Creating Bottled Water From Hydrogen Fuel Cell Engines

(DrysonBennington) #1

Here is an idea that no one has thought of.

The Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bottled Water Company

The engine itself would be set up in protected area where it would operate continually 24 hours, 365 days a year, except during maintenance.

Since the by-product emission is water the water could be collected, filtered and then bottled up an consumed like another other bottled water.

There are 128 ounces in a gallon of water. A single Hydrogen Fuel Cell Engine makes 20,716 gallons of water a year. That equals 2,651,648 fluid ounces of water divided by a 20 ounce bottle equals 132,582.4 20 ounce bottles of water that could be sold for $2.50 generating a revenue of $331,456 dollars a year from a single Hydrogen Fuel Cell Engine.

The added advantage is that the engine would provide electrical power while it was operating as it would be connected to a generator.

(Yiole Gionglao) #2

And where does the hydrogen come from?

Water + crapton electricity = hydrogen + oxygen
Hydrogen + oxygen = little electricity + water

Manufacturing hydrogen consumes 50% more energy than it creates when burning it. So if you want water in a place, just transport it -which, btw, is a lot safer than handling hydrogen.

(lilsteel) #3

Putting water in a battery before charging it.

(Solonius Rex) #4

Seems like a costly method of creating a simple bottle of water.

Have you given up on EVE and are now trying to be a bottled water salesman, Dryson? Did Code finally defeat you?

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(LordOdysseus) #5

There is Slingshot. But I also like any alternatives.

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(lilsteel) #6

Slingshot is almost like a waste-water purification system which they would use to recycle water for chemical process to create other manufacturing with it, such as would be used in space for fuel and what not.

(DrysonBennington) #7

Like an internal-combustion engine , they make power by using fuel from a tank (though the fuel is pressurized hydrogen gas rather than gasoline or diesel). But, unlike an engine , a fuel cell doesn’t burn the hydrogen . Instead, it’s fused chemically with oxygen from the air to make water.

The benefits of such as system are easy too see. Although the creation of water would take some time, maybe a week or two before having enough on hand to drink as well as having stored up, the electricity generated from the shaft turning inside of the generator would be immediate.

The HFCE could be used in remote places such as mountainous regions where hikers travel or just placed in random areas as a means of emergency survival. The electrical power generated would be more than enough to recharge cell phones or video cameras along with having a supply crate full of emergency gear such as rechargeable lamps, heaters, a tent, etc. that the person or group could use until rescued.

Being innovative keeps your mind active and healthy, unlike the minds of CODE.

(Yiole Gionglao) #8


If you want water and/or electricity in that place, just transport water and/or electricity to that place. It will be simpler, cheaper, more profficent and quite less dangerous than transporting hydrogen.

Trasporting hydrogen to a remote place is more expensive, more complex and more dangerous than transporting water or electricity, always.

(JC Mieyli) #9

they already do this in space look up sabatier

(M Cincinnatus) #10

I have to agree that hydrogen fuel cells are just too inefficient. The idea may have been feasible if they were invented and in mass production decades ago, but now with new more efficient technologies, they are likely a dead-end.

Fog harvesting and dew harvesting are technologies that already exist, however there is a new promising technology that can pull water from even dry desert air using metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). 4kg of material can pull out 1 liter of water/day, and that’s just the prototype.

MIT News: Water from desert air

MOFs plus solar generators could mean people possibly living completely independently off the grid with unlimited water and electricity using some of the most efficient technology yet.

@DrysonBennington You are thinking outside the box, and hopefully I’m not too much a party pooper. Technology progresses almost exponentially these days it seems, but it’s still reassuring to see people such as yourself thinking big.

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(Yiole Gionglao) #11

Well, that thing with the MOF’s is just yet-another-glorified-dehumidifier (YAGD) and as all other YAGDs it’s bullsheet. Thermodinamics are a harsh mistress and you can’t bypass them with technology.

in ideal conditions (80% humidity at 35 º C), a high profficency dehumidifer may remove about 1 liter per kilowatt/hour, which quickly falls down to 0.3 liters when humidity is below 60%, and most electrical dehumidifers just won’t remove any moisture below 40% relative humidity.

