Is Hydrogen the fuel of the future?

You can bet your Apex seals it is! Hydrogen has such a massive potential for use as a future fuel that it practically boggles the mind, but for the average hydrogen-minded rotor head, storage of hydrogen gas for use as a viable alternative to gasoline has always been a problem, until Powerballs were invented.

Powerballs are basically small green plastic ping pong balls filled with sodium nitride floating in water in a safe pressurized container. When the pre-determined hydrogen psi falls below a preset lower limit, a motorized cutter slices the closest available powerball skin open which exposes the sodium nitride to water and forms a reaction which then releases hydrogen. It seems like a really safe way to use hydrogen as fuel.

A rotary engine is much better suited to using hydrogen as fuel when compared to any kind of piston engine (that I am aware of at least), because there's no exhaust valves to burn and pre ignite the mixture! But a hydrogen powered rotary can still be improved upon-considering what's currently available.

Enter the hydrogen/water mist injected rotary engine. Some people down in New Zealand have been tinkering with water injection to get the power of steam inside a rotary engine to push the rotors around; instead of from an externally heated boiler and pistons, like what a steam locomotive uses.

The Hydro-Mist system (catchy name eh?) would inject water mist and only a small amount of hydrogen into the engine which would burn quickly to supply the heat (800 degrees F) needed to dissociate the hydrogen and oxygen in the water mist without electrolysis. The water mist, changing to superheated steam, expands 1700 times and is what actually pushes the rotors around. Plus it delivers this power in an elastic manner, rather than the hammer blows of a piston engine. The relatively fast burning flame of hydrogen is essential for this whole concept to work. It is perfect for the rotary.

Now remember that whenever you compress something, it gets hot. That's why an intercooler is almost always, and should always be used when turbo charging. It's also how a diesel engine runs without spark plugs, but on the upward stroke, the diesel has to compress the air/fuel mixture so much that it becomes power-robbing. However, a rotary engine compressing "damp air" wouldnít need to compress it as much as a diesel because the injected hydrogen is ignited and acts as an internal heat source, a catalyst if you will. Besides, a diesel would not be well suited to run hydrogen/water mist injection anyway, because the valves would burn off!

The Hydro-Mist project that Iíd definitely invest my own money in would most likely consist of something like this...

We would start out with any model Mazda rotary vehicle. It would need to have a Turbo 13B REW or 20B REW (or possibly the MSPRE) installed and running properly because they are the newest and best engines and are more reliable at higher horsepower levels than their predecessors. I also believe that a turbo charged intake would be more beneficial than a naturally aspirated intake (like the MSPRE) because each time the rotor reaches the end of itís intake stroke, a vacuum is created. And whenever you induce a vacuum on humid air, guess what happens, the water condenses and forms clouds (just like in the sky).

That probably wonít effect anything in the hot-high flowing internals of a rotary, but charging the intake will change that vacuum to a positive pressure, and you can pack a denser molecular charge into the otherwise wasted space as the rotor reaches the end of itís intake stroke. You will not only have a much greater power producing potential, but because there is less chance that the water mist will come out of suspension (I still have to research this one), the burning will be more complete as with any gasoline powered engine using good modern fuel injectors. Of course I could be wrong about charging the intake etc, please let me know.

The first thing to go would be the fuel tank, it would be replaced with a high quality water tank (or rust-proof the stock tank). A water pump would replace the fuel pump. A one gallon Powerball tank would be fitted to the trunk along side an auxiliary electrolysis machine (for emergency use in case the Powerball tank runs out) to provide just enough hydrogen to "limp" back home on. And all new lines would be plumbed in. Perhaps an extra alternator would need to be fitted to the engine for full time electrolysis so as not to rely on Powerballs exclusively. Just a little insurance if you know what I mean. I guess my point is to be completely self-sufficient and not have to rely on the oil companies, or anybody else for fuel. Just good old H2O, Iíll prove my point a little later, please keep reading.

Next the engine would need to be torn down and hydrogen injectors would need to be plumbed-in near the spark plugs. This is to, no wait. That setup I believe is for the lean burning hydrogen rotary like in the LEV / ZEV MX5 Miata that Mazda might put into production. They use a metal hydride tank for hydrogen storage. Pretty heavy compared to Powerballs. You can read about the Hydrogen rotary Miata and also lots of other hot stuff at

Perhaps the engine wouldnít need to be torn down at all to run Hydro-Mist injection. Just the injectors and the fuel rail(s) would need removal and replacement with hydrogen and water mist injectors. One possibility for better water atomization would be to locate the water injectors ahead of the turbo, but that might lead to condensation inside the intercooler. A real engineer would be better qualified to answer that question.

All emissions gear could be removed and replaced with high flowing (racing) exhaust parts and the like. If this modification was done to a 3RD Gen RX-7, you could sell your cat(s) to other 3RD Gen owners and make a little extra money on the side!

The final and coolest part about this whole project would be to fit the exhaust with some sort of moisture condensing device which would simply gather all the steam that would have been wasted out the tail pipe and condense it onto a cold "heat sink" type surface cooled by the AC system or something like that. It would then be filtered and pumped back into the water tank for reuse! Do you know what this could mean? You would be like that guy on the commercial who found a cheap clean alternative to fossil fuels and became a millionaire with his own boat and lots of girls hanging around him!

Oh to be rich! If I WAS RICH then this project wouldíve already been funded properly and installed in a 3RD GEN RX-7 or some other car that I wish I had right now. Oh well.

Send email to jeff20b at hotmail dot com. Most of the info on this page was sourced from other pages on the internet such as (Rotary Hydrogen Engine) for example. Thanks guys! Note: this is not an endorsement in any way, shape, or form for Powerballs. They just seem to be exactly what would work with this particular project. Your projects may vary.


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