Back in June I posted extensively about John Kanzius RF machine that cracked hydrogen out of saltwater. His last comments at the time were that he believed that his device had achieved unity–and therefor he would go silent. (That is, unlike electrolysis which is about 72% efficient–Kanzius believed his machine was +100–meaning he believed his machine produced more energy than it consumed. Needless to say, everyone around the net has said this is impossible.)

There have been a flurry of new articles this week on John Kanzius RF device for burning saltwater. None suggest, that the process creates more energy than it consumes. Here’s a new video. The video does a good job of sketching Kanzius visit to Penn State. He brought his device up to the labs of Penn State Materials Researcher Rustum Roy. According to the ScrippsNews:

Rustum Roy, a Penn State University chemist, held a demonstration last week at the university’s Materials Research Laboratory in State College, to confirm what he’d witnessed weeks before in an Erie lab.

“It’s true, it works,” Roy said. “Everyone told me, ‘Rustum, don’t be fooled. He put electrodes in there.’ ”

But there are no electrodes and no gimmicks, he said.

Roy said the salt water isn’t burning per se, despite appearances. The radio frequency actually weakens bonds holding together the constituents of salt water — sodium chloride, hydrogen and oxygen — and releases the hydrogen, which, once ignited, burns continuously when exposed to the RF energy field. Kanzius said an independent source measured the flame’s temperature, which exceeds 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, reflecting an enormous energy output.

According to another article:

Apparently, Kanzius’s invention–which uses just 200 watts of directed radio waves, not quite enough electricity to light three 75-watt light bulbs–breaks down the hydrogen-oxygen bond in the water, igniting the hydrogen.

The ScrippsNews continues:

As such, Roy, a founding member of the Materials Research Laboratory and expert in water structure, said Kanzius’ discovery represents “the most remarkable in water science in 100 years.”

But researching its potential will take time and money, he said. One immediate question is energy efficiency: The energy the RF generator uses vs. the energy output from burning hydrogen.

Roy said he’s scheduled to meet Monday with U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Defense officials in Washington to discuss the discovery and seek research funding.

“It seems like, to me, an interesting set of processes that’s been uncovered,” said George Sverdrup, a technology manager at the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado.

Brent Haddad directs the Center for Integrated Water Research at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

He commented in an email that the “research is located in the right place: at the nexus of energy production and water treatment. But it is too early to tell what the practical applications will be.”

Kanzius said he powered a Stirling, or hot air, engine with salt water. But whether the system can power a car or be used as an efficient fuel will depend on research results.

If its the case that the RF device imitates atomic frequency of the catalyst platinum–then it would be profitable to look for even better catalysts–and imitate their atomic frequencies. One candidate would be Titanium dioxide (TiO2).

Janusz Nowotny and Charles Sorrell are researchers from the Centre for Materials Research in Energy Conversion at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. They have been looking for an economical way to use titanium dioxide to act as a catalyst to split water into oxygen and hydrogen—using solar energy.

Nowotny and Sorrell announced their breakthrough today at the International Conference on Materials for Hydrogen Energy, hosted by the University of New South Wales in Sydney. They believe they have found a way to considerably improve the productivity of the solar hydrogen process (using sunlight to extract hydrogen from water) using a device made out of titanium dioxide.

If you added sunlight to the equation you wouldn’t have to worry about net energy. Just put salt water under glass in the sun and zap it with low wattage RF tuned to the atomic RF of Titanium dioxide (TiO2).

In addition I would suggest that the device be tested with high concentrations of salt in the water — just like you would find after much fresh water had been stripped out by RO. Break down the water to O2 & H2, capture the gasses, burn them to recombine into pure water. Recapture the waste heat energy & feed back into energy source to minimize total energy in. Provides the advantage of electrolisis-based desalination without the electrodes. This Wikipedia electrolysis entry toward the end gives a pretty good sketch of the details.  Just swap out the  electrolysis for the RF generating  device.