In a desert with humidty around 10%, it will take about 4.5 kilowatt/hour per liter (minimum abolute it’s 2.26 kilowat/hour per liter, divided by efficency which rarely is above 40%). And frankly, if you got the money it costs 4.5 kilowatts hour per liter, just transporting the water from elsewhere turns to be cheaper…

(M Cincinnatus) #12

Hmmmm… Did you even read the article? :thinking:

The test device was powered solely by sunlight…

(DrysonBennington) #13

That is a really interesting device. Much more creative than the HFCE idea to say the least.

Producing a quarter-liter of water per day in a desert environment would surely be beneficial for someone who gets stranded in the desert while out exploring it.

Would the device work on the surface of Mars to harvest any available water?

(M Cincinnatus) #14

This is not my field of study, and I’m certainly not an MIT scientist, I just read a lot. :sweat_smile:

There is water ice on Mars’ poles and supposedly minuscule amounts of water vapor in the atmosphere. So all we can do is speculate on positives and negatives of what the device could do on Mars.


  • Mars atmosphere is very thin, < 1% Earth atmosphere IIRC
  • Temperatures on Mars are generally very cold, -100F at night near the equator


  • Water vapor does exist in Mars atmosphere, although in extremely minuscule quantities
  • Theoretically there is a great deal of water ice locked up in the poles and underground.
  • Temperatures on Mars can reach up to 70F during the day near the equator
  • The device can supposedly extract water from air even in subzero dew points
  • The device only needs sunlight to operate, although in theory it may be able to operate on waste heat.

At this point, all I can say is, I don’t know. :man_shrugging: However, considering how thin the atmosphere is on Mars, if the device was able to pull water out, it would likely not be a useful amount. But, if by the time humankind has a thriving colony on Mars, likely we would by then have access to the asteroid belt, therefore possibly having nearly limitless resources. Terraforming Mars may be possible afterwards, and such devices may eventually be useful on Mars.

(Yiole Gionglao) #15

Well, after reading the article AND the paper AND the supplementary data for the paper, it turns that they used electricity, namely a 12 v / 0.9 watt fan to move air towards the adsorbent layer by night. The nigh adsorption phase lasted 8 hours per cycle so that’s 7.2 watts/hours and they produced an estimate of 0.75 grams of water, with a theoretical usable production of about 0.2 grams.

It’s a tiny device so the numbers are risky to escalate, but assuming that on larger devices they could keep the same proportion and use most of the water harvested instead of just a third (escalating from 0.75 grams per 7.2 watts/hour), that would mean a power consumption of 9.6 kw/h per liter.

That’s not accounting the work (=power consumption) involved in opening the condensation chamber so air flows by night then closing it by day to reach saturation and condensation, then extracting the water before night temperature causes the adsorption MOF to adsorb back moisture from the condensation chamber (thus reversing the effect)… And also would be assuming that passive radiation would be enough to remove the condensation heat by day (if mechanical cooling was needed, that would mean even more electricity for fans).

All in all, this YAGD is different from the rest in that it can work with extremely low humidity and low thermal gradients, but the energy consumption to feed enough air (and thus water) to the adsorber might be impractical as happens in one way or another with all other YAGDs who promise “water from the air”.

Thermodinamics are a harsh mistress and you can’t bypass them with technology. :tipping_hand_woman:

(M Cincinnatus) #16

Admittedly I am a layman in this subject as I’ve mentioned earlier. But I have not seen this term before, the kW/h. I’m only more familiar with the term kilowatt hour (kWh). One watt = 1 Joule/sec, so what exactly is a kW/h if that translates into 1000 Joules/sec/hr? If there is any remote interest, I’d be mildly curious if some other expert would weigh in on this.

Funny story, I have a “broken” portable A/C that lost its ability to recycle condensation, so it just leaks like crazy, and now outputs at least 2 gallons/day over a 10 hour period, for 60 gallons/month during at least 70%+ humidity during summer. My electricity bill only increases by $50/month during this time, but if I go to nearest Costco, a 6 gallon pack of water will run me around $5, which ends up being about the same, $50 for 60 gallons/month of water.

It’s not desert conditions, and therefore not comparable to the specs of the MIT device, but the “broken” A/C was not designed to harvest water, and is not exactly efficient for the job either. Just thought it may be funny as one way to survive a zombie apocalypse, for water needs at least, if someone had an A/C and enough solar panels to run it… :grimacing:

I’m not sure what the point of your post is, or if you’re just trolling for an argument. I’m not really that invested in this subject, I just thought the new discovery was interesting.

