In 1942, Bolivian inventor Francisco Pacheco invented a device that turns sea water into clean, combustible hydrogen on demand. His first experiment involved a small unit which produced enough fuel to boil water. From there, he took his hydrogen fuel generator and used it to run a motorcycle.
U.S. Vice President,
Henry Wallace and the
president of Bolivia, General Enrique Penaranda encouraged Francisco to bring his invention to the
United States. Arrived in the U.S. with a
letter addressed to the Chief Military Intelligence Service of the
United States War Department from Colonel Clarence Barnett from the American Embassy. Pacheco successfully demonstrated
his generator to the Bureau of Standards in Washington DC and applied
for a U.S. patent. Because there was war all U.S.
patents had to be sealed for one year. After the year was up, Pacheco
received a letter from the patent office stating that because of the
high cost of aluminum and magnesium his patent was impractical. He went home to
Bolivia but shortly thereafter returned to the United States.
In1967, he moved his family to Upper Greenwood Lake, New Jersey. In his basement laboratory, he continued to perfect his invention.
Around 1970, pollution and oil shortage became a problem,
the time was finally
right. He secured a U.S. patent and a few years later, he received
patents from Germany, Brazil and Japan.
In February of 1974, Pacheco demonstrated
his pollution free hydrogen fuel cell to Congressman Robert Roe. With
no outside power source, the self taught chemical engineer connected
the fuel cell to a Homelite alternator unit with a 3 horse power 1000
watt generator with a 4 stroke engine.
On July 17th, 1974 a 26
foot power boat ran for nine hours using the Pacheco generator and
seawater for fuel.
In September of 1973, Francisco had his invention analyzed by independent experts. The Pacheco generator passed all tests at the New Jersey Gollob Analytical Service Corporation Labs.
In 1979, Nan Waters, a consulting chemist with the Aesop Institute analyzed the generator and wrote: "Basically, he has combined in one device three very simple chemical principles; a) The use of active metals to produce hydrogen from water, b) The differing electrical potential of two metals to produce an electrical current, c) The use of electrical current to produce hydrogen from water by electrolysis. All the ideas are well known; they simply havn´t been put together this way before. It is so simple as to be elegant."
Francisco tried to interest the automobile industry. He contacted energy companies and one such company, Consolidated Edison, sent a research chemist to see the generator in action. The chemist was enthusiastic but his company had no interest. He sent details of his invention to all the major oil companies. A representative told him, "We are in the oil business. Your invention, if we were to develop it, would be against our interests." Francisco contacted Geraldo Rivera, who he had meet after his power boat demonstration. Mr. Rivera was excited about the invention and promised to help, but apparently the TV station nixed the idea of doing a show.
In 1977, Mr. Pacheco adapted his generator to provide a complete energy system for his neighbor´s new home. A demonstration of the home generator was witnessed by the New Jersey Commissioner of Energy and staff, but again nothing happened.
In 1979, for 5 consecutive days, the generator was demonstrated for the public generating on demand hydrogen, electric and thermal energy as its output at the International Inventors Exposition. He received at this time, a plaque and award presented by a Commissioner of the Patent Department. At the Massachusetts headquarters of the Inventor´s Club of America, he received 2 consecutive Hall of Fame Awards for 1978 and 1979.
1980 the CBS program 60 Minutes contacted Francisco and told him they
wanted to do an entire show on his invention. The demonstration
included showing a hydrogen fueled
burner, running an electric motor, blowing up a balloon with the gas,
cutting a number 2 from a ¾ thick steel plate with a torch and running
a 3hp lawnmower engine. When the show aired the only part of the
demonstration that was
shown was the failure of the lawnmower to work.
In 1986, he wrote to the Department of Energy
about his generator. He received a form letter in response from an
"Information Specialist" which included brief information describing
the virtues and drawbacks of hydrogen as fuel. Francisco
wrote back to the DoE, addressing each of their points with technical
data on his system, showing them that the system he developed would
overcome the obstacles they described. His detailed response was
June 1989, Pacheco's story was presented to the United Nations
Environmental Forum in a speech given by the author Karin Westdyk. Francisco was invited to demonstrate his generator at
the Green Energy Conference in Canada,
In 1990 he was invited to participate in the International Hydrogen Energy Conference in Hawaii.
1994 A chapter was devoted to the Pacheco Generator in Suppressed
Energy Inventions, published by the Aukland Institute of Technology.
In 1996, his story is included in The Coming Energy Revolution, by
His grandson Edmundo Pacheco still holds the patent rights.
Vehicular propulsion system- Gordon R. Stone
Electrolytic cell for producing alkali metal hypochlorites - Nobutaka Goto, Michiru Naito
Control system for hydrogen generators - Otto J. Adlhart
Bi-polar auto electrolytic hydrogen generator - Francisco Pacheco
Method for renewing fuel cells using magnesium anodes - Stuart Rosner
Hydrogen generation system - Debabrata Ghosh, Asoke Chandra Das Chaklader, Zhaolin Tang, Zhong Xie
Galvanic hydrogen producer - Morris Fidelman
Hydrogen generator - Francisco Pacheco
Sandwiched structure for production of heat and hydrogen gas - Stanley A. Black, James F. - US Navy
Self-energizing water treatment accessory Michael H. Mack