Friday, 19 October 2012

Petrol from Air!

This morning's news reveals that a British company is making petrol from fresh air!  There are a number of articles about it, for instance this one

'The “petrol from air” technology involves taking sodium hydroxide and mixing it with carbon dioxide before "electrolysing" the sodium carbonate that it produces to form pure carbon dioxide.

Hydrogen is then produced by electrolysing water vapour captured with a dehumidifier. The company, Air Fuel Syndication, then uses the carbon dioxide and hydrogen to produce methanol which in turn is passed through a gasoline fuel reactor, creating petrol.

Company officials say they had produced five litres of petrol in less than three months from a small refinery in Stockton-on-Tees, Teesside.

The fuel that is produced can be used in any regular petrol tank and, if renewable energy is used to provide the electricity it could become “completely carbon neutral”.
The £1.1m project, in development for the past two years, is being funded by a group of unnamed philanthropists who believe the technology could prove to be a lucrative way of creating renewable energy.'

At first sight this looks as though it might spell doom for Bessler's wheel, however, the process has to be a viable commercial operation to succeed and to produce just 5 litres in 2 months does not seem too awe inspiring, but then this is just a test facility and something much larger looms on the horizon.

Can they produce petrol at a better rate than the current rate for a barrel of oil (42 US gallons and about 35 UK gallons) which is currently between $92 and $112 per barrel?  Possibly, but the governments will still tax it to death.  Of course the same goes for Bessler's wheel but it is the greener option, despite the claims that this new process is greener than anything so far produced.  The carbon-neutral aspect of it could be supplied by Bessler's wheel and an electricity generator.

We must await developments meanwhile, on with the build!



  1. Hi John,..I don't think we have to worry about competition to the Bessler wheel because there will be nothing to equal it all round.
    In the next couple of days I will be testing my wheel and it's looking good.
    The way it has turned out it looks like it could turn out to be quite powerful after all,with all the weights on one side while the other side is empty,just like Bessler said.

    1. Sounds like your design uses an extreme displacement of the weights onto the wheel's descending side and that certainly would put the CoM of the weights on that side. But, I think you may be reading TOO much into Bessler's quote:

      "On one side it is heavy and full; on the other empty and light, just as it should be." (AP, pg. 363)

      I think Bessler is just telling the reader here that the CoM of his wheel's weights was always on ONE side of the turning wheel; namely, its descending side. This does not necessarily mean that ALL of his wheels' weights were on their descending sides.

      In fact it's possible to have the CoM on a wheel's descending side while there are an EQUAL number of weights on BOTH sides of the axle. That is, indeed, the design that I use and it only displaces the CoM a little bit out horizontally onto the descending side because the weights, on average, are only a little farther from the drum's periphery on the ascending side than they are on the descending side. Consequently, of course, the torque of this design is very low as was the case with Bessler's wheels.

      In any event, good luck with your effort and please do keep us informed of the results of your testing.

  2. Bill_Mothershead19 October 2012 at 22:08

    I suspect you know all about the history of synthetic fuels:

    By early 1944, German synthetic fuel production had reached more than 124,000 barrels per day (19,700 m3/d) from 25 plants.

    [Today...]July 2009 worldwide commercial synthetic fuels production capacity is over 240,000 barrels per day (38,000 m3/d), with numerous new projects in construction or development.

    I would note that this industry would not exist if it were not profitable.

    So what is the big deal? Why does this impress you, John? Is it because their
    source of carbon in CO2 from the air? This is probably not cost effective except
    when there is a "freaky" carbon-tax consideration. Then it might be used in
    conjunction with a traditional power plant that produces tons of CO2 and waste heat
    that can somehow be used as feedstock for this chemistry.

    John, your recent blogs seem to have diminishing content about you actual construction
    work on your proof-of-concept of all the clues you have decoded.

    If you have stopped working on it, admit it and share what did.

    If not...quit wasting time on irrelevant blogs and get back to work!

    1. I, too, sense a growing frustration here with JC'c continuing failure to deliver the "pentagrammatic" wheel design [my name for it], "whether it works or not", that was promised earlier this year...or was it LAST year?! LOL! I have also noticed that the days of 100+ comments per blog entry are over and that the number of comments per new entry continues to drop. I'm even commenting less than I did in the past!

      Visitors here, IMO, are MAINLY looking for information on the internal mechanics of Bessler's wheels and NOT for historical or genealogical information about Bessler and those he interacted with even though that is certainly interesting in itself though not generally relevant to solving the mystery of the wheels. I also don't think they are mainly interested in the latest news about "alternative fuels" or whether Bessler wheels can be used to power automobiles. They want to know HOW the wheels WORKED! I try to deliver as much of this information as possible without giving away too much of my own research results at this point in time.

    2. Hmmm...I'm not looking for any information here , nor am I frustrated . I just made a technical leap over a step in my design that I have been stalled on for a long time . Maybe I can move forward now .

