EATONTOWN, N.J.--On a Saturday night, in a small garage near the Jersey shore, a mechanic turned on a Ford Explorer and put it into drive. The vehicle lunged two feet ahead. Sounds of jubilation erupted. Steven Amendola, a mustachioed chemist, jumped in the passenger seat. Five other giddy researchers piled in the back. They drove forward and backward, moving 10 feet at a time, again and again.
That joyride, possibly the world's shortest in distance, happened two years ago. Amendola's team had just proved that when dissolved in water an unassuming white powder made from borax, a common ingredient of laundry soap, could power a fuel-cell vehicle. No polluting emissions or greenhouse by-products would result from its combustion. Moreover, the basic fuel ingredient is relatively abundant.
This article was originally published with the title The Ultimate Clean Fuel.