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.


HERE is a Surprise

While the Hydrogenerate site has been down for some time and appears not to have been updated since early 2004, the Hydro Environmental Resources Europe site is still up. While they mention the "independent gas analysis was conducted in Hillboro, Oregon proving the effectiveness of the ECHFR system", they neglect to discuss the economic analysis presented in the full report:
VANCOUVER, Wash., Aug. 26 PRNewswire-FirstCall -- Mr. David Rosenberg,Chief Executive Officer made the following statement, "On August 14, 2002,HERI staff took the recently repackaged industrial Electrochem Hydrogen FuelReactor (ECHFR) to FST Consulting International, Inc. in Hillsboro, Oregon for independent third party testing and analysis. The purpose of this analysis was to certify the purity of hydrogen gas being produced by HERI's industrial grade ECHFR."

Dr. Michael Lysaght, Chief Science Officer stated, "Sample measurements were taken periodically over a period of several hours with hydrogen gas purity improving from a low of 99.99% to a high of 99.9992% during the courseof the reaction. It should be noted here that this unit was an industrial configuration of the ECHFR and not fully optimized for gas purity. HERI is currently developing a high-purity stainless steel reactor that is expected toimprove hydrogen purity to the six nines purity level. This latest design ofthe ECHFR will address emerging fuel cell technologies and the semiconductor industry where high purity hydrogen gas is a requirement. Additional information will be posted on the HERI website (http://www.hydrogenerate.com) after the initial testing phase." He further stated that, "It has long been HERI'smission to produce the highest purity hydrogen gas as inexpensively as possible. The FST report details the purity of the hydrogen gas effluent as a function of time while the HERI Lab Report provides a cost analysis for the reaction described in the FST report." Dr Lysaght, provided the following results from FST's analysis of the ECHFR:

Component Description Cost
A 8 oz consumable A @ approximately $ 0.70 lb. $0.35
B 12 oz consumable B @ approximately $ 0.40 lb. $0.30
C 1.5 gal water base negligible
D 1.05 oz catalyst no recurring

costs Total cost of reactants $0.65
Cubic feet hydrogen gas produced 10.78
Cost per cu. ft. of hydrogen gas $0.06

Dr. Lysaght noted that the "detailed figures do no include packaging costsand will vary depending on application, size of reactor, and gas purityrequired. Specific efficiency data can be provided upon request based on gas purity required."

SAFE HARBOR PROVISION With the exception of historical information contained in this press release, the matters described herein contain certain "forward-looking statements" that are made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on management's current reasonable expectations and are subject to certain assumptions, risks, uncertainties, and changes in circumstances. Acts or results may vary materially from those expressed or implied from thestatements herein or from historical results due to changes in economic,business, competitive, technological, and/or regulatory factors. More detailed information about these factors is set forth in filings by Hydro Environmental Resources, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: HYVR) with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the most recent Annual Report onForm 10-KSB and the most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-QSB. Hydro Environmental Resource, Inc. is not obligated to (and expressly disclaims any obligation to) revise or update any forward-looking statements in order toreflect the events or circumstance, whether they arise as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

The 6 cents per cubic foot of Hydrogen is not a good price. Using the Ideal Gas Law Calculator we can see that a cubic foot of Hydrogen is 1.2634 moles. The Hyperphysics Electrolysis page gives the energy for burning Hydrogen as 285.83 kJ/mol. So a cubic foot could be 361.12 kJ. The DOE Energy Ant gives the energy content of gasoline as 130.88 mJ. So a gallon of gasoline has he energy of 360 cubic feet of Hydrogen, but costs only 45X as much as Hydrogen from the ECHFIR. Gasoline is an 8x better value.

The company later tried to change the focus away from the uneconomical cost of Hydrogen to the value of the by-product. Since the patent application has published, we know the "valuable byproduct" is Al(OH)3. Not really that valuable. Hydrogenerate went as far to announce that they had sold some of that stuff. They stopped reporting before announcing how much (little) they sold it for.
Hydro Environmental Resources announces first sale of chemical by-product and conclusion of field test

VANCOUVER, Wash., Jan. 22, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Hydro Environmental Resources, Inc. (OTCBB:HYVR) Interim-CEO Mark Shmulevsky said: "We are pleased to announce our first sale of the by-product produced during the production of pure commercial-grade Hydrogen at low-pressure in our reactor. Over the past 12 months, we have completed all necessary testing and third-party lab analysis of the byproduct for content and purity. We have begun the process of identifying strategic partners interested in the purchase of these chemical by-products. Our by-product has a number of uses in both commercial and industrial applications. The by-product can be easily removed from our vessel after the initial materials have been chemically consumed during the production of hydrogen. We believe the added revenue opportunity from the sale of these by-products, coupled with the production of hydrogen gas and recoverable heat energy produced, continue to make our technology extremely viable and cost-effective in the growing alternative energy industry."

Each reactor, based on application size put in production, will yield a known amount of recoverable, sellable by-product.

The company also concluded field testing of its reactor installed in the home of former CEO David Rosenberg. During its testing, Mr. Rosenberg hosted Oregon U.S Senator Ron Wyden. During the visit, the senator was shown the unit being utilized in the application of supplying hydrogen and heat energy.

