A research group at the Tokyo Institute of Technology has developed a prototype experimental motor that generates rotational force from the chemical reaction between water and magnesium.
This prototype consists of a metallic cylindrical having a water inlet on its lower part and two outlets pointing in opposite directions on its upper part. The cylinder is filled with pieces of magnesium and heated to 600 degrees celsius.
When water is added, it reacts with magnesium to form magnesium oxide and hydrogen: Mg + H2O -> MgO + H2.
The propulsive force caused by the release of the two gases from the cylinder causes the cylinder to rotate on its axis. The hydrogen then reacts with the oxygen in the air to form water vapor.
As this engine does not use fossil fuels, it does not emit carbon dioxide. In addition, the magnesium oxide which results from the reaction can be recycled.
Indeed, the Tokyo Institute of Technology works in collaboration with Mitsubishi Corp. on a project called “Entropia Laser Initiative”, the objective of which is to recycle magnesium oxide by exposing it to a laser powered by solar energy.