Wed Sep 12th, 2007 at 12:39:19 AM EST
n 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Nemo describes how the Nautilus is powered by sea water...
"Professor," said Captain Nemo, "my electricity is not everybody's.
You know what sea-water is composed of. In a thousand grammes are found 96 1/2 per cent. of water, and about 2 2/3 per cent. of chloride of sodium; then, in a smaller quantity, chlorides of magnesium and of potassium, bromide of magnesium, sulphate of magnesia,
sulphate and carbonate of lime. You see, then, that chloride of sodium forms a large part of it. So it is this sodium that I extract from the sea-water, and of which I compose my ingredients.
I owe all to the ocean; it produces electricity, and electricity gives heat, light, motion, and, in a word, life to the Nautilus."
A guy has just discovered by accident how to burn salt water (strangely the flame seems to be yellow (sodium?) in the video, not blue like hydrogen does) by simply applying some RF to it.
A dream that comes true : Getting energy from sea water
From Engadget : A gentleman from Erie named John Kanzius made a somewhat "shocking" discovery while he was working on a radio-wave generator he had developed for the treatment of cancer. While attempting to desalinate sea water using radio frequencies, he noticed flashes, and within a few days, had saltwater burning in a test-tube as if it were a candle. The discovery spawned interest from the scientific community, mostly concerned with whether or not the water could be used as a fuel, and of course, healthy doses of disbelief. Last week, a Penn State University chemist named Rustum Roy held a demonstration proving that the science is sound, noting that the water doesn't burn, though the radio frequencies weaken the bonds holding together the salt, releasing hydrogen which is ignited when exposed to the RF field. Mr. Kanzius and Dr. Roy say the question now is the efficiency of the energy, and are presenting the technology to the US Department of Defense and Department of Energy to investigate how useful the technology will be. Of the plentiful maybe-fuel (which apparently burns so hot it can melt test-tubes) Dr. Roy says, "This is the most abundant element in the world. It is everywhere," and (without recognition of the poetic irony, as far as we can tell), "Seeing it burn gives me chills." Check the TV report after the break to see the water in action.
Of course, the reaction requires more energy than it releases ;-) but still interesting.