    3. "I just made a technical leap over a step in my design that I have been stalled on for a long time."

      I also have found that there is MUCH pleasure to be derived from the "little" victories along the way to the "BIG ONE" [i.e., a WORKING wheel]. Thank God for them because they help to keep us motivated despite the continuing "noise" of the "no track" skeptics that we must endure. Just watch how they will all disappear or turn into excuse making machines when the secret of Bessler's wheels is finally revealed! That will almost be as nice to savor as having a working model of Bessler's one-directional wheel spinning away on one's coffee table!

  3. LOL! I've seen so many examples of wasted research like this in the past.

    If anyone actually goes to the trouble of adding up how much energy / mass has to be expended in order to produce one gallon of their petrol that is free of "any nasty bits", he will quickly realize that it is SEVERAL times MORE than he will get back when he combusts the petrol!

    Three months to make a whole gallon! Wow! I remember some researchers during the US' 70s' "Oil Crisis" who claimed they had a solution to finally getting the US "energy independent" of foreign oil imports. They were able to make a BARREL of oil in only 20 MINUTES from GARBAGE! Of course, in order to pull this stunt off, they had to apply a rather large amount of heat and pressure to the garbage and that involved several times as much energy / mass as could then be extracted later from the petroleum via combustion.

    Right now in the US we have an active "syn fuel" program that is producing synthetic ethanol as an additive for gasoline and a thicker fuel oil from corn. It also requires the input of MORE energy / mass than is delivered when the oil is burned. The fuel oil is now being used to power our non-nuclear naval ships and is supposed to make them independent of foreign oil imports in time of war. Certainly sounds good in principle. What the taxpayers who ultimately pay for this "renewable" fuel are not being told is that, in order to pay for the extra cost of all of the extra energy / mass that must be used to make this stuff, the cost of it per GALLON is about $150 USD! A regular gallon of diesel oil only costs about $5 USD. No wonder we're going broke over here!

    The ONLY process I've ever seen that actually uses LESS energy / mass to make the fuel than is delivered by the fuel is the production of ethanol from SUGAR derived from sugar cane. They do that extensively down in South America, particularly Brazil, and it DOES work and is now powering most of their automobiles. Apparently, their chemical engineers know how to accurately add up all of the energy / mass transfers taking place during the process. I don't know why we do not do this in the US, but it might be because our climate / soil is not right for growing huge amounts of sugar cane while it is right for corn.

    Most likely this "Air Capture Technology" will eventually be abandoned when the investors involved finally realize what the TRUE cost of each of its gallons of petrol really is. There was a time when governments would throw all kinds of taxpayer monies at these types of projects, but those days are rapidly coming to an end as the world's economies sink further into recession. That means that they now have to be mostly funded by private investors and even these are starting to wise up. Now the inventor had better be able to prove IN ADVANCE that he has something which can make bundles of profit or he won't even get to first base with serious investors.

    Nothing has really changed since the times of Bessler...

  4. Fair comments Bill and TG, I haven't written anything about my work because, as I said several weeks ago, I have one of my daughters and her husband, moving back in with us for a few months. Their two children currently at university come home most weekends and therefore they need their own bedrooms and some of their clothing here too. We are undergoing a major rearrangement of our living conditions and that includes my workshop which has had to shrink drastically. I can still work on my own Bessler project but it has had to take second place to helping them pack up their belongings and bring them here or share them out with other members of the family. Although I'm desperate to finish my wheel I cannot just ignore the demands placed on me by their needs. I'll try to post more stuff about my own work in this field in future but it might be better just to suspend the blog for the time being if people aren't interested in reading it, at least until things return to normal. They will actually move in during the next two weeks.


  5. Synthetic fuels are indeed not very new: the Germans produced it abundantly during WWII from coal, out of necessity - they had very limited or no access sources to crude. When one runs the numbers, the net energy budget is negative.

    I think this petrol-from-air initiative can only work if "renewable" sources are used to produce it. I suspect this was only a very small test facility, as one gallon in so much time is not very impressive. However it might work on a local scale (farmers, small businesses). But as long as we are dependent on a national grid that on averages wastes at least 40% of all energy produced in form of transmission losses, we are not smart and quite wasteful.

    And with more "renewables" coming online we need to construct generation capacity to backup when these "renewables" fail. Throtteling conventional generation facilities is extremely difficult, they are not designed for that, its very inefficient, and the latency is far too great - it takes hours.

    So what we need IMHO is a smart grid, with lots of localized small-scale production where excesses are fed back into the grid. A few massive conventional generation plants need to supply the grid with sufficient power for industries that cannot go offline and cannot cope with power failures - such as hospitals, heavy steel industries (blast furnaces), optical industries, and so forth.

    The Bessler wheel -if engineered well- would be ideal to backup such a smart grid, together with other small scale "renewables".

  6. Sometimes it's odd research like this that leads to breakthroughs. People make fun of experiments like this but we never know what the scientists could discover serendiptously.

