Indian finds a technique to convert water to petrol!

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Indian finds a technique to convert water to petrol! Nitin Sharma 9/6/96 12:00 AM

 Today's Indian Express reports that a school dropout in India
discovered a way of converting water into petrol by mixing it
with certain herbs!

 IE reports that he demonstrated it in IIT in fornt of many
scientists. It was organised by DST. DST seems to be taking a
lot of interest in the discovery and has even accorded patenting
it the highest priority.

  Defence science adviser A P J Abdul Kalam has been briefed and he is
reportedly ``excited.''

 The paper further reports :
 According to DST, laboratory tests conducted with earlier samples
  have conclusively shown that the herbal fuel is a pure hydrocarbon
  similar to kerosene and diesel. Engineers at IIT in Madras who
  conducted static tests in two-stroke engines concluded that the
  herbal fuel offered better fuel economy than petrol, and that it ``will
  have good potential in a four-stroke petrol as well as diesel engines.''

 The report can be found at
http://express.indiaworld.com/ie/daily/19960906/25050182.html

  If true, the implications of this discovery can obviuosly not
be overemphasised.

 -nitin


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                          Friday, September 6 1996
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         School dropout stuns scientists with  
                    `herbal-petrol'

                 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA          
            ------------------------------
                                               
  NEW DELHI, September 5: A high school dropout from
  Tamil Nadu created history yesterday, when he
  turned water into a petrol-like fuel by mixing it
  with a herb he discovered in the hills.

  Scientists witnessing his demonstration at the
  Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) said they
  were baffled. ``It is incredible but true,''
  exclaimed IIT chemist N K Jha who organised the
  experiment at the request of the Department of
  Science and Technology (DST).

  What this discovery means is that, given the herb,
  one can convert plain tap water into a fuel that
  can drive a vehicle. In fact 30-year old Ramar
  Pillai who discovered the amazing herb seven years
  ago has been doing precisely that in his village
  near Rajapalayam.

  Pillai, who was invited to Delhi by DST secretary
  Valangiman Ramamurti, says his herbal petrol would
  cost Re 1 per litre. All he wants from DST is
  money to put up a plant in his native place and
  personal protection. He recently faced an attempt
  on his life for refusing to part with his secret.

  ``I am personally convinced it is a discovery
  worth pursuing,'' said Ramamurti after repeating
  the experiment himself. The product burnt with a
  sooty flame, smelled like kerosene and on
  distillation yielded a pure hydrocarbon fraction
  with a boiling point of 170 degree (C). ``We have
  no doubt that we are sitting on something very
  big,'' Ramamurti said. ``But we must proceed
  carefully and systematically.''

  He said the DST has assigned the highest priority
  to get Ramamurti's invention patented. The
  department has also acceded to his request for
  funds to erect a 300 litre per day pilot plant at
  Rajapalayam.

  Simultaneously, the best scientists in the country
  are going to be assembled to analyse the chemical
  process in detail before setting up a plant with a
  production capacity one million litres herbal fuel
  per day, Ramamurti said. Defence science adviser A
  P J Abdul Kalam has been briefed and he is
  reportedly ``excited.''

  Ramamurthi said the economic implication of his
  discovery for the country being so enormous, he
  has decided to keep Science Minister Yoginder
  Alagh and the office of Prime Minister H D Deve
  Gowda informed about the developments.

  As a eighth class student, Ramar realized the
  value of the plant during a picnic in a forest
  when a flying spark from the cooking stove set a
  leaf of a nearby plant on fire.

  He almost forgot about this strange event of a
  green leaf catching fire but ten years later he
  tracked down the plant and started experimenting
  with it.

  To produce petrol, leaves and barks of this plant
  are cooked for about ten minutes in hot water. The
  mixture is cooled and stirred after adding a
  little salt, citric acid and a traces of a few
  unknown chemicals. Once allowed to settle the
  liquid fuel, which is lighter than water, floats
  to the top and is separated by filtering. The
  entire process takes less than 30 minutes.

  According to DST, laboratory tests conducted with
  earlier samples have conclusively shown that the
  herbal fuel is a pure hydrocarbon similar to
  kerosene and diesel. Engineers at IIT in Madras
  who conducted static tests in two-stroke engines
  concluded that the herbal fuel offered better fuel
  economy than petrol, and that it ``will have good
  potential in a four-stroke petrol as well as
  diesel engines.''

  Scientists say that while there is no doubt about
  generation of liquid fuel, they are not able to
  explain the source of carbon necessary to make the
  hydrocarbon. They are also surprised by the
  extreme speed of the process.

