Since the advent of the automobile, manufacturers have designed different engines to limit the environmental impact posed by the millions of pounds of carbon emissions cars generate annually. Among these are ethanol, natural gas, electricity, and even propane. But perhaps the least-known of these is the car that was said to run on water. And that may be because its inventor, Stanley Meyer, was murdered shortly after he patented his breakthrough.
Meyer’s invention promised a revolution in the automotive industry. It worked through an electric water fuel cell, which divided any kind of water — including salt water — into its fundamental elements of hydrogen and oxygen, by utilizing a process far simpler than the electrolysis method.
Despite skepticism about the legitimacy of a car that runs on water, Meyer was able to patent his invention under Section 101 of the Subject Matter Eligibility Index, meaning he proved to a patent review board that his invention worked reliably.
Meyer’s water-powered engine was the result of 20 years of research and dedication, and he claimed it was capable of converting tap water into enough hydrogen fuel to drive his car from one end of the country to the other. His invention was mind-boggling and promised a future of non-polluting vehicles that could be refueled with a garden hose.