Larry Thrasher, who operates an automotive shop on Blowing Springs Road five miles west of Hartselle, has developed a hydrogen fuel system that is more than doubling the fuel efficiency of his 1996 Cadillac (from 19 to 53 mpg) and has the potential to replace gasoline as the power source for any combustion engine. The same system enables his wife’s Toyota sedan to get 71 mpg on the interstate.
“I’ve actually cranked the car and run it at idle speed using nothing but the hydrogen contained in water,” Thrasher said. “But it didn’t have the power you need for normal driving conditions. Now I’m concentrating my efforts on weaning the car away from gas a little bit at a time.”
From the outside, Thrasher’s Cadillac looks like any other make and model of its kind. The difference is inside. A 14-gallon water tank is mounted in the trunk and two cylinders are mounted under the hood and behind the grill. One of the cylinders is used to extract hydrogen from water and the other produces a water mist that is used to control engine temperature, since hydrogen burns at a higher temperature than gasoline.
Thrasher said his fuel system uses filtered tap water, has no moving parts and doesn’t leave any pollutants behind. It uses about 1.5 ounces of water every 60 miles.
“It does require the periodic cleaning of the generator,” he said. “That takes about 10 minutes and anyone can do it.”
An ordained Baptist preacher, Thrasher said he started doing research on the internet for his fuel system about 18 months ago and began conducting experiments on his own car last August.
“I reached a point where I needed more hydrogen and I didn’t know which way to turn,” Thrasher said. “I asked the Lord to show me what I needed to do next and he directed my attention to a piece of equipment in the shop that I had overlooked. I hooked it up and got six times more hydrogen than what I was getting before.”
He said he knew immediately he had the answer he was looking for and he and his co-worker Larry Witt ran outside and circled their shop building hooping and hollering.
“People laughed at me when I told them God showed me how to run a car on water,” Thrasher said. “They did the same thing to Noah when he told them why he was building the ark. Now I’m telling them they can save themselves from being downed by the big oil companies by getting on the hydrogen ark I’m building.”
“It takes about three weeks to build and install a fuel system,” Thrasher said. “At that rate we could work the rest of our lives and still not take care of all the motor vehicles in Morgan County.”
When asked about a patent for his fuel system he said he has a lawyer working on that.
“This is huge but I don’t know where it’s going to lead,” he said.“ I would be open to having the system mass-produced so that it would benefit every vehicle owner, but I’m not interesting in the government being involved.”