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British scientists 'invent artificial petrol' that could cost just 90p per Gallon

 
 
 
 
 
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Petrol price relief? Stephen Voller, chief executive of Cella Energy said he is confident the new fuel will work in existing cars.

Artificial petrol that costs 19p per litre could be on forecourts in as little as three years.

British scientists are refining the recipe for a hydrogen-based fuel that will run in existing cars and engines at the fraction of the cost of conventional petrol.

With hydrogen at its heart rather than carbon, it will not produce any harmful emissions when burnt, making it better for the environment, as well as easier on the wallet.

The first road tests are due next year and, if all goes well, the cut-price ‘petrol’ could be on sale in three to five years.

Professor Stephen Bennington, the project’s lead scientist, said: ‘In some senses, hydrogen is the perfect fuel. It has three times more energy than petrol per unit of weight, and when it burns, it produces nothing but water.

‘Our new hydrogen storage materials offer real potential for running cars, planes and other vehicles that currently use hydrocarbons.’

The fuel is expected to cost around $1.50 a gallon, or 19p a litre. Even with fuel taxes, the forecourt price is likely to be around 60p a litre – less than half the current cost.

That would bring the price of filling a 70-litre Ford Mondeo down to around £42.

Energy from hydrogen can be harnessed by burning the gas or combining it with oxygen in a fuel cell to produce electricity.

But current methods of storing hydrogen are expensive and not very safe.

How it works: Cella Energy is optimistic that drivers will not need to modify their cars in order to use the fuel.

To get round this, scientists from the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, near Oxford, University College London and Oxford University have found a way of densely packing hydrogen into tiny beads that can be poured or pumped like a liquid.

Stephen Volker, of Cellar Energy, which is developing the technology, told Gizmag: ‘We have developed micro-beads that can be used in an existing gasoline or petrol vehicle to replace oil-based fuels.

Green energy: A hydrogen fuel bus in London. Unlike existing 'green' fuels the new fuel under development will not require motorists to upgrade their vehicles.

‘Early indications are that the micro-beads can be used in existing vehicles without engine modification. The materials are hydrogen-based, and so when used produce no carbon emissions at the point of use, in a similar way to electric vehicles.’

A tankful of the artificial petrol, which has yet to be given a brand name, is expected to last 300 to 400 miles, in line with conventional fuel.

But AA president Edmund King warned: ‘The fact the hydrogen is cheaper now doesn’t mean it always will be because the Government would soon get its hands on it and increase the tax.’

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  • Baron Gifilte

    My fuel cell technology utilizes naturally occuring radiation that you can find in any reactor core,it uses berilium and the like to generate a Neutron beam that converts water to steam and thus to locomotion.

    It’s not rocket science as escape velocity is not a requirement of many domestic situations.

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  • sathyan

    Curse in Disguise

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  • Baron Gifilte

    What we really need is no artificial government denegrating the consumer via taxation.

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    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  • raybojabo

    Sorry. General Electric does’nt own this, so Immelt’s puppet, Odumbo will never allow it.

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  • William Allfree

    The scientists who invented this will have a very short life expectancy and at least one will probably end up like Dr David Kelley after leaving a suicide note saying it was all a hoax.

    You REALLY think that the oild companies and the UK Govt who use motor fuel as a cash cow, will ever allow this? You must be crazy!

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  • Vlad the Impaler

    Baron,
    what do you mean by “my fuel cell techology”?
    have u got a nuclear reactor in ur backyard? Or are you considering all of us monkeys?
    You must have bought this technology from Tesco or Wall Mart,isnt it?

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  • Baron Gifilte

    Well,that’s one way to do it,but unoriginal.
    No,my method uses Radon harvesting.
    And Plutonium from the Goverments dispersion scheme at Sellafield.

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  • Cool Jules

    If it’s true that will upset a few arabs and that can only be a good thing :)

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  • Jean-Francois Morf

    for creating H2, you need energy…

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  • Jack Longchamp

    What most people forget is that you are allowed to smoke
    when you fill´er up with hydrogen, no danger at all.
    That alone makes the scheme worthwhile !
    However only Baron gets the hang of it, this is the way to go, he-he.

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