T Nation

Hydrogen Boosters aka Hydrogen Assist


So theres this device that acitvely makes hydrogen and oxygen using electolysis that takes advantage of the extra electricity your car's alternator produces, and diverts this gas into your intake manifolds. Supposedly, people are getting on the order of 20-50% mileage gains on their vehicles.

Anyone tried anything like this? And before you naysayers start blabbing about the second law of therodynamics, I'm well versed. I don't think this is effective simply due to energy production - my theory is that the simultaneous comustion of multiple combustibles in the combustion chamber has a synergistic effect and/or acts as a catalyst to the processes already taking place, making them more efficient.

links? I only have a few, and sadly, nothing to mainstream media - I couldn't find ANY coverage of this!! www.waterpoweredcar.com and www.hydrogen-boost.com

the latter is very commercially oriented, so must be taken with a grain of salt, but the first one is free info and plans, and is comprised of dudes who are DIYers...


The "water powered car" is a load of utter crap. Water is a stable substance, it doesn't have the chemical energy to power anything (and note I said CHEMICAL energy before anyone blathers about waterwheels or hydroelectric generators).

What do you get when you burn hydrogen? That's right, water. Water is the the "ash" of hydrogen. Its chemical energy has already been released. To use it again you have to re-input the energy, by electrolyzing the water. And nonsense about "synergism" be damned, you're not getting more energy out of the process than you put into it. The more electricity you use to create the hydrogen, the bigger the drain on the engine.

Seriously, do people think this wouldn't be in widespread use already if it actually worked? Oh, right, the automakers wouldn't let them produce it. I guess China, Japan, and other nations choose to stay dependent on foreign oil because foreign automakers make strategic decisions for them.

For more info on Meyer's "invention", google "Brown's Gas Scam".


Hm...I actually checked out the links and it looks sketchy at best. A search for John Houseman at the JPL site yields nothing.

While it's sketchy, it's not as completely dismissible as the water-powered car. Sure you probably could theoretically go like 100 miles on a gallon of water.

But umm...the electricity to electrolyze it has to come from somewhere.


It is not impossible depends how much extra electricity a car produces. Burning petrol to power a car is not 100% efficient that's for sure - it is sloppy as can be. So it probably is possible to setup something like this. Another thing to do would be hook up the battery to charge when the car is braking, that is a good way to save some energy.

It is not magic it is just turning a system that is say 60% efficient into something that is perhaps 70% efficient (I pulled those figures out of me hat)


These are actualy some very promising developements. No excess hydrgen to go kaboom, the catalysts are recaptured and re-used, and the retro fits are pretty simple. One Canadian developer is allready in licensing with G.M.

They should be in wide use very soon.


What part of "before you naysayers start blabbing about the second law of thermodynamics" didn't you get? Firstly, internal combustion is rather inefficient, and cars produce quite a bit of surplus electricity. Secondly, we're not talking about a self contained system.

Besides, using your logic, superchargers are a bunch of crap and could never work either because you can't get more energy out of a system than you put into it. Why do you think superchargers aren't in every car in the world? They OBVIOUSLY don't work.

We can sit around theorizing about shit all fucking day long, but the ONLY WAY TO KNOW IF IT WORKS IS TO TRY IT. Scientists once said that space travel was impossible, and that computers would forever be the size of a huge room.

If this DOES work, I the the reason it hasn't been encorporated wide-scale is mutifaceted - one, fuel has been fairly cheap until recently. two, people's knee-jerk reaction to the concept is just like yours... they dismiss it without even trying it or really even thinking about it, despite the fact that there may be going on with the reaction than we are consciously concieving. third, it's a fairly new idea and I don't think all the ramifications about having water vapor travel through your cylinder heads and exhaust have been discovered just yet.

