Salt Water Can "Burn," Scientist Confirms

September 14, 2007

Salt water can indeed burn when exposed to a certain kind of radio wave, a university chemist has confirmed.

Rustum Roy of Pennsylvania State University verified earlier this month that the radio waves break the water into its components, allowing the resulting freed hydrogen and oxygen to catch fire.

Independent scientists said the phenomenon is credible as explained, though practical applications of the technology remain uncertain and it's unlikely to be a source of cheap energy.

"It seems like, to me, an interesting set of processes that's been uncovered," said George Sverdrup, a technology manager at the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado.

"That doesn't say much for its applicability or any possibility for the marketplace, though, at this point."

Accidental Discovery

John Kanzius of Sanibel, Florida, first happened upon the phenomenon earlier this year when running experiments with a radio frequency generator he designed to help zap cancer cells.

When he trained the radio waves on a test tube of salt water, it produced an unexpected spark, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Curious, Kanzius and colleagues decided to ignite the water with a match. The water lit and kept burning as long as it remained in the radio frequency field.

Pennsylvania State University's Roy then followed up, intrigued by the technology's potential applications for desalination and hydrogen fuel.

He found that the phenomenon works by breaking water into oxygen, hydrogen, and salt. The hydrogen is combustible and will burn as long as it remains within the radio frequency field.

He held public demonstrations last Thursday.

Continued on Next Page >>


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