Bahrain students develop water producing car
Manama, June 18, 2013
A group of Bahrain University students have developed a new hydrogen fuel cell car that could produce drinking water, a report said.
The first-of-its-kind prototype in the Middle East is being displayed at the fourth Energy and Water Conservation Expo and Forum which was launched yesterday (June 17) at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre, reported the Gulf Daily News.
The engineering students, who are all part of the university's Go Green 2013 project, have been developing alternative energy products, including a solar-powered car.
"We are actually building two new modified vehicles - solar and hydrogen fuel cell," said team leader Ahmed Mohamed Al Balooshi.
"The hydrogen fuel cell is the first-of-its-kind in the Middle East which runs on hydrogen fuel by sucking in oxygen and hydrogen. The engine produces electricity and pure water as a by-product which come out of the exhaust.
The water that the engine produces is too pure for human use, but with the addition of some salts it can actually produce high quality drinking water.
Al Balooshi explained that hydrogen fuel cell technology is viable in the region as most of the chemical required can be attained as a by-product of oil drilling, which is not being utilised locally.
He also said the solar-powered car, which has a theoretical top speed of 105kmh, is still in its production phase.
"The car is still in phase one, which means at this point it is not covered and it is just a functioning skeleton at the moment," said Al Balooshi. "We are waiting for our sponsors to provide the funding for the body. As soon as that happens the final shape of the car will be ready."
The developers have not decided what to do with the finished project in terms of selling the design to an international car manufacturer or possibly creating a local energy efficient vehicle manufacturing facility.
Al Balooshi is excited about the possibilities, but said the vehicle is still in its research and development stage and would be a while before a fully tested concept car is unveiled.
He said most of the interest for the development of the energy efficient vehicles has come from petroleum companies who have seen the potential of using such vehicles onsite.
"The petroleum companies want to use the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in their plants," said Al Balooshi. "It would be used inside their closed workshops or in malls as it produces almost no emissions. They have even talked about mass production as it is a vehicle that can be used indoors in places like malls." – TradeArabia News Service