In Athens, a scientist claims to have
developed a revolutionary method for turning water into electricity. The
search for cheap, clean energy is something consuming scientists around
the world. But Petros Zografos believes his discovery is the most
efficient to date, and he’s created a mini power station that he claims
could be the future of energy. Special correspondent Malcolm Brabant
Here is a transcript of the "news" report
BRABANT: Physicist Petros Zografos spent 30 years trying to work out
how, using minimal energy, he could break down the water molecule, H20,
into its component parts, hydrogen and oxygen. Now he thinks he`s
cracked it, with this, his mini power station, which he hopes will help
reverse global pollution.
ZOGRAFOS, Physicist (through translator): Since I have children and
grandchildren — my son has just made me a grandfather — I cannot go on
watching this planet being so violently abused.
BRABANT: George Schoell, from Southern Germany, whose company makes
solar panels, is interested in helping develop and market the invention.
He headed out of Athens for a nearby Greek island to inspect it for the
SCHOELL, Businessman: For the people, this would be exactly what they
want, exactly what they can use at home. But for the big energy
suppliers, this will be a problem, because if anyone takes his own
energy, no one will need the grid anymore.
BRABANT: In the inventor`s modest home, there was a last-minute
technical briefing beneath a bust of Zeus, the ancient Greek god who
dispensed power through thunderbolts.
Then colleague Pantelis Kotsianis gave a demonstration.
KOTSIANIS, Scientist: We have no wires, no external wires from the grid
connected to the system, stand-alone, and reconnect later on to the
mains, get off the grid, and then we will put the water from the glass
into this tube, and within 40 seconds, we will have the power to power
the whole house.
now, we`re off the grid. We have turned off the switch. We will prove
that this connector has no power at all. Look, there`s no power on this
I`m putting some water slowly right now, and we just connect the mains
right now to the machine. And, basically, you can just — well, basically
can run the whole house and can turn on the TV and anything else you
want right now.
MAN: How much power do you have? How much power do you have?
PANTELIS KOTSIANIS: We`re producing right now? It`s about 800 watts.
BRABANT: Which was enough to enable the inventor`s wife to prepare
lunch. The average American house needs about 30,000 watts per hour.
KOTSIANIS: It`s a very brand-new technology, never existed before.
We`re using frequencies. And with frequencies, you don`t have to use
high power. You don`t need to use excessive energy, or really any energy
at all, in order to get the fuel that you need, hydrogen.
rock or every bridge has a very specific resonance. When you vibrate a
system at the specific frequency, which is the system`s frequency, that
system would break. So, you don`t need force to do that.
BRABANT: It`s similar to the biblical story of trumpets destroying the
walls of Jericho. This is the Acropolis in Athens, not Jericho, but the
temples date from the same era.
wasn`t a religious miracle that brought down Jericho`s walls, but sound
waves from the trumpets. The inventor claims water can be unlocked in
the same way.
are three stages to this machine. The first is motion. The act of
pouring of the water generates energy to start the resonance process.
The second is oscillation. A new compound created by the inventor helps
produce the hydrogen. The third is the exhaust system, where the only
byproduct is room-temperature water vapor.
having rich potential for renewal energy, Greece is heavily dependent
upon fossil fuel. Much of its electricity comes from lignite, a
peat-like substance, transported along conveyor belts from vast open
is one of the world`s most polluting fuels, and, according to
environmentalists, these plants are responsible for ailments, such as
cancer, that cost the Greek health service up to $4 billion a year.
ZOGRAFOS (through translator): The sea used to provide us with all the
fish we needed, but now I can see that life is diminishing on the
planet, and it`s human beings are responsible for this. So I would
really like this invention to be made available worldwide, so that it
may halt further destruction of the planet as much as possible.
BRABANT: The science employed by Zografos has been validated by a
committee of Greek physicists. Independent engineer Lampis Tomasis was a
skeptic, but is now a believer.
TOMASIS, Engineer: I used spectrum analyzers. I used analyzers for the
exhaust fumes. I used oscilloscopes and the other instruments as well.
And I am convinced now that the instrument is working perfectly, doesn`t
produce any dirt to the environment, and the only product produced is
hydrogen, which is very clean for the environment.
MALCOLM BRABANT: Two hours after the machine was started, it needed topping up.
PANTELIS KOTSIANIS: We added some fuel to our system, so we depleted it with running everything in the house.
BRABANT: The team behind this project has rejected several
multimillion-dollar offers to the rights to the invention, because they
want to control what happens to it.
they are fairly optimistic, and they are talking in terms of this
possibly being the start of a new age. But there has to be a word of
caution, because there have been several great Greek innovations in the
past that have died at birth. They have been strangled by red tape and
obtain an independent assessment, we went to the Niels Bohr Institute
in Copenhagen, named after one of the most important contributors to
modern physics and the atomic age.
TRIER FREDERIKSEN, Niels Bohr Institute: I`m extremely skeptical of the
way that it allegedly is functioning. I seriously doubt that there is
excess energy from this device.
BRABANT: Jacob Frederiksen says the invention would be fantastic, if
true. But first, he says, the science must be subjected to peer review,
and that other experts need to be able to reproduce the results.
believes that using frequencies to split hydrogen and oxygen is valid,
but doubts the process can yield sufficient extra power.
TRIER FREDERIKSEN: Let`s assume we have this huge molecule of water,
right, oxygen and hydrogen bound together in the water molecule. In
order to split this, you really need to pull it apart, I mean, split
these atoms apart. Now you have spent quite a lot of energy to split
them. You can regain part of that energy by combining them by combustion
already spent the energy to split it, and you only get part of that
energy back when you recombine it by burning the hydrogen. And that
difference will not be a positive one.
BRABANT: In response, the Greeks say they will happily agree to a peer
review once they have obtained a worldwide patent. They also insist
their system doesn`t conform to the standard rules of electrolysis, or
separating of hydrogen and oxygen.
Schoell, the German businessman, headed towards home, satisfied with
the Greeks` claims that their process uses minimal energy and is highly
efficient. He predicted that, if all went well, mini home power stations
could go into production within a year.
SCHOELL: I was really kind of — about this invention, and it was 100 —
or over 100 percent fulfilled. And I`m really satisfied that I did this
trip, because I didn`t expect that the machine runs as we have seen as
ZOGRAFOS (through translator): I want this invention to spread as far
as possible, to the last village in Africa, where the children don`t
have electric light to read and study by.
BRABANT: The next test for Petros Zografos and his team will be to
build a 200-kilowatt machine, about the size of two fridges, to light up
a small Greek island fueled by the surrounding water. He hopes to stage
a trial within the next six months.
For the “PBS NewsHour,” I`m Malcolm Brabant in Greece.