Date: 2008-05-26 12:25:30
11:00 PM PDT on Thursday, May 8, 2008By GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News Video: Salt water tested as fuel source Larger screen E-mail this clip
SEATTLE For more than a year, it’s been widely circulated on the Internet as a scientific oddity. Now a process that converts sea water into a possible fuel source is gaining legitimacy. Pictures have been floating around for some time of retired television engineer John Kanzius aiming radio waves at a test tube full of salt water in Pennsylvania. “Just like that, if that was a car cylinder, you can see the amount of fire that would be in the cylinder,” Kanzius said. Could it be this engineer accidentally stumbled onto something that could change the world and end the energy crisis? “It is the biggest discovery in water research in 100 years,” said Rustom Roy, science technology professor. Roy had his fellow engineers and students at Penn State put the so-called radio frequency generator to the test. They tried all kinds of alternatives, with and without salt water, and at different temperatures. They looked for trickery or hidden fuels, but as they have now reported in a science journal, they find it works. Skeptics say it’s just another way to do what we could already do. “There’s no breakthrough because there are more efficient ways of breaking water down to hydrogen and oxygen,” said professor Rudy Scavuzzo, chemical engineer. But supporters aren’t yet sure how easy they can make the process and what can be done with it. With salt water being one of the most abundant resources on earth, there are some possibilities. But scientists say the project is all tied up in the patent process, and it could take years before those possibilities are explored.