I have been blogging about HHO for years now. One of the tools I use to try to explain to people that this “technology” does not work is that if it did work then it would have been investigated by a university somewhere, however because any scientist with any idea of their subject can see that this “technology” is preposterous claptrap, that it cannot possibly work, no scientist or university will touch it.
In all the years I have been following “hydrogen-hybrids” I have never seen any proof whatsoever that it works… and the reason that I have never seen any proof is because it does not work.
That is until now…
Apparently I’m wrong!
All this is, apparently, set to change and I am going to have to eat my words because the Engineering Department of Kingston University in London claim to have tested the HHO machine made by Hydrox Solutions and they says it works… or have they?
A good thing, surely?
So why am I not shouting this from the roof tops? Surely to an environmentalist and renewable energy engineer like myself proof that a product exists which saves on fuel and reduces emissions is a good thing? Well it would be a good thing if it worked, however I’m certain that it doesn’t work. If it did work we would probably need to rewrite all the physics textbooks (Bob Park’s number seven warning sign of bogus science).
They have to be mistaken, there has to be something wrong with the experiment, the results have to be wrong…
“Proof of concept” and actual proof.
I asked Kingston University a series of questions here on this blog, when they replied it transpired that the University had not carried out the test at all! It was in fact Hydrox Solutions who carried out the experiment (see comments below) along with some of the University’s students using university resources.
This in itself is not unreasonable at this stage of development of a product, the “proof of concept” stage. What is unreasonable is that Hydrox are implying on their website that this biased and dubious test is proof from a university that the product works when it is nothing of the sort.
Anecdotal evidence and testimonials
The only proof so far offered to me so far has been that I may “like to talk to hydrox’s customer who will tell [me] that it does work”; anecdotal evidence (Bob Park’s number four warning sign of bogus science).
On Hydrox’s website we are offered two testimonials, one from CEPSA in Spain and one from Roger Royce Ltd. I have been unable to find out anything relevant about CEPSA but Roger Royce I have found out about (thanks to Lez of Sheep Poo Paper).
Roger Royce are apparently a 30 year old company transporting theatrical props in small trucks; it must be very cramped in their industrial unit as they share it with no less than Hydrox Solutions themselves! (Roger Royce, Unit A1, Impress House, Mansell Rd, London W3 7QH)
The alleged results are extraordinary and, as we all know, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, so why are we offered no proof beyond the biased anecdotal evidence of a friend and business associate?
I have also pointed out to the University and to Hydrox that proper scientific process requires peer review. Until an experiment’s paper is published in a scientific journal so it can be reviewed by other scientists it’s results are as good as meaningless. This review should happen before the results are released to the media. Peer review allows other scientists to see what has been done in the experiment and if the conclusions drawn were fair and accurate.
One thing peer review does is help safeguard the non-scientific community from bogus or bad science. This does not appear to have happened here. This experiment has never been published and the review process has never happened. Hydrox have published the results on their website when there is no reason to believe they are fair or true or accurate (Bob Park’s number one warning sign of bogus science).
So, summing up…
Although it says on the Hydrox website that a “full report of the testing at Kingston University is now available from Hydrox Solutions Limited upon request” it speaks volumes to me that they will not show it to me.
So far as I can tell Hydrox have sidestepped the normal and essential scientific procedure of peer review. Instead they are implying that an experiment carried out by themselves is proof that their product works by implying that it has been tested and is endorsed by a university’s engineering department.
Hydrox website registered to – Gavin Heritage, 40 Gibbs Road, Banbury, OX16 3HJ
Company claim to be at this address – Unit A1, Impress House, Mansell Road, London. W3 7QH.
Update – July 2011
Years after this blog post was originally posted the same lies are still all over the Hydrox website and now Vince Cable, Liberal Democrat MP for Twickenham, is giving them his full backing…. what an idiot!
In the Guardian his is quoted as saying the device is “an an excellent example of how highly innovative design can contribute to a more sustainable economy and environment. It proves how successful the UK can be through the union of cutting-edge research, business acumen, and sound environmental goals.”