This experiment is well documented it shows how the addition of salt
will increase the output of hydogen ten times

Do this experiment and then move on to a radio wave RF device

There’s evidence to suggest that while the RF destabilizes the H20 — the Na acts as a heat sink (like any metal in a microwave oven) –and superheated–cracks the H2 out of the molecule–in a way similiar to methane steam reformation. So maybe water with high concentrations of Na would allow the same amount of hydrogen cracking at lower energy levels. At the very least the RO concentrate might be turned into a new source for hydrogen.

We will get our ideas together and check this out and see where it leads,” Roy said. “The potential is huge.”

Back in the 90’s when the SuperCollider was being built in Texas, Rustum Roy published an article in Physics Today questioning the enormous amount of money that was to be spent on this, and presumably diverted from other areas of scientific research. Leon Lederman, a Nobel Prize winner and SuperCollider backer, responded in a letter that questioned whether Rustum Roy was even a real person. Another writer then pointed out that making fun of Roy’s name was a sign that the SuperCollider backers did not have a valid argument. Not too long after this the SuperCollider was defunded.

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  1. I don’t understand how the energy output here can be more than the energy input. The reaction to generate the hydrogen is just reversed when the fuel is burnt again.

    If true maybe you have a useful way to generate Hydrogen which can then be used as a fuel at another location, you could generate the electricity needed by wind power and then you would have a relatively clean process – only emitting water when the hydrogen is burnt.

    Comment by Mathew — September 14, 2007 @ 8:55 pm

  2. Roy is careful not to say that the output is more than the input. And I haven’t heard Kanzius repeat the claim that the process resulted in a net output. But clearly the RF and the Na are in cahoots to crack the H20. Further experiments would work to further refine both ends of the equation.

    Comment by nick2 — September 14, 2007 @ 9:14 pm

  3. I put the patent number 6217712 into this searcher at the US Patent Office:

    Catalytic simulation using radio frequency waves


    The invention relates to a method of using radio frequency waves to artificially create catalytic action in a catalyst-free chemical reaction within a substance. To mimic or imitate the catalyst, radio frequency waves are transmitted through the substance at a signal strength sufficient to electronically reproduce the effect of the physical presence of a selected catalyst. The radio frequency waves have a selected transmission frequency substantially equal to a catalyst signal frequency of the selected catalyst, defined as the signal frequency determined by nuclear magnetic resonance of the selected catalyst. It is commonplace to use nuclear magnetic resonance to identify elements within a substance and the signal frequencies of various elements (including catalysts) are listed in widely published tables. To date, the mechanism by which catalysts bring about chemical reactions has been unknown. The inventor has recognised that the physical presence of a catalyst brings about a chemical reaction due to the emission of low intensity radio frequency waves from the catalyst with the signal frequency that is emitted being the signal frequency of the catalyst that is commonly determined by nuclear magnetic resonance. Therefore, the invention can be used to eliminate the need for expensive metallic catalysts, such as platinum. The invention electronically reproduces the effect of the physical presence of a catalyst by transmission of a radio frequency wave with a signal frequency equal to that signal frequency emitted by the catalyst and as determined by nuclear magnetic resonance of the catalyst.
    Inventors: Mohr; Thomas J. (Maple, Ontario, CA)
    Appl. No.: 09/412,359
    Filed: October 5, 1999

    Comment by nick2 — September 14, 2007 @ 10:24 pm

  4. […] Confirms : National Geographic ! Can we really set fire to water? : Cosmos Online, Australie Kanzius and Penn State Chemist Rostum Roy : nouvel article de […]

    Pingback by Energie : La grande découverte « SPQR — September 15, 2007 @ 1:34 am

  5. @Mathew

    IMHA, it is not a transformation process, e.g. from electricity –> to heat and light

    but I guess it could be a kind of extraction process.

