Author Topic: Indian "Car that runs on Aluminum and water" ? Dodgy or not?  (Read 1551 times)

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Offline cdev

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Indian "Car that runs on Aluminum and water" ? Dodgy or not?
« on: October 27, 2018, 11:59:56 pm »
It comes from IIT Rourkee.

They use the magic word "graphene" too. What do people think?

"The car runs on a simple fuel cell technology that uses electrochemical reaction to produce electricity. There is a graphene rod along the metal plate that generates electricity with water as its base for the chemical reaction.

The electricity thus generated is sent to an electric motor that drives the car."

It appears to have won some prestigious prizes as well as created a 'buzz" on Twitter.

Does it run?
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Online Circlotron

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Re: Indian "Car that runs on Aluminum and water" ? Dodgy or not?
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2018, 12:08:03 am »
Link?
 

Offline tsman

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Re: Indian "Car that runs on Aluminum and water" ? Dodgy or not?
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2018, 12:16:48 am »
A zero emission fuel cell that is capable of powering a car that consists of a graphene rod, a consumable aluminium plate and water? No way. :bullshit: This will turn out to be another student design project that doesn't scale from the tiny prototype they've made where they get some tiny voltage from this cell and just blindly extrapolated that a really huge one would be capable of powering a car.
 

Offline Marco

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Re: Indian "Car that runs on Aluminum and water" ? Dodgy or not?
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2018, 01:31:38 am »
Aluminium air batteries exist, and physical refuelling has been proposed before. An Indian startup who's claim to fame is a cigarette filter and an oil absorber developing one with good enough performance to power a car in next to no time seems unlikely though, last year they were only talking about slightly improving lead acid batteries.
 

Offline Fred27

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Re: Indian "Car that runs on Aluminum and water" ? Dodgy or not?
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2018, 08:37:56 am »
All it took was the first word of the title to convince me it wasn't going to work as proposed.
 


Offline Crazy_Pete

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Re: Indian "Car that runs on Aluminum and water" ? Dodgy or not?
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2018, 12:33:06 pm »
I wonder what that is all about.   The problem with a lot of technology reporting is that the reporters get it terribly wrong.    Who knows what  those kids made and badly the reporters misunderstood what they were saying.

There was some scandal about Mercury Poisoning in poultry here in California a few years ago.   (Somebody had mislabled Hg treated seed as animal feed.)  One of the farmers (already not an educated source)  told a reporter "The first symptom of mercury poisoning is that you walk with jerky movements, chickens do that anyway so you can't tell if a chicken has mercury poisoning really."   The article in the newspaper read "Unfortunately, no scientific test today can detect Hg in Chickens."   

Thanks
peter
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Online 0xdeadbeef

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Re: Indian "Car that runs on Aluminum and water" ? Dodgy or not?
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2018, 12:42:00 pm »
"If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is" usually applies to stuff like this.

On a related note, I fear that the current state of science and the "common people's" understanding have drifted so far apart in the last 50 years or so that most people (including journalists) really just believe anything. Like even somewhat educated celebrities who are looked at as "smart" or even graduated arts/humanities scholars have not the slightest clue why the sky is blue or why it's cold in winter (well, in the northern hemisphere). Actually, even most intelligent people don't feel the slightest desire to understand how something is working and therefore are unable to question scams. Like they could understand the working mechanism if you would explain it to them, but they just give a shit and thus would immediately forget about it anyway.

What makes this worse is that the quality of journalism has declined in the last 10-20 years due to several reasons, most of them directly related to the rise of the world wide web. There are so many web sites that need to create a constant flow of science/technology news that it's somewhat unavoidable that they just publish anything they get even if it's just the fantasy product of some designer who has not the slightest idea about engineering or science.

It's ironic that when I was young, I dreamed of a world where I could have easy access to science news and all kind of information and now that I have it, it's an "all-knowing trash heap" where you can easily access information that is at least partly wrong most of the time.
Trying is the first step towards failure - Homer J. Simpson
 
The following users thanked this post: cdev, Yansi, ebastler, Buriedcode, Crazy_Pete

Offline Crazy_Pete

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Re: Indian "Car that runs on Aluminum and water" ? Dodgy or not?
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2018, 01:33:00 pm »
That was a nice well written post, i couldn't have said it that well myself.

Thanks
Crazy Pete
Your enemies pray for a shovel but your own tongue will dig your grave... (Traveller Proverb)
 

Offline Cyberdragon

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Re: Indian "Car that runs on Aluminum and water" ? Dodgy or not?
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2018, 05:03:18 pm »
There is such a thing as a water powered fuel cell. The most common use for it is an LED lamp power source. I'm not sure the exact technology used in those, but it's pretty impracticle as a light source, let alone a vehical. The reaction can not be stopped once started until it runs out of fuel, and they have a very limited reusability. They often wear out very quickly, sometimes being single use before they degrade due do various reasons. So yes, it is theoretically possible to have a water powered car, but it's a very stupid idea.
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Offline helius

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Re: Indian "Car that runs on Aluminum and water" ? Dodgy or not?
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2018, 05:14:57 pm »
Appears to be inspired/stolen from this research:
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2142693-nano-aluminium-offers-fuel-cells-on-demand-just-add-water/

The military concept of one-shot vehicles that cannibalize their own structure is probably not a winner for automobiles.
 

Online james_s

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Re: Indian "Car that runs on Aluminum and water" ? Dodgy or not?
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2018, 05:36:20 pm »
Water can't possibly be the energy source, water is already burned hydrogen, there is no energy left to extract from it. It may be possible to get energy out of aluminum but that's only because it takes a tremendous amount of energy to refine aluminum from ore.
 

Offline Marco

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Re: Indian "Car that runs on Aluminum and water" ? Dodgy or not?
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2018, 06:10:50 pm »
After a while the KOH solution in a metal air battery gets too contaminated, so it needs to be replaced.
 

Online Circlotron

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Re: Indian "Car that runs on Aluminum and water" ? Dodgy or not?
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2018, 09:01:04 pm »
Would be interesting to know the cost of producing 1 kWhr of electricity using the method suggested. I’ll wager it’s not cheap.
 

Offline cdev

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Re: Indian "Car that runs on Aluminum and water" ? Dodgy or not?
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2018, 09:39:12 pm »
A great many brilliant minds also hail from India. No country has a monopoly on common sense or stupidity.

All it took was the first word of the title to convince me it wasn't going to work as proposed.

I think that 0xdeadbeef nailed it for me also. It seems though that even with people who should know better, the dodgy technology stories seem to get a free pass if they propose easy solutions to difficult problems that really are never so easy to solve.

« Last Edit: October 28, 2018, 09:41:05 pm by cdev »
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline IanMacdonald

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Re: Indian "Car that runs on Aluminum and water" ? Dodgy or not?
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2018, 10:23:58 pm »
Likely this actually gets its energy from the corrosion of aluminium, basically a standard primary battery, and the inventor has yet to realise that!

Look up the Bloom Box for a practical application of a methane fuel cell. If a low-maintenance methane fuel cell is possible, then it seems likely that propane or alcohol fuel cells could also be devised. More effort should be put into this area as it would be a far more practical electric drive system for cars than a gazillion 18650's. (Methane is not liquefiable at room temperature) Would offer near-zero pollution and silence, combined with longer range and quick refuel. Maybe would need a startup time of a few minutes on the first drive of the day, but hey we can live with that.

The methane fuel cell actually has loads of applications for home heating and power if its cost could be brought down. Key advantage is that you could use nearly 100% of the energy in the gas, some for heating, some for electricity. OK in Oz you maybe wonder why on earth anyone would want to put heat into their house :phew: but believe me you need it here.
 


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