  One possible source of carbon, according to Ratna
  Choudhury of IIT, is atmospheric carbon dioxide
  that is probably sucked in during the reaction.
  Combining with hydrogen liberated from water it
  can form the hydrocarbon fuel. ``Right now it is
  only a guess,'' she said.

--------------


Indian finds a technique to convert water to petrol! Sivasankar Chander 9/7/96 12:00 AM

ni...@cs.washington.edu (Nitin Sharma) wrote:
>
> Today's Indian Express reports that a school dropout in India
>discovered a way of converting water into petrol by mixing it
>with certain herbs!
>
  As usual, I'll take the contrarian position. The whole thing is a
hoax and a fraud, but there are certain things that need further
investigation.


>         School dropout stuns scientists with  
>                    `herbal-petrol'

A typical "National Enquirer" or "Globe" headline. Note the emphasis
on 'dropout stuns scientists'.

>
>                 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA          
>            ------------------------------
>                                              
>  NEW DELHI, September 5: A high school dropout from
>  Tamil Nadu created history yesterday, when he
>  turned water into a petrol-like fuel by mixing it
>  with a herb he discovered in the hills.
>
>  Scientists witnessing his demonstration at the
>  Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) said they
>  were baffled. ``It is incredible but true,''
>  exclaimed IIT chemist N K Jha who organised the
>  experiment at the request of the Department of
>  Science and Technology (DST).
>
>  What this discovery means is that, given the herb,
>  one can convert plain tap water into a fuel that
>  can drive a vehicle. In fact 30-year old Ramar
>  Pillai who discovered the amazing herb seven years
>  ago has been doing precisely that in his village
>  near Rajapalayam.

Anybody heard of the "Stone Soup" story? It's a fable about
a traveller who makes a soup with just a piece of stone. But
in the process, he adds water, vegetable scrap, butter,
etc.

Every plant produces a small quantity of vegetable oil (a mixture
of long-chain fatty acids). One can extract oil from many plants
like groundnuts, using a similar process, but it's not viable
as a fuel for IC engines.

>
>  According to DST, laboratory tests conducted with
>  earlier samples have conclusively shown that the
>  herbal fuel is a pure hydrocarbon similar to
>  kerosene and diesel. Engineers at IIT in Madras
>  who conducted static tests in two-stroke engines
>  concluded that the herbal fuel offered better fuel
>  economy than petrol, and that it ``will have good
>  potential in a four-stroke petrol as well as
>  diesel engines.''

Nonsense. While almost any vegetable oil can and has been used at
various times in diesel engines, very few vegetable oils are
suitable for use in petrol engines because none will atomize
readily either in the carburettor or through an injector. Vegetable
oils can be mixed with gasoline (petrol) and used (and this has been
done during wartime scarcity), but the engine will run poorly, have
substantial soot deposition in the cylinders, and show rapid wear
on the piston rings (equivalent to a lifetime of 1 to 2k miles),
and show substantial drop in power output compared to petrol.

The same applies to diesels, but various vegetable oils have been
used mixed with diesels as a last resort.

In all cases, the cost of the vegetable oils + amortized cost of
the engine wear per mile has exceeded the cost of running it on
gas or diesel alone.

A possible exception to this rule is the use of alcohol extracted
from sugarcane, blended with gasoline to give gasohol. It's still
too early to say if the Brazilian experiment with gasohol is or will
ever be economically viable. Note that alcohol is not a vegetable
oil, but I'm including it here for comparison alone.

>
>  Scientists say that while there is no doubt about
>  generation of liquid fuel, they are not able to
>  explain the source of carbon necessary to make the
>  hydrocarbon. They are also surprised by the
>  extreme speed of the process.

Combine the typical reluctance of most science graduates in India
to do anything practical or experimental, with a compartmentalized
attitude to learning that doesn't allow common sense to play even
a marginal role, and you get responses similar to this.

>
>  One possible source of carbon, according to Ratna
>  Choudhury of IIT, is atmospheric carbon dioxide
>  that is probably sucked in during the reaction.

Uh, carbon was already there in the plant. Sure, it originated
in the atmosphere, but it got converted by photosynthesis before
it was uprooted.

 
>  Combining with hydrogen liberated from water it
>  can form the hydrocarbon fuel. ``Right now it is
>  only a guess,'' she said.

  Common sense, Ratna. Use your bloody brain. The water has nothing
to do with the oil extracted from the plant except as a heat-transfer
medium. All vegetable oils are hydrocarbons, and many plants synthesize
a lot of vegetable oil (eg. soyabean, coconut, sesame, corn, groundnut,
sunflower, etc.).

