Wednesday, October 1, 2008

An Amazing Patent

The patent has finally gone public, so now I can tell you what Jeff and I have been helping Neil McCanney, my mom's husband, do for the last three years or so. Neil has come up with a totally innovative engine/power plant that produces hydrogen on-demand from plain old water as it's working to power a car, a boat, your house, whatever.

Why is this innovative? Well, you can read more about it by clicking on the title of this post (in the "Press" section of the site, there are links to a press release and Q&A that I wrote about it), but, in summary, it solves the so-far insurmountable issues of hydrogen production and storage, both of which have totally stymied the use of hydrogen as a widespread alternative fuel source. That's pretty amazing right there. Neil's engine requires a small amount of gasoline/diesel to create the heat needed for the reaction, but the end result is a drastic reduction in CO2 pollution and the equivalent of 250-400 miles per gallon. Crazy! Even cooler is the fact that the invention consists of parts that are available right now.  People are talking about alternative energy technologies being available in 10 years or 20 or 30 (or when it's far too late?). Why not 2 or 3 years? It's doable, so let's do it already.

It's been a huge challenge for all of us to get the invention this far. Now we're on the hunt for both funding and publicity so we can actually create the thing. Given that none of us have done this before, this is proving to be no small task. Just try getting the attention of anyone in Washington during an election year. While candidates make endless noise about green revolutions and alternative energy, people knocking at their doors with practicable ideas can't get anyone to listen. Frustrating to say the least. Still, we're persevering. For me, it's not only a chance to be part of a solution to our own energy crisis here in America, but, more importantly, a chance to provide technology to a rapidly developing world that deserves to advance but could be spared the same mistakes we've so tragically made. To put the entire planet on a road to sustainable development in a way that shares resources in a far more equitable manner rather than forcing people to squabble and bleed for them? That's a project I'm willing to spend my time and energy pursuing. It's the just thing to do.

So, if anyone reading this happens to know a venture capitalist or agency interested in economic and social justice through energy independence, let me know.  In the meantime, send out some positive energy, alternative or otherwise, please!

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