MadSci Network: Engineering

Re: Contactless saltwater based MHD propulsor ?

Date: Tue Feb 5 17:18:30 2008
Posted By: David and John Free, Post-doc/Fellow, MFA, MFA
Area of science: Engineering
ID: 1196029723.Eg

Hi Victor

No a current must pass through the liquid (unless you want to use 
alternating current and alternating magnetic fields - which gets a bit 

You best idea is to change the liquid.
Mercury is best but turns the hair of all the health-and-safety 
inspectors white!
Dilute sulphuric acid is the best conductor among ionic water-based 
liquids and if you use lead electrodes you will get no toxic gas. (All 
you will get is a little energy stored in your "lead acid battery"!).
If you use very high current densities (amps per square inch), you will 
get hydrogen and oxygen released all ready to go bang if you apply a 
match or a spark. So keep it well ventilated.
Dilute sulphuric acid (density 1.2 g/ml) is not dangerous, but keep it 
off your hands, eyes and clothes.


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