I'm not trying to say, "dude this is awesome, lets all go out and buy it" - I'm trying to say, "if this is so impossible and such bullshit, then why are people making it themselves and proclaiming such great results?" That's why I posted this - I wanted to know if anyone here has tried it or knows anyone who has. I know it may contradict high school physics, but that doesn't mean it doesnt' work.


I agree with pretty much most of what you say, but if it contradicts physics, either physics is wrong (highly unlikely since macroscopic phenomena are well described, in fact thermo is the most complete theory we have), the idea is wrong, or we who are thinking about it missed something.

So in this case, either we missed something or the idea is wrong.

But yeah, the people who posted here already are right that the gasoline power is horribly inefficient already so it's not that amazing to gain like a 20% increase in fuel efficiency.


Trying to use forced induction as a counterexample just proves you don't have a clue.


You obviously misunderstood my point. The point is that AT FIRST GLANCE, you could say that pressurizing your intake by using torque from the engine could not result in more energy than it expends. However, when you break it down and really think about WHY forced induction works, it really makes sense because there's MORE OXYGEN IN THE CHAMBER TO BE CONSUMED, and the FUEL BURNS MORE EFFECTIVELY.

Now, if one were to increase the amount of oxygen in the intake by ANOTHER means, say, by pumping Oxygen directly INTO THE INTAKE, we would see a similar result.

At the VERY LEAST, this could result in a SMALL gain in efficiency by essentially recycling energy expended by the engine to turn the alternator.

At the VERY BEST, it could be acting as a catalyst to the process at work, resulting in a dramatic increase in efficiency due to an increase in the effectiveness of the existing system.

I'm trying to say that we may be missing something here - making assumptions about this before thinking it through is as silly as making the assumption that a supercharger doesn't work.


GM's regulated voltage control system is probably a better way to reduce alternator waste. It can give you about a 1 percent gain in fuel efficiency under normal driving conditions, and also increases battery life. Using the extra power for electrolysis could potentially give you a bit more gain than that, but it would mean adding a lot of doodads to the car. RVC only requires solid state doodads.


Sounds like a hybrid. Instead of recharging the battery when driving it produces hydrogen.

The hydrogen is then burned and improves gas mileage. Gas is still required.

It would only use the energy that is currently wasted not create energy.

Possible but likely impractical.


This is how the the hybrids on the market work.


Exactly the same idea a hybrid - but the cool thing about it is (er, if it works) that you can easily construct and install a unit in your vehicle for about $30 and an afternoon.

I'm not saying this is a "fix" for gas powered cars, but maybe a way to make those vehicles more efficient. I'm thinkin' I'm gonna try it on my beat up old ford bronco.



superchargers, turbochargers, and nitrous oxide all increase horsepower and torque by adding more oxygen to the engine, which allows more fuel to be combusted.

it is a common misperception that forced induction and nitrous increase the efficiency of the combustion of the fuel; it only allows more fuel to be burned.


Let me get this right. There is excess electricity generated by the alternater that isnt used? I gather this can be shown by the fact you can install further electrical equipment in the car without effecting performance? (besides weight down).

And you want to utilise this energy by producing a fuel that can be burnt to get more milage.

Cool. I dont think the first few posters got it. Standard water car debate which i agree with but i can see what your getting at.

Energy balancing out doesnt really seem to apply in this case. As you allready have the energy there, just being wasted. The question is how well would it work? Alternators donnt produce that much energy.


I don't know about your HS physics class, but it doesn't contradict the laws of physics. Anyone who says it does is a retard. A simple calorimetry experiment or homework problem in a HS chemistry textbook will prove you wrong.

You should know (or at least be informed) that more complete oxidation means more CO2 (gasp!).


What I mean is that it SEEMS to contradict the laws of physics until you understand all the elements at work.

CO2 emmisions can remain the same by decreasing the ammount of fuel used, hece using less gas.


FINALLY someone gets the point of what I'm saying. I'm really curious to find out if it actually WORKS.


I doubt it works worth a shit.

There have been tons of gimmicks like this developed and they never work.