    Comment by spqr — September 15, 2007 @ 1:43 am

  6. Here’s a report on scientist using radio wave RF to cool atoms. There’s considerable detail as to how this is done. Can anyone see how this might be inverted to produce heat?

    ‘Radio wave cooling’ offers new twist on laser cooling
    NIST physicists used radio waves to cool this silicon micro-cantilever, the narrow orange strip across the middle of this colorized micrograph. The cantilever, created by ion etching through a silicon…
    Click here for more information.

    Visible and ultraviolet laser light has been used for years to cool trapped atoms—and more recently larger objects—by reducing the extent of their thermal motion. Now, applying a different form of radiation for a similar purpose, physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have used radio waves to dampen the motion of a miniature mechanical oscillator containing more than a quadrillion atoms, a cooling technique that may open a new window into the quantum world using smaller and simpler equipment.

    Described in a forthcoming issue of Physical Review Letters,* this demonstration of radio-frequency (RF) cooling of a relatively large object may offer a new tool for exploring the elusive boundary where the familiar rules of the everyday, macroscale world give way to the bizarre quantum behavior seen in the smallest particles of matter and light. There may be technology applications as well: the RF circuit could be made small enough to be incorporated on a chip with tiny oscillators, a focus of intensive research for use in sensors to detect, for example, molecular forces.

    The NIST experiments used an RF circuit to cool a 200 x 14 x 1,500 micrometer silicon cantilever—a tiny diving board affixed at one end to a chip and similar to the tuning forks used in quartz crystal watches—vibrating at 7,000 cycles per second, its natural “resonant” frequency. Scientists cooled it from room temperature (about 23 degrees C, or 73 degrees F) to -228 C (-379 F). Other research groups have used optical techniques to chill micro-cantilevers to lower temperatures, but the RF technique may be more practical in some cases, because the equipment is smaller and easier to fabricate and integrate into cryogenic systems. By extending the RF method to higher frequencies at cryogenic temperatures, scientists hope eventually to cool a cantilever to its “ground state” near absolute zero (-273 C or -460 F) , where it would be essentially motionless and quantum behavior should emerge.

    Laser cooling is akin to using the kinetic energy of millions of ping-pong balls (particles of light) striking a rolling bowling ball (such as an atom) to slow it down. The RF cooling technique, lead author Kenton Brown says, is more like pushing a child on a swing slightly out of synch with its back-and-forth motion to reduce its arc. In the NIST experiments, the cantilever’s mechanical motion is reduced by the force created between two electrically charged plates, one of which is the cantilever, which store energy like electrical capacitors. In the absence of any movement, the force would be stable, but in this case, it is modulated by the cantilever vibrations. The stored energy takes some time to change in response to the cantilever’s movement, and this delay pushes the cantilever slightly out of synch, damping its motion.


    Comment by nick2 — September 16, 2007 @ 1:03 am

  7. Going back to 14 September: I finally saw a video clip (courtesy of Discovery Channel) where John Kanzius clearly cranked-up the RF output power to 400 Watt.
    Now the question is, is the efficiency really 72% (not too bad, compared with “normal” electrolysis method to obtain hydrogen). I’d love to repeat the experiment myself, the only unknown still is the “RF Frequency” which could be anything between 100kHz and several GHz. Was the frequency ever mentioned?

    Comment by Uli — September 19, 2007 @ 12:45 am

  8. This experiment is well documented it shows how the addition of salt
    will increase the output of hydogen ten times

    would suggest that you start there.

    This Wikipedia electrolysis entry shows a number of alternatives to salt you might then check to see their out put of hydrogen

    These tests find the best eletrolytes

    Oh and test various temperatures.

    Then get an RF machine and tune it to 13.56 Mhz and bombard some saltwater. For more details on the frequence see. I’ve heard others say there might be a harmonic of 13.56 Mhz involved as well. Anyhow I think 13.56 Mhz is the atomic frequency of platinum. See for more info

    Comment by nick2 — September 19, 2007 @ 5:04 pm

  9. Is there a network of tinkerers working on this?

    Comment by Mark — September 24, 2007 @ 6:18 pm

  10. I don’t know. but this site has received thousands of hits –and this is a perfect tinker project — so likely there’s lots of people working on this at every skill & bank level.

