Monthly Archives: May 2007

Turning Salt Water Into Fuel

Can water fuel world?
Man looking for cancer cure hopes to solve energy crisis

Posted: May 30, 2007
5:00 p.m. Eastern

By Joe Kovacs

Is the solution to America’s energy needs as simple as a trip to the beach?

The idea is a fascinating one as a Florida man searching for a cancer cure may have stumbled onto a virtually limitless source of energy: salt water.

John Kanzius of Sanibel Island, Fla., demonstrates how salt water burns after bombarded with radio waves from a machine he invented. (courtesy WPBF-TV)

John Kanzius, 63, is a broadcast engineer who formerly owned several TV and radio stations, before retiring in Sanibel Island, Fla.

Five years ago, he was diagnosed with a severe form of leukemia, and began a quest to find a kinder, gentler way to treat the disease compared to harsh chemotherapy.

In October 2003, he had an epiphany: kill cancer with radio waves. He then devised a machine that emits radio waves in an attempt to slay cancerous cells, while leaving healthy cells unharmed.

His experiments in fighting cancer have become so successful, one physician was quoted as saying, “We could be getting close to grabbing the Holy Grail.”

But in the midst of his experiments as he was trying to take salt out of water, Kanzius discovered his machine could do what some may have thought was impossible: turning water into fuel.

“On our way to try to do desalinization, we came up with something that burns, and it looks in this case that salt water perhaps could be used as a fuel to replace the carbon footsteps that we’ve been using all these years, i.e., fossil fuels,” Kanzius said.

If it’s for real, the possible ramifications of the discovery are almost mind-boggling, as cars could be fueled by salt water instead of gasoline, hydroelectric plants could be built along the shore, and homes could be heated without worrying about supplies of oil.

“It doesn’t have to be ocean salt water,” Kanzius said. “It burns just as well when we add salt to tap water.”

Kanzius has partnered with Charles Rutkowski, general manager of Industrial Sales and Manufacturing, a Millcreek, Pa., company that builds the radio-wave generators.

“I’ve done this [burning experiment] countless times and it still amazes me,” Rutkowski told the Erie Times-News. “Here we are paying $3 a gallon for gas, and this is a device that seems to turn salt water into an alternative fuel.”

Kanzius has been told it’s actually hydrogen that’s burning, as his machine generates enough heat to break down the chemical bond between hydrogen and oxygen that makes up water.

“I have never heard of such a thing,” Alice Deckert, Ph.D., chairwoman of Allegheny College’s chemistry department, told the Times-News. “There doesn’t seem to be enough energy in radio waves to break the chemical bonds and cause that kind of reaction.”

Thus far, Kanzius’ work has not received extensive national publicity, but has been featured on several local television news programs, including WPBF-TV in West Palm Beach, Fla., WSEE-TV in Erie, Pa., and WKYC-TV in Cleveland.

“We discovered that if you use a piece of paper towel as a wick, it lights every single time and you can start it and stop it at will by turning the radio waves on and off,” Kanzius told the Times-News as he watched a test tube of salt water burn.

“And look, the paper itself doesn’t burn,” he added. “Well, it burns but the paper is not consumed.”

Kanzius said he hasn’t decided whether to share his fuel discovery with government or private business, though he’d prefer a federal grant to develop it.

“I’m afraid that if I join up with some big energy company, they will say it doesn’t work and shelve it, even if it does work,” Kanzius told the paper.

Online skeptics are throwing cold water on the idea, saying the laws of science pose some problems:

  • “It takes more electricity to split the water into hydrogen and oxygen than you get back in energy by burning the hydrogen and oxygen to recreate water and get the heat. So there is no new ‘source’ of power, since you are just converting electricity into a lesser amount of energy. You could get more heat energy out of electricity by running it through a blow dryer and THAT is not considered a ‘new’ energy source.”

  • “Basic chemistry: the amount of energy required to free the hydrogen from the oxygen in H2O is more than the energy released when the hydrogen and oxygen recombine and burn. The flame is clearly the color of ionized sodium from the salt. Whatever the actual specific explanation, which they don’t bother to approach in the video, water and salt don’t burn without puting more energy into the reaction than you get out. Turning a lot of radio energy into a little heat and light is no breakthrough.”
  • “Using RF energy, or any other energy to first break down the hydrogen and oxygen water molecule into its constituent H2 and O2 molecules, and then burning the products is old technology. … However, if the RF H2O cracking method can be developed such that it is a superior way over current methods used to produce H2, which can subsequently be used in H2 fuel-cell automobiles for example, then THAT might be of value as well.”

    Video of TV news reports of water burning can be seen from these affiliates:

    WPBF-TV in West Palm Beach, Fla.

    WSEE-TV in Erie, Pa.

    WKYC-TV in Cleveland



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    Magnetic Field Found To Stimulate Brain Cells

    · Mice experiments offer hope on Alzheimer’s
    · Long-term possibility of enhancing memory

    James Randerson, science correspondent
    Thursday May 24, 2007

    A magnetic field can stimulate the brain and promote the growth of new nerve cells, scientists have found, raising the possibility of treating conditions linked to neuron death such as Alzheimer’s disease, and perhaps one day of enhancing humans’ memory capacity.

