Guido FRANCH, et al. :

Water to Gasoline


Robert A. Nelson

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could burn water for fuel? Think of all the money we could save, since water costs only 25 cents a gallon this week!

It’s a wet dream that has been fulfilled several times. The most recent instance occurred in 1996 at the Indian Institute of Technology (ITT), where 30-years old Ramar Pillai demonstrated the apparent conversion of water to a hydrocarbon fuel by mixing it with a secret herbal formula he had discovered. Scientists were understandably amazed by the experiment, which was organized by ITT chemist N. K. Jha. "It is incredible but true", Jha said.

About two ounces of leaves and bark were boiled in a liter of water, cooled, and a small amount of salt, citric acid, and secret chemicals were added. About a pint of combustible liquid that smells and burns like kerosene was produced within 30 minutes. The National Chemical Laboratory (Pune, India) analyzed the substance and found it to be a pure hydrocarbon with a boiling point of 170° C. The new fuel is more efficient than gasoline, and produces no sulfur exhaust. Researchers at the Indian Institute of Petroleum confirmed the reality of the process.

Ramar Pillai was granted 20 acres of land on which to cultivate the marvelous bush, and he applied for patents on the process. Then Pillai was accused of being a charlatan; allegedly he had added oil to the process by legerdemain even as scientists watched him perform the experiment.

In 1916, Louis Enricht announced that he had invented "a substitute for gasoline that can be manufactured for a penny a gallon". As a demonstration, Enricht allowed reporters to inspect the empty gas tank of an automobile. The reporters also tasted the water that Enricht then poured into the tank. He added a green pill, started the car, and gave the reporters a ride around Farmingdale, Long Island. William Haskell, publisher of the Chicago Herald, investigated Enricht’s claims. He wrote:

"I examined the entire engine and tank. I even tasted the water before the mysterious green pill was dropped into the tank. Then I opened the petcock and examined the liquid, which now tasted like biter almonds. I also tasted the liquid at the carburator which was the same. I was amazed when the auto started. We drove it around the city without any trouble".

A few days later, however, reporters learned that Enricht had been indicted for fraud in 1903, and had been involved in other phony schemes. Despite his lack of credibility, Enricht was able to get Benjamin Yoakum to finance him and organize the National Motor Power Company. Investigators from the British Army were given a demonstration, and they reported that, "The car operated as expeditiously and efficiently as it would have on gasoline".

The deal soured, however, and Yoakum sued Enricht, who was forced to open a safe deposit box in which he supposedly had placed the formula and a sample of the substance. It wasn’t there, and the National Motor Power Company folded. Enricht eventually was convicted of another fraud (extracting gasoline from peat) and served several years in Sing Sing prison.

In 1917, John Andrews approached the US Navy with his claim that he could convert fresh or salt water into a fuel with the same power as gasoline. The chemical costs were about 2 cents/gallon.

Andrews was allowed to demonstrate his invention at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where a motor boat was fitted with a dynamometer for the test. Commander Earl P. Jessup, who was Captain of the yard, said:

"We gave Andrews a bucket of water drawn from the Navy Yard [fresh water] hydrant by one of the yard attaches. He got into his car with a gallon can which we inspected and found to be empty and a little satchel he carried with him. In about a minute he handed out the filled can which I personally carried to the open fuel tank. While pouring the liquid into the tank, Andrews held a lighted cigarette close to the liquid, which did not ignite. That showed it was not gaseous or inflammable at that part of the demonstration, which to me was most important. The engine caught just as quickly as it would have done with gasoline, and after a moment’s adjustment of the carburator, it settled down to its work, developing 75% of its rated horsepower, a remarkable showing with any fuel with so slight a readjustment of the carburator".

In a second test, Andrews was put in an empty room with no possible way to get rid of the bucket of salt water with which he had been supplied, except to empty it into his one-gallon gas can. Commander Jessup said:

"In a minute he emerged with the can filled, and the engine again used it up, no difference being noted between the salt water and fresh. Besides myself, Rear Admiral G.E. Burd, the Industrial Manager of the yard, was present and with the precautions we had taken --- our own Navy engine, tank and carburator and our own men supplying the water --- there was no possibility of deception.