    Comment by nick2 — September 24, 2007 @ 7:10 pm

  11. I am an experienced engineer who will finance and attempt to build a replicate of this invention if I can get the specs. If anyone out there has any tecnical info on this experiment please forward asap. I will share test result data with critical information contributors. Please email much needed test data to

    Comment by Benjamin Rastafari — October 14, 2007 @ 8:37 am

  12. […] Desalination Research And Development Breaking News Incisive Analysis « Kanzius and Penn State Chemist Rostum Roy […]

    Pingback by Forward Osmosis. « Desalination Research And Development — October 18, 2007 @ 8:56 pm

  13. First Analysis of the Water Requirements of a Hydrogen Economy
    Good article of the title mentioned above

    its followed by a commentator who seems to be describing the kanzius effect. His comments seem to contain the best explanation of what’s going on the atomic scale that I have seen thus far.

    Electrolysis of water is not the answer. A process of HFR assisted plasma disassociation is more efficient. It requires less energy input and the hydrogen production is exponentially larger. The problems with standard electrolysis (low voltage, high amperage) and the necessity for an electrolyte are avoided such as excess heat production. The key is to separate the atoms by creating a resonant vibrational harmonic within the water molecule while simultaneously realigning the water isomers to prevent the atomic recombination of the monovalent radicals. This forces them to stabilize as dissolved divalent gas molecules of pure hydrogen and oxygen. These divalent molecules associate with one another, due to proximity effects (zeta potential), to form bubbles. As the bubbles get larger and gain buoyancy, they become visible. This is how many people in the past were able to achieve amazing results (e.g. Tesla, Rife, Meyer, and now Kanzius.
    If anyone would like to discuss this feel free to contact me.

    Carpe Diem

    Comment by nick2 — October 23, 2007 @ 5:57 am

    On Oct. 5, 2007, John said that “the largest research centers and nanoscientists in the world” are involved in this project.

    Comment by nick2 — October 24, 2007 @ 6:52 am

  15. The use of high frequencies to increase the efficency of water seperation seems to be a recuring discovery for inventors. Check out the patent for Stanley Meyer’s ‘Water Fuel Cell’ US Pat No 4,936,961. A device that produced hydrogen and oxygen from water using high frequency electric fields between two plates and exibited the same increase in performance when exposed to solar radiation. From the details in the patents I have calculated the frequency of the electric fields to be around 1.38Mhz, 10 times lower than the frequency for platinum but I believe the device relied on the resonant cavity between the two plates to produce a higher harmonic.
    As to being an energy ‘source’, if the catalysing effect of nthe RF can be produced efficiently enough then the actual splitting of the water could be done by ambient radiation, even low level heat. the convertion of ambient or solar energy into a fuel gas would make this kind of device a sustainable form of renewable energy.

    Comment by Lord Peel — November 12, 2007 @ 11:23 pm

  16. I’ve seen other posts mention that the percentage of the RF that’s actually absorbed by the water is on the order of 10%. So the aim of R&D is to increase the absorbtion rate–as well as calibrate the Resonace of the RF–& maybe throw in a harmonic.

    Comment by nick2 — November 13, 2007 @ 7:37 pm

  17. Nick2 Said: “Anyhow I think 13.56 Mhz is the atomic frequency of platinum. ”
    Nick2, I really liked the neat explanation that the device works by imitating the NMR frequency of a catalyst so I thought I would check it out.
    However the NMR frequency of platinum varies depending on the magnetic field applied to it, in this case the earths magnetic field as no magnetising coils appear to have been used. In the earths field (about 50microT) platinum has a resonant frequency of only 73kHz (at least thats what I calculated using the formulas on Wikipedia… should get an NMR expert to confirm). Where did you get your figure from?
    I am currently trying to build a recreation of a similar device to this from cryptic patents so if anyone has any good ideas about exactly how it works (within the realms of physics please….) contact me at to discuss

    Comment by Lord Peel — November 13, 2007 @ 9:20 pm

  18. I have another post on this at

    Type 13.56 into your search box and go through the references.Then check out the patents mentioned on the page as well as patents over at Peswicki. I think I link to them at the saltwater into fire blog.

