January 6, 2008

Burning Salt Water

John Kanzius, a retiree, has found a way to burn salt water using radio waves. This is one of those wonderful, serendipitous accidents where Kanzius was trying to find a way to kill cancer cells using radio waves but, instead, discovered an alternative source of energy. The water burns because the radio waves shake the water molecules hard enough to break the chemical bonds that hold the hydrogen atoms to the oxygen atom. The hydrogen atoms then burn with the oxygen atom, causing an intense flame (as you can see in the below video).

Presently, there are two significant hurdles to using Kanzius' method for energy generation. First, more energy is consumed by the radio wave generator than is released by the burning hydrogen. Second, the vibration of the salt molecules (sodium chloride) releases chlorine gas which, of course, is toxic. Should both of these problems be overcome, the world may have a new source of energy that should last us for thousands of years.

(HT: Mohamad Latiff)

No comments: