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Back in the 1970s Jack Nicholson drove around in a Chevy that was almost standard - apart from large hydrogen cylinders in the boot, a slightly altered carburettor and a refreshing plume of water vapour from the exhaust.
This technology will totally revolutionize suicides!
- Jack Nicholson
America was grappling with familiar issues: high gas prices and dependence on foreign imports, so Jack's investment seemed like a safe bet. Hydrogen is the most abundant energy source, silicon is the second-most common element on earth and the company owned a silicon mine.
The plan was to use the silicon to create a solar PV array in Nevada / California. once installed, this would provide zero-emission hydrogen extraction which would be combined with metal in an inert white powder and supplied via independently-owned hydrogen service stations.
We'd love to know what became of the company behind this technology. As the presenter said: "any engine will run on it" - the ingredients of a conspiracy theorist's dream!
There are hundreds of Google ads advertising simple 'HHO' conversions for your petrol-engined car to run on hydrogen, but according to engine-conversion specialists United Nuclear:
Any claim of fueling a car with water, and having the water converted to Hydrogen quickly enough to power a passenger vehicle is pure B.S. The bottom line is simple physics.
It takes electrical energy to break the Hydrogen-Oxygen bond in water and release the free gases... and that takes time. The more energy applied to the water, the faster the gasses will evolve... up to a point. - United Nuclear
United Nuclear's Hydrogen Fuel System Kit apparently converts existing petrol engines to run on Hydrogen. Complete kits will be available for various late-model cars & trucks as well as individual system components for those who choose to assemble their own kits. Since there are no major changes made to your engine, you can still run your vehicle on Gasoline at any time. They claim to have covered over 50,000 trouble-free miles in their prototype vehicles and are in final preparation for sales to the general public.
United Nuclear's biggest road-block is the US Federal and State legislation. The 'Hydrogen Fuel System Kit' is an intermediate approach that simply converts your existing vehicle to burn Hydrogen or Gasoline. The stock Gasoline fuel injection system remains intact and is not modified in any way. It is shut down while the Hydrogen fuel system is activated. The Hydrogen gas is precisely metered into the air intake of the engine while the exhaust gasses are continuously analyzed for correct burn ratio. This allows you to switch between running on Gasoline or Hydrogen at any time.
The engine itself is only slightly modified, the conversion makes substantial changes to the computer & electrical system, ignition and cooling systems. Since they never have to be removed, Hydrogen fuel storage (Hydride tanks) can be installed in virtually any available space within the vehicle.
The basic system consists of two parts, the Hydrogen fuel system in your vehicle, and a Hydrogen generating system that remains in your garage. The Hydrogen generator is either powered by Solar electric panels or a wind turbine set-up, either of which makes Hydrogen fuel at virtually no cost.