    Comment by nick2 — November 14, 2007 @ 9:23 pm

  19. […] the players in cutting edge desalination related materials research. Presenters include Jason Holt, Rustum Roy, Erik Hoek […]

    Pingback by The Materials Research Society « Desalination Research And Development — February 8, 2008 @ 4:42 pm


    Kanzius’s lab demonstration offered little to convince me otherwise. Sure, a test tube of pure water sat there in his radio-wave gizmo with nothing happening, then a quarter teaspoon of Morton’s salt was added and, presto, the radio waves prompted it to catch fire. The gauge on the radio-wave generator read 200 watts, but there was no telling how much heat was coming off the flame or how much power was coming out of the wall, so I had no way of knowing whether this was an energy-losing parlor trick or a breakthrough.

    Then I contacted Dr. Rustum Roy, an authority on the structure of liquid water at Penn State University, which houses one of the foremost microwave research labs. He hadn’t met Kanzius, but his enthusiasm for the concept was palpable. No hard research has been conducted as yet — it’s only been a few months since the water first caught fire — but Dr. Roy speculates that because the 13.56-MHz radio frequency is a harmonic of the natural frequency of sodium ions, the waves are causing these positive ions to vibrate intensely. Van der Waal’s effects attract the oxygen end of water molecules to the positive sodium ions, and the vibration shakes the oxygen molecules hard enough to break the hydrogen bonds, freeing the hydrogen gas, which then ignites and burns. If true, the radio waves may be giving us electrolysis at a deep energy discount, allowing the flame to produce a net energy gain without breaking any thermodynamic laws.

    Comment by nick2 — February 11, 2008 @ 10:30 pm

  21. […] provided to pull up the pdf) This work basically confirms the information posted last year here and here. Note how the size of the flame varies with the concentration of NaCl. From the […]

    Pingback by Rostum Roy’s Work With Kanzius Effect « Desalination Research And Development — April 18, 2008 @ 8:23 pm

  22. Was the flame color ‘ghostly’ blue characteristic of burning

    Comment by richard minehan — April 24, 2008 @ 7:58 pm

  23. I have posted a follow up blog here.

    Penn State Materials Scientist Rostum Roy has basically confirmed everything Kanzius posted online. He gives the frequency that the effect takes place at and mentions that higher concentrations of NaCl affects the size of the flame.

    Still nothing on how efficient the process is.

    Unlike a forest fire which continues to burn after the match is put to it–this fire stops the instant radio waves are shut off.

    Comment by nick2 — May 17, 2008 @ 5:38 pm

  24. typically the color of the fire is not blue but yellow. You can see the color of the flame in any one of the videos of the process above.

    Comment by nick2 — May 17, 2008 @ 5:39 pm

  25. I am the inventor and patent holder of the “catalytic simulation using radio frequency waves” The NMR of Pt is 9.29 MHZ. In any case anyone using radio frequency energy to produce a catlytic effect in in danger of a serious patent infringement suit. That being said, what I think is happening with Kanzius project is the same as a microwave oven heating water. The salt gives the RF energy more particles to vibrate causing faster heating of the solution. According to the 4 laws of thermodynamics, raising the temp of the solution aids the energy needed to accomplish splitting the water molecule. Most high powered RF generators only operate at 20-30% efficiency, so it is unlikely that his method is any more efficient than electrolysis if all conditions are equal.

