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The Mind of James Donahue

Earth Friendly Fuel














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Hydrogen Engines
Have Always Been Possible


During the 2000 presidential campaign, A Michigan Republican effort to try to block Al Gore from winning the state electoral vote caught my eye. Former automotive giant Lee Iococa appeared on my television screen and asked voters to save Detroit jobs by supporting George W. Bush.

Iococa's reasoning was that Mr. Gore is threatening to find alternative fuel sources and get carbon
fuel burning engines off the road. He claimed that Gore's plan would shut down the Detroit automobile plants and put a lot of state workers on the street.

Not only was this a false scare tactic, it was a complete exaggeration of fact and a deadly concept to be drilling into the heads of the masses.

I promoted the Gore campaign because he appeared to understand the threat of automobile and industrial emissions to the future of our planet. A major difference between Gore and Bush was that Gore believes global warming is occurring and says he wants to take steps to help stop it. He even published a book 
on this subject. Mr. Bush, on the other hand, claimed that evidence is "inconclusive" that global warming exists. Instead of preserving the environment, Bush promised to open protected lands for more oil well exploration, making sure the people have all the carbon fuels they want, at a continued inexpensive cost, so it can be business as usual.

The continued reckless burning of carbon fuels to propel our cars, trucks, aircraft and ships and heat our homes and businesses could be a death sentence for the human race. And it is totally unnecessary. Engines now exist that burn such clean fuels 
as methane, hydrogen, and natural gas. Japanese research in electric motors and batteries has come a long way.

It was a total myth for Lee Iococa to lie to the people of Michigan, warning them that Al Gore's campaign to do away with carbon burning automobile engines would cost jobs in Detroit. Failure to get these terrible engines out of the market is already costing lives and millions of dollars in medical bills. The emissions from gasoline, oil and coal burning plants and engines are changing our environment, destroying our air supply and putting us all in extreme danger.

A shift from gasoline to hydrogen or battery powered engines could open a broad new job market for automobile manufacturers. It must be our choice, no matter which contested presidential candidate takes the reins. And if Detroit doesn't take the incentive, leaving the "big oil barons" in the dust, the money and new jobs will probably go to Japan.

When I was living in Arizona a few years ago I talked to members of a group that was actively campaigning for the production of hydrogen engine powered cars and trucks. Part of the campaign included a demonstration of a pick-up truck powered by a hydrogen-burning engine. What was amazing about this truck was that the engine had gone over 300,000 miles and was still running as well as the day it was made.
 
The hydrogen burned so clean that the engine even sucked up elements left from burned carbon in the air around it, clean-burning it with the hydrogen. In other words, a hydrogen-burning engine in a car helps clean the air as it passes through an area. Such engines would be welcome in smog plagued cities like Phoenix, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami and Atlanta. Thousands of cars, trucks and buses with engines like that would eventually scoop away all of the smog and leave the air in these cities clean again.

Everybody knows that hydrogen is a lighter-than-air gas that makes balloons rise, once carried dirigibles, and is a substance that can be found everywhere, including the water flowing out of the tap of your home. It is said the easiest way to obtain it now is to extract the gas from coal. The story is that hydrogen was once considered as a fuel for internal combustion engines, but the idea was set aside when early research found that engines operated poorly on hydrogen, mostly because of problems in the hydrogen-air mixture as the fuel entered the chamber for spark ignition. Gasoline worked better.

When Germany was developing dirigibles as airships for public travel, engineer Rudolph Erren
solved this problem by injecting pure hydrogen directly into the combustion chamber. After the Hindenburg disaster, however, all interest in dirigibles and hydrogen fuels was dropped. Because crude oil seemed to be a cheap and abundant fuel source in those days, this became the fuel of choice. Was the Hindenburg fire a tragic accident, or was it a carefully planned event designed to stop us from turning to hydrogen as a fuel to operate our cars and aircraft?

What the big oil barons did not want us to do was develop an engine that could operate on another kind of a fuel. They especially didn't want us to use a fuel that was as inexpensive and as easy to obtain as hydrogen. How could they get rich on such a fuel?

Now that gasoline is in short supply and prices are skyrocketing around the world, there is rekindled interest in alternative fuel sources, including hydrogen. The trick, however, seems to be finding a way to develop an engine that depends upon a special hydrogen formula that we must pay for. Thus there has been an effort to build engines that use liquid hydrogen
, frozen hydrogen, and hydrogen mixed with metals. After learning about Erren's simple success with the dirigible engines, and seeing the Arizona pickup truck run so well on pure hydrogen, I am highly suspicious of everything "science" is telling me about the future of hydrogen burning engines.

While the device is yet to be invented, I have no doubt that somebody, somewhere, is going to build a machine that will separate hydrogen from water. Once it happens, we will only have an initial investment in the machine. After this, we will have literally free fuel to heat our homes, drive our cars, and even run our lawnmowers.

If this sounds too good to be true, do your own research. There are still many technical problems to reaching this goal, but I believe we should have been pouring money into this kind of research years ago. The reason we didn't do it is easy to understand. Big Oil has had a heavy grip on American industry and government ever since Col. Edwin Drake founded the first oil company in Titusville, Pa., a century and a half ago. Before that, the coal companies kept their hands on the controls.

As long as there is money to be made on coal, oil and natural gas, nobody wants people to obtain free energy sources from their water taps.


We have all been slaves to a system that exploits us constantly.
















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