Bali’s magic fuel

December 5, 2007

By Adhityani ArgaIndonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono inspects a low-emissions car during Bali U.N. meeting

Gasoline made from plain water? An Indonesian company says it’s possible.

In a lavish ceremony held on the sidelines of this week’s U.N.’s climate talks in Bali, the company launched a range of gasoline and diesel products under the name “blue energy” witnessed by Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono himself.

Just days before the launch, Indonesia’s environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar said that the country would have “its own fuel made out of plain water”. 

Five cars, pumped with “blue energy” that have made a 5-day trip from Jakarta to Bali went through a pollution test. The result: 50 percent lower emissions on average.

 Yudhoyono dubbed this “a winner for Indonesia”, cheered by the crowd in white-blue uniforms, while songs, written and composed by the president himself, played in the background. The company’s chairman said this could be Indonesia’s way out of the oil economy. In short, it’s a magic fuel.

But the magic faded.

 The fuel is essentially a refined form of the liquid waste you get from oil drilling that would have otherwise have been pumped back underground. It has some element of hydrogen but it’s clearly not plain water.

The science behind the new fuel is a bit of a blur. Chairman Heru Lelono admitted that this wasn’t new technology, in fact, many have done this before. The fact that the scientific explanations spread across the advertising panels were drowned by the patriotic jargons (“The Fuel of a United Indonesia” for instance) didn’t help either.  

Critics said the fuel was over-hyped while others cautiously applaud the effort, saying there needs to be more testing done and that the science behind the magic needs to be put under public scrutiny.

Lelono took the criticism lightly. With strong political backing (the president co-founded a charity that later became the core of the company) he has set his aims high: to replace fossil fuel with water and reduce Indonesia’s emission. All he needs is a few billion dollars.


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Posted by Liz Garrett | Report as abusive


Posted by bayu | Report as abusive

me, myself is indonesian. there are no way water being source of energy. we learn it from thermodynamics. the only way to use water as source of energy is by fusion reaction.

Posted by sebastian | Report as abusive

H2+O2=>2H2O if we put Pt as catalyst and need a spark plug to ignite.
Simple , but not easy to control.

Posted by Eneng | Report as abusive

What he actually did is either electrolyzing water into hydrogen&oxygen that will burn automatically by heat, but the energy to electrolyze is always larger than the energy from the fire, or burning water which contain fuel gas (commonly found around oil rigs)

Posted by Martheen | Report as abusive

How about the resource energy from photo electron ?

Posted by Mr Toni | Report as abusive