"From a military viewpoint, it is almost impossible to visual"ze that such an invention means. It is so important that we have hurried an officer to Washington to make a report to the navy Department. It is obvious that Andrews has discovered a combination of chemicals which breaks down water to a form that is inert until mechanically vaporized by the carburator, when the spark causes it to burn as gasoline burns".

Walter Meriwether, the Navy editor of the New York World, met with Andrews at his home in McKeesport, PA. Andrews was extremely paranoid. He said:

"Somebody poisoned my watchdog last week. The only reason my dog was poisoned was so somebody could get at me more easily. I am being followed everywhere, day and night. A lot of people know about my invention --- how it will put every oil company in the world out of business. Two cents a gallon for a substitute as good as the best they can refine? I tell you, my life is not worth that [snapping his fingers]! Think of what my invention means to nations at war".

Meriwether offered to arrange for a thorough test of his invention with the Navy Department in Washington DC, and Andrews accepted his help. Meriwether managed to arouse the interest of Secretary Josephus Daniels, who said:

"Tell the man to come on at once; I will have a submarine and airplane detailed and ready for him on his arrival".

Meriwether telegraphed Andrews, but received no reply. He returned to McKeesport, but Andrews could not be found. Meriwether then accompanied the police to Andrews’ home, where they found signs of a violent struggle in the ransacked house. No trace was found of Andrews.

But Andrews had not been kidnapped or murdered; he had simply reported back to his seaman’s post in the Canadian Navy. He returned to the USA in the 1930s. In 1942, a reporter named James Kilgallen found Andrews living on a farm near Library, Pennsylvania. Andrews said that he had forgotten the formula.

Another version of the Andrews mystery states that he was found murdered in his home in 1937, and all of his notes and supply of green powder were missing. His sister allegedly took the notes and fled to Scotland, where she too was murdered only a year later. The eminent journalist Tom Valentine, who has written numerous articles about suppressed technologies, once received a phone call from a man who claimed to be John Andrews, Jr. His innuendos could not be proven, of course:

"My aunt was killed and then some of my relatives suddenly got rich and I believe the process for making the powder is known and the people who know are the Phillips Petroleum Company".

The next person to demonstrate the conversion of water to fuel was Guido Franch, a former coal miner who tried for nearly 50 years to find financiers for his product. He too used a green powder to turn water into 105-octane fuel. He called it "Mota", which is atom spelled backwards.

Franch demonstrated Mota hundreds of times, but never produced it commercially. He did, however, sell about 3000% of his rights to interested investors. In 1973, Franch was subpoenaed to appear in Chicago’s Federal Circuit Court "with any records relating to the purchase or the proposed purchase of any fuel, fuel powder, or fuel formula in your possession". He demonstrated his Mota transmutation in the presence of judges William Bauer and Philip Romiti, who believed what they saw, and Franch was acquitted of charges of fraud.

The fuel is produced with one pound of the reagent in 50 gallons of water. It burns clean and leaves no residue. In one demonstration with a lawnmower, it ran for about 15 minutes on a small amount of Mota-treated water. An equal amount of gasoline lasted only 3 minutes. Mota fuel is very sensitive to sunlight, which will turn it back to water with a white powder residue.

Gary Bolz, a consultant on carburetion and fuel engineering, was able to test Mota with the help of chemists at Michigan State University and Havoline Chemical Laboratories. Bolz stated:

"The granules are dark olive green. As they enter water, they dissolve in a string of green, which begins to spread fiber-like throughout the water. As the water begins to react, there is a swirling effect. Reaction is complete in a few minutes. If the crystals are mixed in 1:1 ratio with water, the resulting fluid is highly explosive and can be detonated by a small shock. But it isn’t shock-sensitive when mixed at a normal ratio of one ounce of powder per half gallon of water. The finished fuel is lighter than water".

Franch claimed that the manufacture of Mota was taught to him and others in 1925 by a German scientist named Alexander Kraft, who died in 1941. One pound of the green crystals can be produced from 25 pounds of coal at a cost of about $100.

