Any conspiracy theorists around

  lofty29 09:13 21 Jun 2008

There have been over a period of time suggestions that alternatives to hydrcarbon fuels available that have been supressed by the big oil companies for obvious reasons. I do not know the answers, but if one thinks about it the internal combustion engine has been around for a hundred years running on petrol with only realatively minor improvements, it still operates on a petrol or deisel/air mix, when one considers the advances in other fields it seems strange that we are still operating on basically a century old technology.

  DrScott 09:22 21 Jun 2008

crushed fossils produce such a huge amount of energy, and no other natural resource has been able to replicate this.

Nuclear power is the only really recent development, but it has serious cost and waste issues. France has been working on a nuclear fusion reactor, but the financial support has not been there - in part due to a public perception of the dangers of nuclear energy.

I don't think there is any conspiracy.

  Forum Editor 09:40 21 Jun 2008

that if anyine had come up with something that had all the advantages of the internal combustion engine and cost the same or less to buy and run we would all know about it, and be using it.

The big petrol companies are as interested as anyone else in finding alternatives, so they can market them before others do.

  tullie 10:16 21 Jun 2008

But maybe not before the oil runs out?

  jimv7 10:42 21 Jun 2008

I remember a guy, who in the 1960's, under the supervision of westwood tv and or the AA/RAC, filled a tank with water, added a tablet then drove the car to exeter and back.

He was very adament that he was not going to sell out to the petrol companies.

But, he's never been heard from again.

  jimv7 10:47 21 Jun 2008
  Stuartli 11:03 21 Jun 2008

If the Government was really serious about curtailing the use of fossil fuels it wouldn't be encouraging, for instance, the provision of new runways at our major airports.

But most of us, I suspect, believe that global warming (renamed climate change to suit particular circumstances) is somewhat exaggerated.

The planet has been getting cooler or warmer over many thousands of years and the coldest and warmest summers and winters have occurred sometime, for instance, before the arrival of the internal combustion engine came into widespread use.

  Grey Goo 11:37 21 Jun 2008

Who knows for sure. However when the last person is standing on the top of Big Ben with their shoes getting wet and shouting "I told you so", it really won't matter anymore.

  Mr Mistoffelees 11:38 21 Jun 2008

If adding water to fuel really did work as well as is claimed in Jimv7's link I think we would have heard more about it.

I don't believe thier claims can be justified. If you burn a gallon of fuel, efficiently as modern engines do, you can only liberate a finite amount of energy. Adding a small amount of water is not going to increase the amount of energy that can be released from a gallon of fuel.

  Stuartli 13:12 21 Jun 2008

Strangely enough, although I support your comments, it's a known fact that in damp weather many car engines do seem to run more smoothly...:-)

  Cymro. 13:58 21 Jun 2008

Things don`t get discovered or invented in isolation. There is usually more than one individual, company or research lab working towards the same goal. So the chances of any big company keeping such a discovery secret is very slim.

Whatever it is that eventually replaces the internal combustion engine the big firms will be only too glad to get it out to the general public if only for the potential profit they can make from it. The oil is sure to run out eventually and so they will need to find something to make up for lost revenue.

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