    I think bessler discovered a renewable source of energy this way. He was looking for PM where everyone else looked, but found something else; the 'overlooked principle' as John likes to call it.

    1. He was looking for PM and FOUND PM ... you guys and your mental workarounds ... so funny !

    2. That's what he wants you to think.
      You'll never solve the mystery that way.

    3. Well, William Crookes (1832-1919) did discover the radiometer's working principle by sheer chance 1875. The discovery of radioactivity and x-rays were also accidental.

      However, I do agree with Chris and I think that Bessler was SPECIFICALLY looking for PM and trying DESPERATELY to make an OB wheel work. When all of his attempts failed, he began to carefully analyze why and then realized that it might be possible to use spring tension to assist in the shifting motions of the weighted levers that was necessary in order to maintain the OB of a wheel's weights' CoM as the wheel rotated.

      This approach is the next logical direction to head in after one finally realizes that "weights only" wheels can NEVER work, but then one quickly encounters a few problems with it that at first glance appear to be insurmountable (I'm at that point now!). With enough prayer, mechanical analysis, and even dreams, Bessler finally hit upon that unique lever shape and spring arrangement that would work. With the resulting epiphany, he then went on to have his "House of Richters" experience and "the rest is history" as they say.

  7. It looks like you're becomming a believer Doug.

    1. A "believer", no. I'm a realist.

    2. I think that by describing yourself as a "realist", you really only mean that YOUR particular version of reality is, sadly, not yet expansive enough to include the possibility of a genuine working OB PM gravity wheel. Quite fortunately, the rest of us DO have realities that CAN include this possibility!

      Perhaps you should pay heed to the words of the Master when he wrote:

      "Because Wagner is incapable of inventing such a device as mine,
      he thinks no-one else in the world can. He's the cleverest man of all
      who live on this earth. But, if only he could thoroughly cleanse his
      ears of the wax of hatred which is blocking them up, he'd soon
      realize, as many honest people do, that the world of mechanics is
      one that no-one can fully fathom. This being the case, why
      shouldn't the great Perpetuum Mobile have a place in it

  8. Chris, sorry to hear about you getting fired from your California job.

  9. Well, just when I thought I wouldn't have any news to report, either "good" or "bad", something surfaced during a modeling session early this morning that is looking VERY promising!

    Basically, I have found a most unique arrangement for the two springs which are attached to each of my 8 weighted lever wheel's "magic" levers which allows me to actually DOUBLE the spring tension I apply to the weighted levers moving between the 9:00 and 3:00 positions. With this huge increase in the assisting torques working on these levers, I can, at this point, see no reason why my 7:30 going to 9:00 position weighted lever should not be able to EASILY shift all of the leading levers' weights closer to their rim stops and thereby maintain the OB of the 8 weights on the wheel's descending side.

    This truly looks like it could be IT!

    I'm now in the process of constructing a model wheel which will use this very unique spring configuration. When it is done in a day or so, I will be ready for what I hope will be my LAST "moment of truth" test. This test, however, will actually have to be done in two separate stages.

    The Stage 1 will involve unpinning all of the 8 weighted levers and then seeing if the extra spring tension provided can maintain the stability of the orientations of the weighted levers in the upper half of the wheel. In the past, I have had to restort to using various types of latches to do this, but that is an overly complicated method that I now believe was only suggested by yet more "decoy" clues that Bessler purposely inserted into the portraits in order to lead the unwary reverse engineering mobilist astray.

    IF the design passes the Stage 1 test, then it will be time for Stage 2 testing. This simply involves unpinning the wheel from its fixed background and then using a motor to slowly rate it CW at the constant rate of 1 rpm which is the same rate that the second hand of a clock revolves around the dial and allows one to more easily follow the motions of the shifting weighted levers during each 45 degree increment of wheel rotation while also minimizing the CF acting on the design's 1 ounce weights.

    IF the design successfully passes Stage 2 testing, then I should see the 9:00 going to 10:30 position weighted lever's weight rise continuously and smoothly toward its rim stop as all of the other weights leading it also rise with the 1:30 going to 3:00 position weight finally making contact with its rim stop shortly before its lever's pivot reaches the 3:00 position of the wheel.

    While all of that is happening, I should be seeing the CoM of ALL 8 weights "dwelling" at a point on the wheel's descending side that is located about 0.25 inches from a vertical line passing through the center of the axle. (Note that this displacement is for my 36 inch diameter 4:1 model of one of the Merseburg wheel's one-directional "sub wheels". In the actual full size Merseburg wheel, the displacement would have been 1 inch.)

    IF both Stage 1 and 2 testing are successfully completed, then I will have no other choice than to accept that this design is, indeed, THE one that Bessler originally found and used. I, too, will finally have MY "House of Richters" experience!

    I should know what the outcome will be in a few more days. Suddenly, I'm doing a LOT more praying than is usual for me!

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