Despite all of the alternative-fuel inventions that have been and gone, it seems that the Quant e-Sportlimousine could really be onto something.
The designers claim that their NanoFlowcell system can provide a much greater range than a conventional electric car battery, and improvements have already been made. The second version of the vehicle, named the Quant F, has a range of 800 kilometers (around 500 miles) when fully charged. It’s top speed is 300 km/h (186 mph).
It has individual, separate motors running each of its four wheels, plus a two-speed transmission with horsepower of up to 1090 hp. The ionised fluids are held in two 250-litre tanks.
In 2008 a Japanese company unveiled a water powered car, which could run using any type of water. The technology involved splitting the water molecules into their components of hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen was used to power the car, and the by-product was water vapour.
It was in theory, the perfect fuel. The hydrogen produced by ‘membrane electrode assembly’ (MEA) was of a high purity and very effective as a fuel.
Despite the excitement, the car was never produced, and in fact the whole operation has since shut down. The reason given was a lack of funding, but this has led to many conspiracy theories. Could it have been suppressed by Government? Or was it a hoax in the first place?
Percival Zhang, an associate professor of biological systems engineering at Virginia Tech has headed research which has enabled efficient extraction of hydrogen from plant materials. The team has been able to produce large quantities of hydrogen from xylose, which is naturally found in abundance. It is a simple sugar, a component of the cell walls of plants.
Their technique is far more efficient than earlier methods, which wasted a great deal of the hydrogen produced. Unfortunately there is a problem when the hydrogen is required as a fuel source for vehicles.
“We don’t have a good storage mechanism yet. Compressed hydrogen is the best mechanism but it requires a large volume. We haven’t figured out how to store it with high density. What else? The fuel cells aren’t there yet, and the distribution infrastructure isn’t there yet. So you have four things that have to happen all at once. And so it always looked like it was going to be the distant future. In order to get significant deployment, you need four significant technological breakthroughs. That makes it unlikely.” ~ Steven Chu, Energy Secretary
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