A Car Powered by Salt Water

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If you ever need an example of “click-bait,” the title of this article would be a good one. After all, just imagine a car that actually runs on something as common as salt water. Who wouldn’t want to read about it? What’s amazing about this statement is one thing though – it’s true. There is a company called NanoFlowCell in the tiny country of Liechtenstein that is showing a prototype car powered by a fuel cell that is powered by a special type of salt water. With some assistance from Browns Chrysler of Patchogue, NY, a Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, Jeep dealer, we have the complete story.

The fuel

As you probably surmise, this salt water isn’t water you get from the ocean. It’s a special kind of salt water. The salt water is technically called “Bi-ion Fluid” and it’s a solution containing organic and inorganic salts. Bi-ion Fluid has been around for a while. NASA put a lot of work into the fluid and fuel cell in the 1970s but gave up on it because the energy density was so poor. Today, however, the chief technical officer of NanoFlowCell, Nunzio la Vecchia, has perfected the technology. It actually exceeds the storage capacity of lithium-ion batteries.

The chemistry

Bi-ion fluid consists of two components. One component holds a positive charge, the other a negative charge. The way the fuel cell works is that the two fluids are pumped through a membrane and the interaction of the charged electrons generates an electrical charge. During the process, the liquid is vaporized and released harmlessly into the environment. The process is 100% environmentally friendly.

The Quantino

To demonstrate the potential of their fuel cell, NanoFlowCell has built a car they call the Quantino. It’s a real good looking car with an electric motor that produces a modest 136 horsepower. This gives the Quantino the ability to run from zero to 62mph in five seconds and have a top speed of 125mph. For short bursts of power, electricity is stored in a supercapacitor. This device is like a giant industrial-strength battery but more resistant to frequent charging cycles. The supercapacitor is about the size of a shoebox.
Fuel safety

The liquid fuel is perfectly safe – not volatile like gasoline – so it’s easy to store and transport. The bi-ion solutions don’t have any sort of shelf-life either. An interesting fact concerning bi-ion fuel is that you fill up the car with a special twin nozzle pump. The process is just as simple as gas, though. It’s just like filling your car with gasoline or diesel, it’s a five-minute pit-stop.
On the Quantino’s future

Quantino is adamant they are a tech company, not a carmaker. They have built the Quantino just to illustrate the concept. La Vecchia tells us that the company is in talks with a major automaker to sell its propulsion concept to in 2017.

  

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