Stanley Meyer's water fuel cell

Perpetual motion machine
name=Stanley Meyer's Water fuel cell
topics=Physics and engineering
claims= The device is designed to produce hydrogen and oxygen, from water using electricity, by a method other than water electrolysis.
origyear= 1989
origprop=Stanley Meyer
lawviolation=First law of thermodynamics
The water fuel cell is an invention by American Stanley Allen Meyer. He claimed that an automobile retrofitted with the device could use water as fuel instead of gasoline. The fuel cell purportedly split water into its component elements, hydrogen and oxygen, which were then burned to generate power, a process that reconstitutes the water molecules. According to Meyer, the device required less energy than conventional electrolysis and what physics says is possible. Also, if the device worked as specified, it would violate both the first and second laws of thermodynamics, allowing operation as a perpetual motion machine. Meyer's claims about his "Water Fuel Cell" and the car that it powered were found to be fraudulent by an Ohio court in 1996. cite news
title= End of road for car that ran on Water
work=The Sunday Times
publisher= Times Newspapers Limited
page= Features 12

The term "fuel cell"

Throughout his patentsUS patent|4936961: Method for the production of a fuel gas] [US patent|4826581: Controlled process for the production of thermal energy from gases and apparatus useful therefore] [US patent|4798661: Gas generator voltage control circuit] [US patent|4613779: Electrical pulse generator] [US patent|4613304: Gas electrical hydrogen generator] [US patent|4465455: Start-up/shut-down for a hydrogen gas burner] [US patent|4421474: Hydrogen gas burner] [US patent|4389981: Hydrogen gas injector system for internal combustion engine] and marketing material, [] cite web
title=Stan Meyer's Files
] Meyer uses the terms "fuel cell" or "water fuel cell" to refer to the portion of his device in which electricity is passed through water to produce hydrogen and oxygen. Meyer's use of the term in this sense is contrary to its usual meaning in science and engineering, in which such cells are conventionally called "electrolytic cells". The "The Columbia Encyclopedia", Columbia University Press 2004 defines fuel cell as an "Electric cell in which the chemical energy from the oxidation of a gas fuel is converted directly to electrical energy in a continuous process"; and electrolysis as "Passage of an electric current through a conducting solution or molten salt that is decomposed in the process."] Furthermore, the term "fuel cell" is usually reserved for cells which produce electricity from a chemical redox reaction, [Introduction: Batteries and Fuel Cells Whittingham, M. S.; Savinell, R. F.; Zawodzinski, T. Chem. Rev.; 2004; 104(10); 4243-4244.] [What Are Batteries, Fuel Cells, and Supercapacitors? Winter, M.; Brodd, R. J. Chem. Rev.; 2004; 104(10); 4245-4270.] [Chem. Rev.; 2004; 104(10), entire issue.] whereas Meyer's fuel cell consumed electricity, as shown in his patents and in the circuit pictured on the left.

One of Meyer's patents describes the use of a "water fuel cell assembly'" and portrays some images which allegedly demonstrate a "fuel cell water capacitor". According to the patent, in this case "...the term 'fuel cell' refers to a single unit of the invention comprising a water capacitor cell... that produces the fuel gas in accordance with the method of the invention."

Media coverage

In a news report on an Ohio TV station, Meyer claimed to demonstrate a dune buggy powered by his water fuel cell. He estimated that only 22 US gallons (83 liters) of water were required to travel from Los Angeles to New York.Robinson, Ralph (Reporter), Tom Ryan (News caster) and Gayd Hogan (News caster) "Unknown Episode." Action 6 News. Unknown Network. Station call sign: WSYX. Filmed in Groveport. Length: 1 Minute 45 seconds. Republished by [ Annaheim, Kurt W.] " [ Media Page - See, Hear and Discover Free Electricity] ." Last updated [ 7 May 2008] . Befreetech.Com. Accessed 23 June 2008.] Meyer also claimed to have replaced the spark plugs with "injectors" to spray a fine mist of water into the engine cylinders, which he claimed were subjected to an electrical resonance. The water fuel cell would split the water mist into hydrogen and oxygen gas, which would then be combusted back into water vapor in a conventional internal combustion engine to produce net energy.

Philip Ball, writing in academic journal "Nature", characterized Meyer's claims as pseudoscience, noting that "It's not easy to establish how Meyer's car was meant to work, except that it involved a fuel cell that was able to split water using less energy than was released by recombination of the elements … Crusaders against pseudoscience can rant and rave as much as they like, but in the end they might as well accept that the myth of water as a fuel is never going to go away."

While there have been many attempts to replicate the results of the system, nobody so far has claimed to have succeeded. Also, there is no documented proof that the system produces enough hydrogen to run an engine. To date no peer review studies of Meyer's claims or devices have been published in the scientific literature.


In 1996, inventor Stanley Meyer was sued by two investors to whom he had sold dealerships, offering the right to do business in Water Fuel Cell technology. His car was due to be examined by the expert witness Michael Laughton, Professor of Electrical Engineering at Queen Mary, University of London and Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. However, Meyer made what Professor Laughton considered a "lame excuse" on the days of examination and did not allow the test to proceed. According to Meyer the technology was patent pending and under investigation by the patent office, the Department of energy and the military. [ Letter from Water fuel cell regarding stanley meyer's water fuel cell project] New Energy News 1997] His "water fuel cell" was later examined by three witnesses in court who found that there "was nothing revolutionary about the cell at all and that it was simply using conventional electrolysis". The court found Meyer guilty of "gross and egregious fraud" and ordered to repay the two investors their $25,000.

Later designs

An ungranted Canadian patent application from 1998 describes a miniaturized "water fuel cell" which would be contained within the dimensions of a common spark plug. Included within the patent application are methods to perform "laser-priming" of the gases produced by the fuel cell, which are then mixed in the combustion chamber at the pre-ignition stage with ionized ambient air and non-combustible gases. This process Meyer claimed resulted in the production of free radical forms of hydrogen and oxygen and thus improved combustion.]

It is not stated within the patent where the energy required for the ionization of the "ambient air" gases is originating.

Meyer's death

Stanley Meyer died suddenly on 21 March 1998 after sipping from his drink while dining at a restaurant. An autopsy report by the Franklin County, Ohio coroner concluded that Meyer had died of a cerebral aneurysm, but conspiracy theorists insist that he was poisoned to suppress the technology, and that oil companies and the United States government were involved in his death.cite web
last= Ball
authorlink = Philip Ball
title=Burning water and other myths
work= Nature News
date= September 14, 2007
accessdate= 2007-09-14
] cite web
title=Water Powered Car report on Meyer's death
accessdate = 2008-03-24
] cite news
last = Narciso
first = Dean
title= The Car that Ran on Water
work = The Columbus Dispatch
date = July 8, 2007
accessdate = 2008-03-24

See also

* Oxyhydrogen
* History of perpetual motion machines


External links

* [ Stanley Meyer Website large resource of information]
* [ Stanley Meyer Bio from]
* [ Fuel for fraud or vice versa? (On Stanley Meyer)] — summary of the article in "New Energy News".
* [ Meyer's rebuttal letter to New Energy News] .
* [ Equinox: It Runs on Water] 1995 film - Interview with Stanley Meyer

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