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rexpresso's avatar

Genepax ... Car running on water... is this any real?

Asked by rexpresso (920points) December 1st, 2010

A friend was trying to tell me that finally there is a car really running on water called Genepax. I didn’t believe him… But he insists. I don’t have much time to go research it… but do you have any idea? Thanks.

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7 Answers

jerv's avatar

It does exist.

Give me a little bit and I will get you more details if you wish. On the surface though, it appears to be a fuel-cell vehicle that uses the water as a catalyst and is actually fueled by a metal hydride. In other words, it runs on water the same way that electric cars run on battery acid.

koanhead's avatar Front page states, “Electrolysis car kits – make your car run on hydrogen fuel”. Electrolysis uses electricity to split water into H2 and O2, so it’s different from the “chemical fuel cell” nonsense they are spouting in the Gizmodo article. It’s not terribly useful to break water into H2 and O2 in an electric “fuel cell”, which works in the opposite direction (combining the two elements to make water and release energy).
It looks to me like another incarnation of the age-old “Brown’s Gas” scam. It takes energy to crack water, and you can’t get more than the same amount back by burning the hydrogen. Many, many marks have been burnt by this sort of thing in the last 40 years. In examining the claims made on the website, I see nothing I haven’t seen several times before within the last 5 years.
tl;dr – It could be real, but it probably is not.

ETpro's avatar

I think @koanhead us right, It certainly sounds like they are talking about splitting water into H2 and O2 then powering a fule cell with them. The problem is that is takes energy to split the two constitutionals of water apart—lots of energy. If the conversion process in both directions; water + energy = gasses, gasses = energy + water; were 100% efficient, you’d still not gain any energy. It would take as much energy as it yielded to run the process. But no process is ever anywhere near 100% efficient. You’d need to put lots of extra energy into the system from somewhere in order to split the hydrogen and oxygen in water apart. They have a great affinity for one another and don’t split up on a whim.

They claim to have a membrane that splits the water into its component gasses through a chemical reaction. If that’s so, then the question is how long till the membrane is consumed and must be replaced. The link @jerv provided mentions that the membrane “engine” costs some $2 million yen, or about $18,700. And that’s before you wrap a car around it. So if you have to replace the membrane often, this may be more illusion than real solution to renewable energy.

thetas49's avatar

I understood that a car has been developed that will run on water, unfortunately it will only work with water from the Gulf of Mexico

RocketGuy's avatar

@ETpro is right about “a lot of energy” needed to break apart water (H2O). The reverse reaction (H2 + O2 -> H2O) is used for rocket propulsion.

Sounds like a scam to me.

amyh2477's avatar

Our neighbor tried to do something like this last summer, we all called it the bomb car

rexpresso's avatar

@amyh2477 did he try it from a downloaded instruction manual or something? I saw one (paid of course) a while ago… I think this is all total BS…

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