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The water-powered car race heats up still further
Source: BI-ME , Author: Moussa Ahmad
Posted: Tue July 22, 2008 12:00 am

INTENATIONAL. The Ethos Group of Switzerland reports that it has finished preliminary negotiations and CEO Peter Aldred is flying back to Manila to meet with Daniel Dingle for their next meeting on 8 August.

Ethos is working very closely in conjunction with Daniel Dingle, who was one of the first people in the world to convert his car to run on ordinary tap water way back in 1968. The firm has set up a new foundation to help bring these products to the world whilst helping Dingle to raise money to help his fellow Filipino people, called the Dingle Foundation.

But the competition is now hot on their heals. An inventor from Sri Lanka, Thushara Priyamal Edirisinghe may have the ideal solution for the daily hikes in world oil prices. Thushara, a 25-year-old from Athurugiriya, is the creator of what could be a ground-breaking technology of powering a car by water, using an extremely low amount of electricity.

According to the the young inventor, the generator he has designed is capable of running a motor car for 80 kilometres using only one litre of water, without any danger to life or any impact on the environment.

The energy required to power the vehicle is produced by the splitting off of H2O (water) into separate hydrogen and oxygen molecules, of which the former is burnt according to a specified ratio to produce the energy needed to power the engine.

”The technology of using water to produce hydrogen gas has been existing for the past 60 years. In certain countries, water-powered vehicles have also been produced using hydrogen found in water.

The specialty of my invention is its ability to produce this energy from water with a minimal electric current of barely 0.5 amperes, which was not possible earlier,” Thushara told local reporters.

Thushara, on his test run of the water-powered car, has travelled all the way to Anuradhapura and back on a mere three litres of water, a journey that would have cost several thousand rupees on a petrol or diesel vehicle.

”This generator could be fixed to any petrol or diesel vehicle with suitable adjustments depending on their cylinder capacity. While hydrogen is 1,000 times faster than petrol, the exhausts of water-powered vehicles consisting of water vapour are also entirely eco-friendly. Using water as opposed to oil that react with lubricating oil would also extend the life of the vehicle,” he added

Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka who met the talented youth this week extended the government’s fullest support to his efforts to introduce the water-powered car to the Sri Lankan market.

The premier also pledged to provide facilities for the venture including a plot of land to carry out the conversion of fuel-powered engines to water-powered ones, bank loans, and other support.

“A number of foreign companies from the United States, Australia and Korea approached me to buy the technology behind this invention. But, I have decided to put my creation to use in way that helps the development of my country,” Thushara said.

Another water-powered car that runs at the equivalent of 150-miles-per-gallon has been created by a British university lecturer. The car, named Microcab, is powered by a hydrogen cell and has been unveiled as an environmentally-friendly solution to inner-city motoring. John Jostins, from Coventry University, has worked on the ultra-light, taxi-style vehicle for eight years.

Holding four people and with a top speed of 30mph, he hopes it could solve the cost and harmful emissions of oil.

"My passion is developing alternative fuels to reduce noisy pollution and improve air quality in cities," he said. "Microcab is completely silent and its only emission is water vapour."

Jostins, a senior lecturer in design and digital media, said he hopes to run a series of pilot schemes around the UK to help him refine the design.

"How it takes off from there depends on whether petrol stations begin to offer hydrogen on their forecourts," he said.

"But with the scare over oil shortages and rising petrol costs it's definitely a question of when, not if, we need to find alternative fuels." The fuel cell has been developed by Loughborough University while the car has been designed and built by Jostins in collaboration with Coventry University's commercial arm.

Another Japanese company Genepax has also presented its eco-friendly car that runs on nothing but water. The car has an energy generator that extracts hydrogen from water that is poured into the car's tank. The generator then releases electrons that produce electric power to run the car. Genepax, the company that invented the technology, aims to collaborate with Japanese manufacturers to mass produce it.

So the battle continues in this race against time and it will be very interesting now to see who wins this incredible race.

The Ethos Research and Development Department, headed by Professor Steven Gallant, has many interesting new products that it is working on, including its latest supplemental hydrogen products that are simply fitted to any petrol or diesel vehicle to greatly reduce their fuel consumption and also their harmful emissions:

"We have been absolutely amazed by the ever-growing list of haulage firms, mining companies, bus companies, taxi firms and private users the world over queuing up to be one of the first to try our new Ethos HydroGenX systems", said Ethos CEO Peter Aldred.

"The mining company that I am personally working with on fuel saving trials spend over US$40 million a year on fuel and any positive steps they can take now to combat these almost daily increases has to be one of their highest priorities to protect their bottom line. Hydrogen is the fuel of the future; it is here now and we should have been allowed to use it 30 years ago when Daniel Dingle first converted his car to run on ordinary tap water. Now, over 30 years further down the road of oil wars and global warming there is now no other viable alternative. Hydrogen is cheap, it is clean and it is safe. The time is now to demand it, it is our right," Aldred said.

"This isn't a luxury item nor is it a fad. HydroGenX is already the most sought after cost reducing, environment saving, tax evading product that all users are searching for. Any website reporting on the hydrogen products which do the most for their readers will soon be reporting us, and now you know why."

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