Advocating hydrogen since 1976

One Scientific Founder Michael Redwine built the first prototype that would eventually become our catalytic hydrogen production system in the mid-1970s, while working as the head of research and development at a medical manufacturing company in rural Nebraska. The idea for the device came from an unlikely source of inspiration: the Biblical story of the prophet Elijah, which Michael was studying at the time.

According to the story, Elijah performed a miracle before the Israelites by calling upon God to send fire from the sky to consume a sacrifice placed on an altar drenched with water. Being both a man of God and a man of science, Michael reasoned that a bolt of lightning had struck the wet altar and that it could only have created a fire intense enough to completely burn everything it touched if the water itself had contributed as fuel.

Finding the Key

With scientists across the U.S. scrambling for a solution to the OPEC oil crisis facing the Western world at that time, Michael was intrigued by the possibility of using pure water as a sole source of fuel. He knew the answer dealt with harnessing the power of hydrogen—the unique element that makes up two-thirds of every water molecule. The “easiest,” most reliable way to separate hydrogen from oxygen in water molecules at that time was via a chemical reaction called electrolysis. The problem Michael faced was that generating the amount of heat required to trigger electrolysis necessitated the use of an outside energy source.

Michael was convinced that all the components needed to trigger catalysis and create powerful energy had been contained in Elijah’s altar almost 3,000 years ago. The key to solving the problem, he hypothesized, was determining the right catalyst chemistry.

Redwine's Folly

Michael built an apparatus to test his idea and, in early 1976, began experimenting with different catalyst configurations. As months and months went by without results, friends and coworkers of Michael’s jokingly hung a sign on the apparatus, calling it “Redwine’s Folly.” But persistence paid off. In the same way that Elijah’s miracle on Mount Carmel proved the presence and power of God to the doubting Israelites, when one of Michael’s experiments finally produced a small flame, it proved his hypothesis correct—and opened the door for the boundless possibilities of truly clean, renewable fuel. So why did it take so long for the technology to be fully developed?

Safety Dance

As proven by that first small flame, Michael’s apparatus was producing a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen gas. Hydrogen gas on its own is flammable, but the presence of oxygen amplifies that flammability— to a dangerous degree. This became apparent after a subsequent test of the apparatus produced a thrust so powerful the flame singed a coworker’s eyebrows from over 30 feet away and knocked the device off its work bench.

Fortunately no one was seriously harmed, but Michael realized he needed to find a way to efficiently separate the hydrogen and oxygen streams as they exited the apparatus so that the hydrogen could be safely controlled. Unfortunately, at that time selective gas separation technologies were prohibitively expensive and had limited applications. Michael decided to postpone further development until he could conduct experiments without putting human beings in danger.

It would be many years before new discoveries were made and technology became sophisticated enough to present a viable solution to separate the gas mixture. As Michael ventured into other fields, his miraculous apparatus and the brilliant idea behind it fell to the wayside—until now.

Hydrogen in the New Millennium

Phase I of our amazing technology’s development began in February 2015, when One Scientific, Inc. moved into its office at the ETSU Innovation Lab in Johnson City, TN, and launched its bold mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable hydrogen.

Over the course of our first year, we developed the first key component of our modular system, a hydrogen gas generator based on Michael’s original invention 40 years before. This unique system converts pure steam into a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen gas.

One Scientific’s next major R&D milestone was reached in 2016 with the development of our second and most critical component, the Cyclonic Gas Separator (CGS). The CGS separates the mixture of hydrogen and oxygen and is what makes our technology safe to use. We used additive manufacturing—that is, 3D printing—to produce this component. Third-party analysis confirms that our CGS separates the hydrogen and oxygen gas mix with extreme effectiveness and efficiency.

In 2017, we achieved several more milestones, the first being the development of our unique Semi-Permeable Membrane Fuel Cell (SPMFC). Early tests of the SPMFC indicate that it performs with ultra-high efficiency as well. Additionally, we conceived of a novel control and communication system to remotely operate and monitor our modular systems. We filed utility and international patents for these and other technologies in August 2017.

Now, in 2018, we have begun Phase II of our development plan by partnering with several public and private organizations to pilot systems in various commercial settings, allowing us to debug and harden our technologies. We are currently evaluating five to six different test pilots in geographically diverse locations, all with their own unique energy challenges that we know One Scientific can help solve.

Our work at One Scientific focuses on the development of modular hydrogen solutions to help organizations save money and become more sustainable by generating hydrogen onsite from pure water. We engineered our components and systems to be modular and maximize efficiency. By nature of their design, One Scientific’s modular systems have built-in redundancy, high efficiency, and strong resilience against natural disasters and/or a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP).

Our ultimate vision for these technologies is to bring light wherever there is darkness. As we celebrate our completion of Phase I and continue to work through with Phase II, we look ahead to Phase III: commercialization of our incredible technology for use by companies and businesses all over the world.


 

 
 Early prototype demonstration of hydrogen and oxygen gas mix ignition.

Early prototype demonstration of hydrogen and oxygen gas mix ignition.