Dr. Roger E. Billings started his long and illustrious career in hydrogen, by converting a gasoline-powered lawnmower engine to run on H2. Now, half a century later, 17-year-old San Diego high school student Josh Wesolowski has built a hybrid lawnmower engine that runs on unleaded gasoline, propane, methanol and hydrogen.
The lawnmower engine starts with unleaded gasoline and then can run on one of the other fuels with the flip of a switch. The project started in auto shop at Santana High School where students were involved in discovering how to produce hydrogen and burn it in an engine cleanly.
Wesolowski has been interested in hydrogen energy and combustion since the 6th grade when he learned magnesium could be used to split water. He has also experimented with electrolysis of salt water to create hydrogen as well.
Critics say that hydrogen cars won’t be on our highways and byways for another 50 years. But, with the help of early education and young inventors such as Josh Wesolowski, the hydrogen highway is just a stone’s throw away. Dr. Billings would be proud, I’m sure.