The unit was installed to supplement the existing hydronic heating system. This was the company's first field testing of the unit's development of both the unit's heat exchange process and by-product recovery. The field test has confirmed the overall cost of producing hydrogen to be significantly reduced through the capture and use of both the heat energy and by-product recovery.

About Hydro Environmental Resources

Hydro Environmental Resources, Inc. holds the rights to the Electrical Chemical Hydrogen Fuel Reactor (ECHFR), which is one of the first hydrogen reactors that eliminates the need for an outside energy source to produce a pure commercial-grade of hydrogen at low pressure. This proprietary process delivers a highly mobile, more cost-effective and physically safe production of hydrogen than alternative methods which require outside energy sources such as electricity, solar power and fossil fuels. The Company (HERI) was founded in 1998 with the primary goal of exploring avenues to improve the global environment through the development of safe and efficient methods of alternate energy production. The HERI team is focused on the production of alternate energy in the form of hydrogen gas, heat recovery, and waste treatment, clean and potable water, through its breakthrough technologies. Today the ECHFR can provide environmentally safe and cost-effective hydrogen and heat energy to meet the needs of the enormous alternative energy industry.

Safe Harbor: cut

Another doomed Hydrogen from water scheme has recently jumped on the valuable by-product bandwagon. What's old is new again when we next review AEC.


So Long to Earth 2012

Earth2012 has given up its effort to build a water-powered car. We covered thie plan to riase a million pounds in donations for this project back in 2004-07. Some of their old pages, including the description of how the water-powered car was supposed to wok, have been taken down, but can be found on the wayback.

This is Stef Kling's announcement:
January 2006 - Water Car project closure

Since July 2004 Earth 2012 has been trying to raise funds for the development of an engine that uses water as fuel. It is with deep regret that I have to announce that we have not succeeded, and that we have decided to discontinue our efforts. Effectively this means the closure of the Water Car Project for Earth 2012.

So what happened?
The original idea was to fund this project via donations. We knew from the start that if this was to succeed we would need to partner up with a well established organisation, as Earth 2012 does not have the audience that is needed. We have talked to several organisations, but we learned that this project was too risky for them to take on.
On our own we did not generate enough donations to even cover basic expenses (we have only received 40 donations), so we decided to change our approach and seek investment. We have talked to several interested parties, but only one option met our criteria. We nearly achieved financing in April last year, but then this organisation had to withdraw unexpectedly for internal reasons. Since then no suitable alternative has been found.

So has all been lost?
No. We have made some progress on the technical front in the last 1.5 year, and we have all learned a lot. The technical team is trying to obtain funding via other routes without involvement of Earth 2012. We hope that they will succeed and that the world will see this technology some day.

We would like to thank everybody who has supported us from the bottom of our hearts.

On behalf of the whole team,

Stef Kling


The Hydrogen Economy

A breakthrough from the people who can't remember past He on the periodic table

There is a good article over at hydrogenpowernews questioning the idea that Hydrogen is obviously the fuel of the future. He's got a link that's presently broken to fuelcelltoday. From hydrogenpowernews
Hydrogen incentives have the earmarks of supporting a technology that was chosen as the winner before all of the factors were examined or were simply ignored. Fuel cell cars exist now at astronomical prices which keep the hope alive and advocates cheering but you have to conciously avoid looking at technologies already in place and gaining ground that could dramatically improve our energy outlook to continue asking for more government expenditures in this area.

A more detailed argument is made by Ulf Bossel, Ph.D. in (pdf warning) Does a Hydrogen Economy Make Sense?. From Bossel
Unfortunately, politics seems to listen to the advice of visionaries [1], lobby groups and environmental activists, all presenting qualitative arguments, but hardly ever based their arguments on facts and laws of physics. A secure sustainable energy future cannot be based on shaky arguments, hype and political activism, but has to be built on solid grounds of established science.

The visionary Bossel refers to is Jeremy Rifkin.


Engineuity Recycled

I got some mail from Engineuity explaining that they had worked out the cost and weight ratio of their system using Aluminum rather than Magnesium. Reworking the calculations, we can see that their claim that the Aluminum would weigh about 3 times as much as the gasoline equivalent is correct, but the idea that Al is about as expensive a source of energy as gasoline is pie in the sky.

1 gallon of gas is 130.88 mJ.
1 mole of H2 is 285.83 kJ, so a gallon of gasoline carries the energy of 457.89 moles of H2. The reaction
3H2O + 2Al -> Al2O3 + 3H2
yields 1.5 moles of H2 per mole of Al, so 457.89 moles of H2 would require 305.26 moles of Al. The atomic weight of Al is 26.981538, so that would be 8236.5 grams of Al. With gasoline weighing about 2.8 kG per gallon, that's about 3x the weight of Aluminum. Aluminum is a couple of dollars a kilo, so to get a gallon of gas equivalent from Aluminum would cost $17 per gallon plus any retail markup and tax.

Engineuity says they expect the recycling value of the oxide would close the gap between the cost of Aluminum and gasoline. But alumina sells for about $400 per metric ton. A kilo of Al, which costs about $2.20, would yield about 1.9 kilos of oxide which is worth about 75 cents. Recycling can offset the cost of the Engineuity process by at most 35%, which would still cost about $11 for the Aluminum equivalent of a gallon of gasoline.