    Experiments on mice used a technique, transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, which has become a standard tool for investigating the brain. Avoiding the use of surgery to open the skull, rapidly changing magnetic fields induce weak electrical signals in brain neurons. TMS has been used experimentally to treat disorders such as depression, Parkinson’s and schizophrenia; it is also useful for temporarily shutting down some brain regions while enhancing others in experiments to find how the brain works.

    Fortunato Battaglia and a team at City University in New York gave mice up to five short bursts of TMS a day for five days, then looked at their brains. New Scientist magazine reports today that they found large increases in the proliferation of stem cells in part of the hippocampus – a brain region known to act in memory formation and mood regulation. They also saw changes in a part of the brain for controlling movement.

    This is the first time TMS has been shown to stimulate new neurons. “There is a lot of potential for this technique,” said Professor Battaglia, who presented his results in Boston this month. “The effect on the stem cells is the most exciting finding … This opens applications for patients with neurodegenerative diseases, especially Alzheimer’s, and patients recovering from stroke.”

    The team also saw evidence of long-term potentiation – changes to the nerve cells making them more sensitive and more likely to fire if stimulated by neurons next to them. In all areas of the brain tested, TMS modified chemical receptors on the surface of nerve cells so they remained active for longer.

    Alzheimer’s disease is associated with neuron loss in the hippocampus, so stimulating growth could repair the damage. Even if TMS cannot stimulate growth of neurons in humans, its ability to strengthen existing neural pathways could be beneficial to Alzheimer’s patients.

    The next step is to demonstrate TMS improves memory in mice, and to find how to get the best effect. Prof Battaglia said it would be premature to test people. “You could go to humans, but it would be some sort of fishing expedition. Working in animals allows us to optimise the technique,” he said, though he hopes eventually the technique can improve memory. “Theoretically that could also be an application.”

    Exercise and antidepressants promote neuron growth, but it has been impossible to target specific brain areas.,,2086758,00.html

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    …And Now…Poison In Our Drinks

    Caution: Some soft drinks may seriously harm your health

    Expert links additive to cell damage

    By Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent

    Published: 27 May 2007

    A new health scare erupted over soft drinks last night amid evidence they may cause serious cell damage. Research from a British university suggests a common preservative found in drinks such as Fanta and Pepsi Max has the ability to switch off vital parts of DNA.

    The problem – more usually associated with ageing and alcohol abuse – can eventually lead to cirrhosis of the liver and degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s.

    The findings could have serious consequences for the hundreds of millions of people worldwide who consume fizzy drinks. They will also intensify the controversy about food additives, which have been linked to hyperactivity in children.

    Concerns centre on the safety of E211, known as sodium benzoate, a preservative used for decades by the £74bn global carbonated drinks industry. Sodium benzoate derives from benzoic acid. It occurs naturally in berries, but is used in large quantities to prevent mould in soft drinks such as Sprite, Oasis and Dr Pepper. It is also added to pickles and sauces.

    Sodium benzoate has already been the subject of concern about cancer because when mixed with the additive vitamin C in soft drinks, it causes benzene, a carcinogenic substance. A Food Standards Agency survey of benzene in drinks last year found high levels in four brands which were removed from sale.

    Now, an expert in ageing at Sheffield University, who has been working on sodium benzoate since publishing a research paper in 1999, has decided to speak out about another danger. Professor Peter Piper, a professor of molecular biology and biotechnology, tested the impact of sodium benzoate on living yeast cells in his laboratory. What he found alarmed him: the benzoate was damaging an important area of DNA in the “power station” of cells known as the mitochondria.

    He told The Independent on Sunday: “These chemicals have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it: they knock it out altogether.

    “The mitochondria consumes the oxygen to give you energy and if you damage it – as happens in a number if diseased states – then the cell starts to malfunction very seriously. And there is a whole array of diseases that are now being tied to damage to this DNA – Parkinson’s and quite a lot of neuro-degenerative diseases, but above all the whole process of ageing.”

    The Food Standards Agency (FSA) backs the use of sodium benzoate in the UK and it has been approved by the European Union but last night, MPs called for it to investigate urgently.

    Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat chair of Parliament’s all-party environment group said: “Many additives are relatively new and their long-term impact cannot be certain. This preservative clearly needs to be investigated further by the FSA.”

    A review of sodium benzoate by the World Health Organisation in 2000 concluded that it was safe, but it noted that the available science supporting its safety was “limited”.

    Professor Piper, whose work has been funded by a government research council, said tests conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration were out of date.

    “The food industry will say these compounds have been tested and they are complete safe,” he said. “By the criteria of modern safety testing, the safety tests were inadequate. Like all things, safety testing moves forward and you can conduct a much more rigorous safety test than you could 50 years ago.”

    He advised parents to think carefully about buying drinks with preservatives until the quantities in products were proved safe by new tests. “My concern is for children who are drinking large amounts,” he said.

    Coca-Cola and Britvic’s Pepsi Max and Diet Pepsi all contain sodium benzoate. Their makers and the British Soft Drinks Association said they entrusted the safety of additives to the Government.

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