure of energy itself. There are no power-consumption levels required for electrolysis. An arbitrarily small amount of power can generate an arbitrarily large amount of H2 in enough time. Some people have assumed this error was a typo and that E&E meant to say that the energy required per unit of H2 produced is orders of magnitude lower with the Xogen process than with conventional electrolysis. This is impossible, since electrolysis is fairly efficient and orders of magnitude more efficient would amount to perpetual motion. As we discussed in Efficiency of Xogen Process, the Alberta Research Council report clearly shows the Xogen process to be about 50% efficient. Again, there are no "heavy-current" requirements for electrolysis. Current is the flow rate of charge. Electrolysis requires two moles of electrons per mole of H2, but there is no minimum flow rate for electrolysis. Also, as we show in Errors in ARC's report to Xogen and Earlier Xogen Publication of ARC Report the Xogen process has the same volume of H2 per Amp hour of charge as electrolysis.
2. The Xogen process works with any natural water, including ordinary tap water, sea water, and may be polluted or clean. Conventional electrolysis requires chemical additives, usually dangerous acids, to give the water sufficient electrical conductivity to support the heavy electrical currents.
More with the heavy current business. Electrolysis is possible with sea water. But you wouldn't use sea water for electrolysis unless you wanted Chlorine gas as well as Hydrogen. Ditto for the Xogen process.
3. The hydrogen and oxygen gases produced by conventional electrolysis combine quite readily into water when under pressure. The gases produced by the Xogen process exhibit little or no tendency to combine under pressure.
This claim that H2 and O2 remember if they were generated by electrolysis or the Xogen process is magical. It shows a lack of any sense of irony to place a claim like this just pages after the description of the witness-injuring explosion of the demo unit.
4. In conventional electrolysis, the electrodes are "consumed" by the process, so their replacement is necessary. The Xogen process, however, does not consume the electrodes.
The ARC report found that Xogen process does consume the stainless steel electrodes.

A lot of junk was fed to Evans & Evans. Unfortunately, they were unaware that they didn't have the training required to audit it.

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