It's an interesting plant, but so are Neem, Mango, Coconut, etc.

As an aside,
I wonder when the bogon flux density will decrease in India (bogons,
for the curious, are hypothetical elementary particles that constitute
anything bogus). They are emitted by bogon sources (in this case the
various pseudo-scientists involved) and absorbed by bogon sinks (in
this case, the general public and brain damaged pseudo-scientists).
The study of bogons and their interactions is part of a fascinating
field of study called Quantum Bogodynamics.

Another bogon (actually a super-massive bogon) is this business of
C-DAC and Param, but that's a topic for another thread.

si...@emi.net

Indian finds a technique to convert water to petrol! Vijay 9/7/96 12:00 AM

Good Heavens! the U.S need not kill defenseless Iraqis and destroy the Gulf
region any more.
But may be the Uncle Sam and the west may do to India what they are doing to Gulf.

Just kidding
Vijay  

Indian finds a technique to convert water to petrol! Vijay Kumar 9/7/96 12:00 AM

Sivasankar Chander (scha...@worldnet.att.net) wrote:
: ni...@cs.washington.edu (Nitin Sharma) wrote:
: >

: >
: >  One possible source of carbon, according to Ratna


: >  Choudhury of IIT, is atmospheric carbon dioxide
: >  that is probably sucked in during the reaction.

: Uh, carbon was already there in the plant. Sure, it originated
: in the atmosphere, but it got converted by photosynthesis before
: it was uprooted.
:  
: >  Combining with hydrogen liberated from water it
: >  can form the hydrocarbon fuel. ``Right now it is
: >  only a guess,'' she said.

:   Common sense, Ratna. Use your bloody brain.


     Ah. I take it, Mr Chander, that you have never met Dr Ratna Choudhary.


Vijay

PS: There are any number of hocus-pocus theories believed by IITD
professors that will make "herbal petrol" look like relativity.
If you think Ratna C is bad, wait till you meet some of her colleagues
at the Centre for Energy Studies, IIT Delhi.

Indian finds a technique to convert water to petrol! Sujai S. Karampuri 9/11/96 12:00 AM

I found this news from THE HINDU : Online

http://www.webpage.com/hindu/today/


                 Studies confirm fuel properties of herb

                 Date: 11-09-1996 :: Pg: 16 :: Col: c

                 From Our Special Correspondent

                 NEW DELHI, Sep. 10.

                 The finding of a high school drop out from Tamil Nadu that
 water can be turned into an inflammable material by mixing it with a herb
 discovered by him, has been buttressed by experimental studies at the National
 Chemical Laboratory, Pune, confirming that the material had properties similar
 to kerosene.

                 According to sources in the Department of Science and
 Technology (DST), the studies have shown that the oil produced in the process
 developed by 35-year old Mr. Ramar Pillai, who hails from Rajapalayam, belonged
 to the family of mineral oils and that its properties closely resembled that of
 kerosene (one of the members of the family).

                 Further research was, however, needed to elucidate the exact
 identity of the fuel, such as its molecular weight and molecular structure.
 Efforts were now on to select the right agency and person to do that.

                 Since maintenance of confidentiality was of supreme importance
 in such endeavours, the DST, was planning to set up a high-level committee of
 eminent persons to oversee the operation. Meanwhile, the Patent Facilitation
 Cell under the DST's Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council
 (TIFAC), was making the preparations to get the process developed by
 Mr. Ramar Pillai patented, the sources said.

                 Plans were also afoot to set up a 300-litre-a-day pilot plant.
 Explaining the rationale for choosing a 300-litre capacity, the sources said
 the aim was to avoid delays. For, according to rules, any plant for manufacture
 of inflammable fuels with a higher capacity would require a permission from the  explosives department, whose headquarters is located at Nagpur.

---------

Sujai Karampuri


Indian finds a technique to convert water to petrol! tho...@skyfox.usask.ca 9/12/96 12:00 AM


I have heard stories about making gold out of base metals by rubbing them
with leaves from selected (secret of course) plants.  Water can be
converted to petrol! Ha!.  Of course water can be decomposed by
electrolysis to hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen can be used as a fuel.
But more energy must be put into electrolysis than what can be obtained
by burning hydrogen.  Net gain is negative. What kind of fruad is this?
Where is ultimately the energy coming from? After religious farse we are now
embarking on scientific farse. Last year it was milk drinking idols,
now it is converting water into petrol (gasoline). Give us a break!

KCT