The H2 Overunity Formula
By Mike Johnston
Copyright 9/2000











    Remember my little musing about catalyzing the steam from a turbine? Well I thought about it for a second or
two and here are the results:

    I started this little project with the object of finding a way to make water into a viable fuel source. I want it to be that NOW, not 5 or 10 years in the future. I thought it would be fun. It has. It has taken me 6 months or so (an hour or two a week) but I think I'm getting close.

    If you have followed it you will already know about the stuff I refer to here. If not then the information is available on my email list archives (address above). Or here on my website. Let's consider this as it is now piece by piece.

1) Electrolysis Cell(s): The ideal cell will have Platinum electrodes (inert metal) and use H2SO4 as the electrolyte or something
    else equally efficient. It will have multiple cells wired in a continuous circuit. The number of cells being figured based on the voltage that is being used in the system. Five cells is the number for 12v electricity at any amperage. 90% efficiency in turning the electrical charge into chemical energy should be possible (actually let's just say 90% of the electricity you put in one end will not be coming out the other). Notice there is a loss here. From the cell the gasses produced will be delivered to our boiler. If you want to put my Water Tower thing in at this point fine. If not, that's fine too. That device would work equally well on any
steam electric plant such as coal fired or nuclear....

2) Boiler: A design such as mine will work nicely. Briefly; fuel (H2 gas with O2 oxidizer) is burned INSIDE the boiler in such a manner that total combustion occurs. No outside air needs to be inducted. Pressure is allowed to build to whatever the desired level is to turn the turbine that is being used and then released to said turbine (under pressure) at the same rate that it is being created thus keeping the boiler in equilibrium. Our initial investment of energy here is the gasses that are burned until the desired pressure is reached. Efficiency should be over 90% here. We are releasing chemical energy as heat here. We add pressure to it for free (aside from initial gas investment).

  Also please note that the combustion reaction itself is taking place underwater in the boiler. This ensures that 100% of the heat released by the combustion is transfered directly to the water. The product of combustion is steam and by burning it underwater the amount of steam produced at more workable temperatures is vastly larger than the amount produced by the reaction alone.

3)Turbine: Since the turbine requires pressure to run the heat losses that are encountered here should still allow us steam at 1100 degrees Celsius to exit the turbine (H2 and O2 burned together in a torch yield 2800 degrees Celsius). Therefore this steam should be able to provide enough heat to cause the catalytic separation of H2 from the steam (in combination with waste heat from the "skin" of the boiler if needed).

    Such separation of H2 from the steam would be accomplished by one or more of the following well known and accepted methods.
           a) By running said steam over carbon. C(s) +  H2O(g)------------>H2(g) + CO(g)
                                                                                            1000 degrees

           b) By running said steam over iron.   4H2O(g) + 3Fe(s)------------->Fe3O4(s) + 4H2(g)
                                                                                              1100 degrees

            c) By running said steam over Platinum. This works with hydrocarbons to  form H2 gas so it is just a suggestion.
                Also running H2 and O2 gasses over Platinum causes them to ignite, so why not?

    When you run water gas (the product of reaction a) over Fe3O4 you get Fe and CO2 and effectively reverse reaction b. If you run these reactions in line a then b you should end up with the products being H2(g), CO2(g) and some residual steam. It would be nice to have no residual steam but if you do it's not a problem at this point. The engineers can work out the details later. If anyone knows how to crack CO2 into C and O2 let me know (after all, plants do it).

    The catalytic recovery of H2 from from the turbine exhaust using the waste heat of the steam and or the boiler would take some of the load of fuel production off of the electrolysis unit. This will enable the unit to be powered down or run less without affecting the power output of the system. Or on the other hand, a larger turbine could be used and more energy produced with no additional energy input (beyond the initial level of the electrolysis unit). A converter should be able to run at 70% efficiency or better (automotive ones do).

    The H2 which is not recovered from the steam by catalysis would be recondensed and used to feed the electrolysis unit.
The output of the whole system would look like the following projection. For this example I use pretty much standard, i.e.;"achievable", output/loss figures. Any of these numbers could be modified by engineering the system better. The point it that building something like this should be possible NOW by using existing technologies and devices with perhaps slight modification. It's not true OU but it's getting close.

  1) I assume an electrolysis unit capable of producing 2oz of H2 per minute.
           2) A boiler/turbine setup such as the one I designed.
           3) A catalytic converter using commonly accepted technology.

            Electrolysis unit;            Input to Turbine/                       Output (per Minute)from Catalysis Unit
            (to boiler)                       (output  from boiler)                                  (70% effecient)
           1 min = 2oz              +            0oz                =  2oz----------->  2oz  x .7 = 1.4oz
           2 min = 2oz              +            1.4oz             =  3.4oz---------->   3.4oz x .7 = 2.38oz
           3 min = 2oz              +             2.38oz          =  4.38oz--------->  4.38oz x .7 = 3.07oz
           4 min = 2oz              +             3.07oz          =  5.07oz--------->  5.07oz x .7 = 3.55oz
           5 min = 2oz              +             3.55oz          =  5.55oz--------->  5.55oz x .7 =  3.88oz
           6 min = 2oz              +             3.88oz          =  5.88oz--------->  5.88oz x .7 = 4.12oz
           7min = 2oz               +              4.12oz         =  6.12oz--------->  6.12oz x .7 = 4.28oz
           8min = 2oz               +              4.28oz         =  6.28oz--------->  6.28oz x .7 = 4.40oz
 

    As you can see, by catalyzing the waste steam from our turbine, we double the amount of available fuel in 3 minutes and triple the amount of available fuel in 7 minutes. This would indicate that we will now be able to produce MORE electricity than what is required to operate the system (in the form of electricity being supplied to the electrolysis unit). This is even WITH all the losses in the system. Please note that the above equasions don't even take into account the effect of adding more water into the boiler as you burn the H2. The H2 at combustion is about twice as hot as it needs to be to be catalyzed by most common methods and so the addition of an amount of water, equal to the amount of steam created by the combustion, would DOUBLE again the amount of H2 available to be catalyzed from steam WITHOUT using ANY additioal energy. This is the subject of another paper.
 

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