    Comment by Tom Mohr — July 13, 2008 @ 7:24 pm

  26. Thanks for your comments.

    You know I think there are two processes going on here. In addition to the Na (which is a metal) acting as a heat sink like any metal in a microwave–there is a second process. The H20 is being destabilized.

    According to wikipedia:
    Kanzius has proposed that the flame is produced by radio waves “forcing together” the “normally separated” hydrogen and oxygen in the water, a process he calls “reunification.”[13] In water (H2O), hydrogen is covalently bonded to oxygen, and thus the process must “reunite” pairs of hydrogen atoms and pairs of oxygen atoms, releasing dihydrogen (H2) and dioxygen (O2).

    Here’s an interesting physorg article that may provide some back up for kanzius’ contention.
    Researchers Observe Hydrogen-Bond Exchange

    According to the article:
    image of the H20 and D20 dimers. The H20 dimer appears to fluctuate in the image because they exchange hydrogen bonds 60 times faster than the D20 dimers. The rate difference implies that the interchange proceeds via quantum tunneling.

    Comment by nick2 — July 13, 2008 @ 7:43 pm

  27. the idea is very interesting and is kind of similar to water Electrolysis but of course with some diffrence.

    So I was asking if you could tell me some of the similarities and diffrences of the two processes and if there is an equation for the salt water with radio wave process and finally it said that when set to 200 watts it gave 13.56 MHz How did they calculate such process and how to calculate if 400 watts used ?


    Comment by Dina — September 26, 2008 @ 12:22 pm

  28. can radio frequency be used for desalination of salt water into fresh drinking water?

    Comment by clark — October 4, 2008 @ 5:41 pm

  29. Are there any conclusions on the Kanzius RF process?

    Comment by G F Heizer — October 21, 2008 @ 1:12 am

  30. No conclusions as yet.

    Comment by Charles — October 21, 2008 @ 5:48 am

  31. can radio frequency be used for desalination of salt water into fresh drinking water?
    yes but currently the thinking is that it wouldn’t be more cost effective/efficient than the other means of desalination.

    However, the Kanzius process hasn’t been optimized yet.

    So as of now, the jury is still out as to full implications of the Kanzius effect.

    Comment by Charles — October 21, 2008 @ 5:51 am

  32. FYI:

    “Kanzius’ friend, Bernard Wise, built Kanzius’ prototype radio-wave generator at his Energy-Onix Broadcast Equipment Co., an AM and FM radio transmitter manufacturer in Vallatie, N.Y. Wise said he built the equipment for free to benefit humanity.

    The 2,000-watt radio-frequency generator, which looks like a squat file cabinet, powers two units on a table in a UPMC lab where testing on rats soon will begin.”

    Comment by SM — January 5, 2009 @ 8:39 pm

  33. if you look up the thread at
    you’ll notice that the frequency used to get the kanzius effect 13.56 MHz is the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance for Oxygen

    It might be an interesting idea to try for an explosion. you might get an explosion if you hit the salt water with the radio frequency of the NMR of sodium — which is 26.451. The sodium is in stable ion form in the water because it has two added electrons–I believe.

    But if you bombarded the salt water with radio waves of the RF 26.451–the NMR of sodium– you might knock out the two added electrons from the sodium ion.

    Then there would be nothing but a pure sodium atom Na in water H2O. Na * H2O really don’t like each other.

    The effect of this is an explosion.

    Hey properly controlled you might even get a controlled ignition like with gasoline in a car engine.

    Comment by Charles — January 5, 2009 @ 9:06 pm

  34. […] worth mentioning that scaled up version of the ENI OEM-12B3 13.56 MHz RF Generator that generates John Kanzius’ radio waves might offer an even better way to reconcentrate the draw solution (salt) while providing an […]

    Pingback by Forward Osmosis. | Water Power R&D — February 10, 2010 @ 11:00 pm

  35. I’m still very interested in all this…Do u guys have any more updates/info to add….

    Comment by T O M — February 10, 2010 @ 11:53 pm

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