Never mind turning water into wine – inventor Philip Thompson can turn water into fuel.
At a time when petrol costs are spiralling, Philip has spent the last six months creating a hydrogen fuel generator which transforms water into a petrol-boosting substance.
Inspiration struck when former lecturer Philip, 40, from Leyland, read about an existing type of technology on the internet and realised it could be put to use in cars.
He has been holed up in his workshop ever since.
Married father-of-one Philip, who used to teach computing and electronics at Liverpool College, said: "It started as a bit of fun.
"A few people told me about something they'd seen on the internet. I thought that looks interesting, maybe I could have a go. I was inspired by the ability to save on fuel costs.
"It takes tap water and splits it into its component parts of hydrogen and oxygen which, when mixed together, makes hydroxy gas.
"That's fed through to the engine and it enriches the burning process, giving you more miles per gallon.
"The secret to success in producing the hydroxy gas is in how much power you consume.
"Many people are doing this, companies all over the UK and people all round the world. They are doing exactly the same thing, but they are using a lot of power to do it."
The generator is currently boosting Philip's Land Rover mileage from 30 to 45 miles per gallon.
Tests reveal the generator is capable of producing up to 100 litres of gas an hour, using the same energy as a 60-watt light bulb.
He created a prototype which he posted on the internet – attracting 4,000 hits in the first day and scores of emails.
Philip said: "Something like this, maybe a little more compact in time, could be mounted in a car and you wouldn't have to refuel. You could drive along and produce the gas as you're driving."
Nissan is currently developing a car that runs on pure hydrogen, but it would still need to be physically refuelled.
Philip has spent thousands of pounds developing the generator and has an improved one in the pipeline.
He said: "This is the third prototype.
"I've been up until late at night, have woken up at 3am with a sketch pad, scribbling designs."
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