Water Fuel

Science Digest ( October 1979 )
Excerpt --
Mixture of Gasoline and Water May Power Your Car's Engine
by Simon Marsh

... Another inventor, Tom Munson, in England, says he has produced a fuel containing 95 % water plus a secret ingredient which could be fed straight into an ordinary car without the need for special pumping units.

Independent tests are said to have shown that the mixture worked, but Munson abandoned the project after British tax authorities declared that he would have to pay tax on every gallon...

Fuel for an internal combustion engine

A fuel for an internal combustion engine comprises an aqueous emulsion comprising an aqueous emulsion of wax and/or gum and a liquid that is miscible with the said emulsion and that yields a combustible vapour.

This invention relates to a fuel and more particularly but not exclusively to a fuel that can be used for an internal combustion engine and that is compatible with conventional fuels.

According to the present invention there is provided a fuel comprising an aqueous emulsion of wax and/or gum and a liquid that is miscible with the said emulsion and that yields a combustible vapour.

It has been known for some time to burn hydrocarbon fuels in the presence of water or steam. However, because many hydrocarbon fuels, notably petrol, are immiscible with water the generally accepted method of introducing water to a combustion chamber was by injecting them in the form of steam and/or under high pressure. The fuel according to the present invention, however, does not require any such measures since the water is in the form of an aqueous emulsion that is miscible with a hydrocarbon fuel.

Thus the fuel according to the invention is also miscible with conventional fuels and it can therefore be used, for example, in the tank of a car, without any special steps being taken to prevent conventional fuel in the tank coming into contact with it.

The proportion of wax and/or gum in the emulsion and the proportion of emulsion to be mixed with liquid having a combustible vapour will depend upon the type of fuel required. It will be understood that, as the proportion of wax and/or gum is increased, the specific gravity of the fuel is increased.

It will also be understood that the calorific value of the fuel is inter alia dependent on the combustible element in the fuel. It has been determined for example that a fuel suitable for a four-stroke internal combustion engine can be formulated with the wax and/or gum, water and combustible liquid in the ratio of 1:4:2 by volume.

The waxes that are preferably used in the present invention are the commercially available waxes known as "cera" and "lanette". Gums that may be used include acacia and tragacanth. In order to form the emulsion, the mixture of wax and gum with water is heated under pressure in a pressure vessel. If desired during such heating the combustible liquid is also introduced into the pressure vessel or alternatively the combustible liquid is added to the emulsion after it has been cooled.

Combustible liquids that can be used in the present invention include alcohols such as methanol and ethanol, ketones such as acetone and methyl ethyl ketone, monocyclic substituted and unsubstituted aromatic hydrocarbons such as benzene, toluene and camphor, and petroleum distillates such as naphtha.

The fuel according to the invention may also include additives, such as are used in conventional fuels. When benzene is included in the fuel it has been found advantageous to add iodine. Borax and/or a dilute solution of ammonium hydroxide may also be added if desired.

The following example further illustrates the invention:


15 grams of "cera" wax and 15 grams of sodium were placed in a pressure vessel of 725 ml overall capacity. A second pressure vessel containing, but not filled with, water was connected to the first mentioned pressure vessel by means of a tube which led from below the water level in the second vessel to the top of the first vessel. The second vessel was then heated and water then flowed from the second vessel to the first vessel until the pressure in both vessels was equal.

After cooling the mixture in the first vessel was filtered and the filtrate subjected to the same treatment as described above. The resulting mixture was then filtered and the filtrate combined with methanol in the proportion 1 part by volume filtrate to 10.4 part by volume methanol.

The fuel thus produced was tested in a one-cylinder four-stroke internal combustion engine. The engine started from cold and was found to perform in a manner superior to that when conventional petrol was used.

The inner walls of the emulsifier must be kept at the same temperature, even on change over of cycles, heat loss during formulation would bring down flash-point considerably. An even temperature is of the utmost importance.

In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention a dilute ammonia solution is added to a fuel formulation as a cleansing agent.

This has no detrimental effects on formulation, and cuts out a great deal of hard work, e.g. cleaning the inner walls of sludge in the known method of tank separation.