A team of European technomages have created a portable torch that’s fueled by nothing but water.
I don’t know much about science but I know magic when I see it, and this, I tells ya, is magic: SafeFlame, a portable torch that’s fueled not by dangerously combustible liquids, but by water. “The water is split into hydrogen and oxygen gases and fed into a torch where a flame is produced, which can then be used for brazing or any other industrial application where flame is used,” ITM Power research technologist Andrew Ellis explained. “So it’s just using water to make a flame, basically.”
Electrolyzer systems like this have been prohibitively expensive for most applications, owing to the high cost of the membranes and catalysts requiring platinum or other precious metals that they use. But Ellis said that expense has been reduced dramatically thanks to the effort of “a whole team of chemists” which has been working on new membrane formulations and finding cheaper catalyst materials.
The magical water-fire thingie requires electricity to operate, but the lack of pressurized acetylene means it’s much safer and cheaper to use. The flame burns cooler than that of a conventional acetylene torch, making it both easier to handle and easier on the eyes, and the torch itself remains cool to the touch. It’s also cleaner, producing only water when it burns.
The SafeFlame prototype is currently undergoing testing in the U.K., a realm well-known for its latent supernatural properties. More information about this most intriguing sorcery may be found at safeflameproject.eu.