Although some discoveries turn out to be fraudulent, it is exceedingly rare, and this is MIT we are talking about which has world reknowned reputation. The article states that the device produces net water using minimal energy. So sorry, until something is proven fraudulent about the device, I’m just more inclined to believe MIT scientists over a rando from the internet. :woman_shrugging:

(Yiole Gionglao) #17

Dude, kw/h is the same as kwh, just I am not a native English speaker so sometimes I don’t know how you write stuff. :woman_shrugging:

However you write it, it’s a kilowatt for an hour, or 1,000 joules/second for 3,600 seconds.

As for the device, the problem is with the energy spent gathering the air that supplies humidity to the adsorber. It means that the device can’t gather enough water on its own and requires being fed with air, which means it consumes electricity, and comparing that electricity in its tiny scale to the units used in larger scale, it turns that it uses MORE energy than humidifiers. Admittedly it works in conditions where no conventional dehumidifier would work, but once accounted the energy consumed, it’s cheaper to just transport the water from elsewhere. 9.6 kwh per liter are 34,560,000 joules, that’s a little more energy than what a liter of gasoline contains (31,536,00 joules per liter). Assuming a ICE vehicle efficency of 25%, we can estimate how far could we transport 0.25 liters of water with one liter of gasoline.

Let’s say we use a tanker truck, with a capacity of 15,000 liters of water, and our “energy budget” it’s up to 4 liters of gasoline per liter of water transported. How many kilometers could we drive a loaded tanker truck with 60,000 liters of gasoline? According to a internet article I found, a 16 ton truck in India covers about 4 kilometers per liter (of gasoil); that’s half of what they could do in developed country road networks, but let’s load the nubmers in favor of the MIT. So with 60,000 liters of gasoline, the energy equivalent to it, we could transport a liter of water over 240,000 kilometers with the same energy usage as this revolutionary device put together by the MIT.

(Of course, operating a truck to transport water is a lot more expensive than just consuming electricity, but as you might notice the energy proficency of transporting water is miles above that of powering a dehumidifier. Even accounting for actual transportation costs, it’s cheaper to ship water over 300 km than to power a large scale “water from air” device, and this MIT device apparently would use twice that power. So if you’re in a desert and there’s a road and a water source closer than 600 km, transporting the water in a tanker would beat the MIT device)

Why I keep repeating that thermodinamics are a harsh mistress, it’s because I want to stress that technology can’t break the laws of physics, and gathering water from the air it’s very difficult because of physics, not by lack of technical savvy. It’s not something that we don’t do regularly because we don’t know how, but because it’s not practical. It costs a lot of energy and more often than not that energy is better spent just transporting the water.

(M Cincinnatus) #18

Math is supposed to be a universal language, and terms are VERY important to convey that language. I am skeptical to believe that kW/h = kWh in any language, and it makes one suspicious on your math work. But whatevs, as I’ve said, I am just not that invested in this subject.

The claim by the article is still that there is net water harvested for minimal energy by this device. If you have a problem with that, then your argument is not with me, it is with MIT. How about writing them a sternly worded letter? The article is out there for anyone to come to there own conclusions… :nerd_face:

(M Cincinnatus) #19

Ah, holy F’n crap, this is why I don’t like being invested in these topics, and neither should anyone else…

I just saw where you messed up. It’s not necessarily the basic math, it’s the initial problem setup. You assumed that 12volt fan was required to harvest 0.75 grams of water, and just scaled up from there, when you don’t really know that is true at all. The 12volt fan may have just been the smallest they could get a hold of. Maybe the 12volt fan is sufficient in harvesting 1.0 grams of water, maybe 2.0 grams of water, 10.0 grams of water… we don’t know cause the scientists were just not concerned with energy use by the fan because for them, it’s a non-issue. And if it was, I’m sure they would have addressed it since this is their 2nd peer review. In addition, fans only get more efficient as they get bigger.

Also showing that this night/day cycle is of little concern to the scientists, is one of the scientists said:

“The current version can only operate over a single night-and-day cycle with sunlight, Kim says, but “continous operation is also possible by utilizing abundant low-grade heat sources such as biomass and waste heat.””

The device can possibly run day and night on sunlight and waste heat.

Gawd, I never learn to just not get involved…

(M Cincinnatus) #20

Uhhhh… @Yiole_Gionglao, if you are not trolling, then I apologize if my previous post sounds rude. It’s just I hate these fruitless debates on science topics, when the real lesson here is, unless there is some obvious sign of scandal, just believe the MIT scientists, and go with the flow… :sunglasses: