Salt Water Powered Car Gets Approval In Europe: Yes It's Real

Salt Water Powered Car Gets Approval In Europe: Yes It's Real

Salt water powered car just got approved in Europe. Yes, it’s real. German Company nanoFlowcell AG has developed ‘salt water’ cars, the QUANT series, which is going to be on the road in Europe. NanoFlowCell claims that one charge stored in the 200 litre tanks of ‘salt’ water will allow around 373 miles for the driver.

The reason for its good mileage is that it uses very efficient flow batteries. This technology features tanks of electrolyte water (‘salt’ water). These metallic salts in an aqueous solution store massive amounts of potential energy very efficiently. These tanks are flow batteries that must be charged up like other batteries. They are simply claimed to be much more efficient in storing energy. Traditional batteries are composed of two electrodes separated by an electrolyte. These electrodes both generate and store energy. Flow batteries on the other hand separates electricity generation and storage.

The incentive for ‘salt’ water powered cars is due to the difficulties facing current technologies. The most common energy powering cars is distillate fuel. The problem however is that oil is getting scarce. Moreover, the environmental impacts of drilling oil are well known and condemned - car exhaust increases the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, and some methods of drilling it not good for the natural environment.

The other alternative, electrically charged cars, has reduced greenhouse emissions. But it has long charge times of 1-8 hours, and replacing batteries is expensive. Moreover, some argue that electricity production by coal plants actually generate more CO2 than car exhaust emission from fuel combustion. Hence it is not clear that the damage to the environment is lesser for electric cars.

A more recent development is the liquid hydrogen powered automobile. Liquid hydrogen, when recombined with oxygen, can be used to generate an electric current, which is input for motor. The waste product is simply water. The issue with this technology is that liquid hydrogen is notoriously difficult to store - it is often stored in high pressures, which makes it very dangerous.

There are however many skeptics of this ‘salt’ water technology. Some pointed out that their systems cannot be reproduced in independent experiments. Also, some see the misleading advertising, e.g. saying ‘salt’ water is powering the car when only metallic salts in aqueous solutions are storing energy efficiently, as hiding the fact that the technology is not as advanced and stable as we thought. Nonetheless, this development is conceptually interesting. And since it has just been approved in Europe, we will see whether this technology can live up to the hype.

For more on the very cool development, head over to ‘Off Grid Quest’ website link below.

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