Generating Hydrogen Using US Patent # 4,702,894 (Francois Cornish)

Dear Friend:

I decided to do this month's newsletter on hydrogen production because of a few emails I received from someone who requested my free biodiesel book and thus got on my newsletter email list. Normally, I'm not a big fan of hydrogen. It's expensive to make, it will not run a standard car or generator (or so I thought), the whole fuel delivery infrastructure would have to be rebuilt, everyone would have to buy a new car with a fuel cell in it, and it's very explosive and dangerous. What can I say... I may have been wrong! The first email was this one...

We are setting up self dependent villages in the Southern African region.
As an eg, one village (normaly arround 500) grows maize, the next produces Bio diesel from this maize, the third has cattle etc.
Our bio diesel plant runs on the Indian technology, we de-sal water through a Grahamtech reverse osmosis process, produce electricity through a Hydrogen generator feeding a generator.
If there is any further advise, improvements or knowledge you can share, it would be much appreciated.
Prof F Cornish

This email initially caught my attention because he mentioned he was "producing electricity through a hydrogen generator feeding a generator" . I had never heard of anybody doing that before, so I emailed him back to try and get a clarification on what he was doing. His response was...

 The H2 is produced on demand in an HSU, more info at "cornish hydrogen" under google etc. The resultant pollution is virtualy 0, therefore high carbon credits.

Prof F Cornish

I was still a little skeptical, so I sent him another email inquiry trying to nail down exactly what he was doing down there in South Africa. His last response was...

We run all on aired down Hydrogen, we built our units together with Aerovlot back in the 80's & 90's, and as per the figures picked up, the unit runns alone for > 24 hours on a spool costing Rsa 12-00 ($1.80), which runs our remote pumps, heating and lighting for 10-20 houses.
Prof F Cornish

Here are the last two emails I received from Francois Cornish regarding his hydrogen generator...

Following your publication and a number of enquiries, I feel it pertanant that the following should be included, as you quote "All you thermodynamic experts out there are going to say that is impossible", this was addressed in the late 80's, when this mad Frenchman devised the name "Plasma Phisics", which today is accepted and several University departments have been initiated in this field. Secondly my sat phone number is +27 82 253 1151, this shold possibly be included as many enquiries are comming in via clinic fax lines etc

Prof F Cornish
proffpc @ (spaces inserted to avoid spam - do not type them)
+27 (0)82 253 1151

A number of mails and calls. Prefer that my mail address or sat phone number be given out.

Have two "big boys" bidding for the license, this will pay for our cancer treatment expansion program.

Yes it is I who devised this system in the early 80's, but my interests are in 1) upliftment in Southern Africa and 2) rolling out our t-cell mod Cancer treatment- results thus far, out of 120 UK patients all on the <8 week list, ONE fatality (gone on arrival), all the rest given >5 year remissions. Pitty about the power outages in the fairest Cape or we would have been able to do many more treatments.

We run our present units (left over from USSR licence), on 1lb of spool in +-24 hours, the lister pumps run dual feed gens, second feed for the HSU. We do not wish to take on the big boys again, as we feel that our humanitarian side is outshining any other C treatment and NO chemo or radiation!

Interest in manufacturing - well let one of the "big boys" pay and run with it.

Energy balance --The TU154's ran on a bank of units, using only spools and water (salinated) from their tanks. Welcome to do the calc's yourself.

Prof F Cornish

So... basically, what he is doing is making hydrogen on demand and then feeding that into a standard carbureted gas engine/generator setup similar to the one I describe in "Electricity - Make it, Don't Buy it". The gas engine probably only needs some minor adjustments to run on hydrogen. I've never tried it, but I would expect hydrogen to require a leaner mixture with air and you would have to bypass the regulator since the hydrogen will be stored at very low pressures. This is assuming you are converting a propane or natural gas generator to hydrogen. If you are converting a gasoline generator engine, you would need to do some other stuff. Here is a web page that shows you how to convert a gas generator to propane and I would think converting to hydrogen would be similar...

I didn't put two and two together...

While this "Prof F Cornish" and I were emailing back and forth, I didn't even realize that he was the actual inventor named in the famous cornish generatorCornish Hydrogen Generator patent #4,702,894 - "Hydrogen Supply Unit". I was familiar with the patent because I read through it briefly as I have hundreds of other patents. The first time I read through it, I assumed it was just another inefficient electrolysis hydrogen generator. But if this guy is producing hydrogen and he has enough electricity left over to power 10-20 homes, there must be something to this technology! Even if he was using an external source of electricity to power his hydrogen generator, it wouldn't make a whole lot of sense to use more electricity in generating hydrogen than you would get out of the hydrogen powered genset. I'm sure they don't have that kind of electricity to waste in their remote village.

What I assume they are doing is using some of the generated electricity to power the hydrogen making process. I know! I know! All you thermodynamic experts out there are going to say that is impossible. But... it seems to be what he is doing. I'll see if I can't get some more details and post an update here. So... check back often.

Accessing the USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office) Patent Image Database
excerpt from "Electricity - Make it, Don't Buy It" ...

To access a patent, just click on this link and then simply enter the patent# in the box on the screen (Cornish patent is #4,702,894). All the older patents are images only so click on "Images" and the first page of the patent should show up. These images are in TIFF format so your system has to be able to view TIFF files. If nothing shows up on your screen or some other problem occurs, then your system probably does not have the ability to view TIFF images. Don't worry - there is a free download called AlternaTIFF that is available on the USPTO website. Just click on the "Help" box at the top of any USPTO screen and then click on "How to access Patent Full-page images". Follow the directions to install AlternaTIFF and then retry the process by clicking on the link above and reentering the patent#. If you can view the TIFF images but you can't print them, then install AlternaTIFF and use AlternaTIFF's print icon instead of using your browser's print function or Ctrl P.

hydrogen generator

Energy update...

I was watching C-SPAN yesterday and there were some senators on there questioning somebody from the Department of the Interior. I believe it was the Interior Secretary, Gale Norton but I'm not positive.The DOI provides the resources for nearly one-third of the Nation's energy. Anyway... one of the senators was complaining about his constituents having to set their thermostats in the 50's this year. And... one of them said that this year's heating bill is consuming 50% of her husband's monthly paycheck. They also talked about using public lands to grow switchgrass for producing cellulosic ethanol as I talked about in the Ethanol Newsletter. The senators were also complaining about the loss of jobs in the US that rely heavily on fossil fuels like the fertilizer industry, petrochemical industry, polymer and plastic industry, steel and other metal industries, etc. Folks... if you have not read "The Oil Age is Over", then go to our alternative energy store and get it now. What these senators were complaining about, is only going to get worse. It's reality and it's all in the book. Don't be one of the uninformed people who will be scrambling when the hard times hit - at least educate yourself as to what is coming so you can prepare at your own pace before it's too late.


Bill Anderson