Franch received about $100,000 from small investors over a period of 40 years. He used that money to live on, and never manufactured any Mota. He received several serious offers from major investors, but his financial demands were unreasonable and nothing practical ever came of his demonstrations and negotiations.

It appears that we are obliged to continue burning gasoline until some genius rediscovers the secret of extracting green crystals from coal.

Guido Franch demonstrating Mota. Photo by Tom Valentine.

FOCUS, Volume 1, Number 10 (December 31, 1985)

Alternative Energy? What about "those little green granules"?

by Jimmy Ward

    On July 13, 1979, the story of Guido Franch and his "Mota-Fuel" made the papers nationwide. He claimed he could turn ordinary tap water into 105 octane gasoline by merely adding some green crystals to it. With a gasoline shortage in full swing, his announcement was met with a great deal of interest.

    Franch, 69, of Villa Park, Illinois, had been subpoenaed to appear in Federal Court with records "relating to the purchase of any fuel, fuel powder, or fuel formula in (his) possession or under (his) control" since 1968.

    Franch did not claim credit for discovering the mysterious fuel, only for converting the formula for use as a motor fuel. The real inventor, he claimed, was Alexander Craft, a German scientist who died in 1941. Kraft was a rocket fuel expert involved in  "doing research way ahead of his time."

    Franch claimed he could make one pound of granules out of 25 pounds of coal and that it cost him about $100 to make a pound of granules, but mass production would drive the cost down to about $4.00 a pound or about 8 cents per gallon of gasoline.

    He was later charged, tried and convicted of bilking large sums of money from his investors who were never allowed to see how he made his granules or even how he converted water to "gasoline". They were given containers filled with a greenish liquid that smelled like cleaning fluid instead. It did burn and even power cars, however.

    Was he only a con artist, or did he really convert water to fuel --- or both? It is interesting to note that during the trial, the matter of whether he actually could or couldn't convert water to fuel was hardly mentioned. More curiously, the allegation that his "Mota-Fuel" was a hoax was NEVER mentioned. In fact, there was no mention of any hoax at all, only that he had "stolen" money from his investors. Does this mean "Mota-Fuel" was real? And that it was made from coal-derived granules?

    Actually, this is not the first time those green granules made from coal have turned up. In the Cincinnati Enquirer for April 25, 1897, an aeroship (see Aero files in the Gravity section of KeelyNet), was reported to have landed, the occupants of which claimed their craft used a "volatile substance" that somehow NEGATED THE FORCE OF GRAVITY. C.A.A. Dellschau died in 1924 leaving behind several books of drawings of strange-looking airships allegedly designed in the mid-1800s which used a gas that negated gravity in order to fly. The gas was made by adding green crystals to ordinary water. Coincidence? These crystals were made from coal too.

    Even more bizarre is the story of one Dr. Rhinelander (apparently a pseudonym) who allegedly was contacted by aliens toward the end of the century. They supposedly gave him plans to build an aerial craft which would operate on a propulsion principle totally unknown to him. He was instructed tocollect scientists and migrate to a coal mining area of the MidWest. The nearby coal mines were to supply the basic ingredients for a new fuel which could be made from ordinary water. Those green granules again!

    More "down to earth" is the story of John Andrews. In 1917, he used a green powder to convert sea water to gasoline before the astonished eyes of several US Navy brass. Even though it was tested in the tank of a motorboat and proved more than satisfactory, the Navy was "not interested". In fact, he seems to have been unable to find anyone who was interested! In 1935, he converted tap water into fuel before members of the Bureau of Standards and gave a demonstration of its power, but they too declined to take action.

    There are other stories of other inventors who appear to have been able to transform water into something resembling gasoline. All of them have the same basic elements: green granules or powder MADE FROM COAL. Demonstrations are given, often before such people as Earl Eisenhower (brother of the president), or large companies such as Ford Motor Co. or Standard Oil. Typically the alleged inventor never takes full credit for his discovery and declines to divulge the secret process for creating the mysterious granules.

    Fact or fiction? FOCUS doesn't know either.

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