Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsChemistry · 6 months ago

Why can't chemists find a way to make water burn in the air so we can use water instead of oil to power up engines?

Can't they just add some molecules or something that would modify the atomic structure of water and make it combustive?

9 Answers

  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

    Be advised - troll alert

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  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

    You add just 1 oxygen atom to good old H2O and you have hydrogen peroxide which is quite a decent fuel.

  • 6 months ago

    Well, that notion is nothing new, but no form of energy comes free.

    Using electrolysis, water can be broken apart to form oxygen and hydrogen, then recombined to form a combustible gas. Clean burning I might add.

    Maybe search up Stanly Meyer's water fuel cell and see they have powered cars, generated electricity and used for gas lighting.

    Go to Walmart, buy a flashlight for $40 that uses nothing but water to provide its power.

    Big oil will spend trillions to suppress such technology, doesn't mean it can't be had.

    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    that would be terribly dumb...very very dumb.....we would be destroying water on earth...irreplaceable water...over time who knows...maybe all of it

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  • 6 months ago


    first, water is aready completely burned hydrogen

    so it cannot be burned further

    second, adding molecules to water as you say is sort of possble

    like C12H22O11 which is C12(H2O)11, a carbohydrate (sucrose)

    and that is flammable but it is NOT water

    it is and ENTIRELY different compound

    When you get a good response,

    please consider giving a best answer.

    This is the only reward we get.

    • ILoveCoffee
      Lv 5
      6 months agoReport

      Well there you go, so it can be done? a new compound made out of water that is flammable. Why can't this new compound be mass produced in a lab and used to power up engines?

  • 6 months ago

    Make water burn....

    Sure. No problem. I do it with my students every semester. All we do is start with water, add a bit of an electrolyte (NaOH, H2SO4 or NaHCO3), pass some electricity through it, collect the hydrogen which is fed into a fuel cell which produces electricity to power the electric motor in a car (albeit a toy car).

    There's only one catch. It takes more electricity to break down the water into hydrogen and oxygen than you get back from the fuel cell. If you used the same technique for real cars it does have the advantage of doing away with that really long extension cord.

    In all seriosity, it's all about energy and the bugger that water itself does not undergo combustion. The oxygen in water is already as reduced as much as it can be, and the hydrogen is as oxidized as it can be.


    |.....................* <--------- activated complex

    |................* .......*

    | *....*.... * <---------------- H2 and O2 (reactants)



    |..................................* ....* ......* <--- H2O (product)



    ...... Reaction Pathway

    Water is lower in energy than the reactants. There is no product lower than water in energy. "Burning" water would not produce a product which is lower in energy. Therefore, water is as low as it gets on the energy scale.

  • 6 months ago

    Physics is not easily avoided, and water does not burn.

  • Ludwig
    Lv 6
    6 months ago

    They have there was this one guy and he was told by all the big oil companies that he could have as much money from them as he wanted if he just gave them the patent and never told anybody about it.

    • Roger the Mole
      Lv 7
      6 months agoReport

      And the name of this one guy is...? And the patent number, which is public information, is...?

  • 6 months ago

    If it were possible it would have been done a long time ago.

    Putting it another way: Water is the product of burning petroleum products, the same way as ashes are the product of burning charcoal. So your proposal is the same as saying: All the BBQ charcoal got burnt up, so let's burn the ashes.

    Putting it yet another way: There is no energy in water to be had, as pisgahchemist has explained in detail in his last paragraph.

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