How would i compress hydrogen gas into a propane-type bottle?

im trying to store hydrogen into these propane bottles so i can use that instead of propane to fuel my foundry furnace.

sort by: active | newest | oldest
 You can't store hydrogen in propane bottles. Hydrogen is extremely dangerous. However, there is a lot of interest in hydrogen in powering automobiles, so storing hydrogen has been studied. Read the "Storage" section of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_economy#Production.2C_storage.2C_infrastructure for ideas.

This is what the article has to say about safety: "Hydrogen has the widest explosive/ignition mix range with air of all the gases except acetylene. That means that whatever the mix proportion between air and hydrogen, a hydrogen leak will lead to an explosion, not a mere flame. This makes the use of hydrogen particularly dangerous in closed areas (tunnels, parkings)..[47] Some differences with common fuels include the fact that pure hydrogen-oxygen flames burn in the ultraviolet color range and are nearly invisible to the naked eye, thus it requires a flame detector to detect if a hydrogen leak is burning. Hydrogen is odorless and leaks cannot be detected by smell."

Ok, found a report on Hydrogen, and its myths...

You should read this report, it demistifies the fears of hydrogen. For me, the issue is to find a compressor to compress hydrogen, this is now the challenge.

The report is from Rocky Mountain Institute.


From the previous link:

"Myth #7 - we lack a safe and affortable way to store hydrogen in cars.

This problem was solved several years ago. Such firms as Quantum (partly own by GM) and Dynatek now sell filament-wound carbon-fiber tank lined with an aluminized polyester bladder instead of the TRADITIONAL SOLID METAL LINER."

Traditional... This means hydrogen is being compressed in metal tanks...

Also, if you look at this hydrogen house project (link above), you will find the guy has a massive amount of steel tanks to store his hydrogen reserves...

I just made a cold fusion heater using 55 watts for the fan and hho gas and a car caty. it makes 280f air with good flow. You can check out my videos and everthing I am going at my facebook. Daniel Creaney in Manitoba Canada just add me .

It's really simple I have done it 100 times. If it's pure hydrogen and not hho gas you can't compress it using standard at home equipment but you can store it as a useable gas in a tank no problem. Negative pressure the tank with a vacuum pump to -30lbs. Then hook it to your hydrogen tank from your generator. When your hydrogen tank fills, open the tank a hair to let the gas in. Then close the valve and rebuild pressure in the hydrogen tank that's connected to your hydrogen generator. Rinse wash and repeat till it equals out. If its hho gas you want to compress, its also very simple and its very dangerous!!!! I store it to 15 pounds and run a gas generator on it and do it safely and have been for years. You just have to know the dangers and put in the steps to protect yourself. Nothing can't be done if you have a pair! I can do anything!! I also fill these tanks and blow them up to understand the dangers.

stoatwblr1 month ago

You wouldn't - and you'd stop thinking about it. Doing do will invalidate your public liability insurance and expose you to prosecution in most countries.

Why: Apart from being hard to contain (a propane tank would lose substantial amounts of gas straight through the walls), Hydrogen is _extremely_ reactive and makes metals brittle - especially steels. High pressure hydrogen is even worse. If there are any carbon atoms in the metal matrix then hydrogen which penetrates the metal will bind to them to form methane and that adds internal pressure to the metal itself, further weakening it.

In other words, if you put raw hydrogen in a metal tank, you're making a pressure bomb (like the old trick of dry ice in a plastic bottle). Couple that with the pressure cycling inherent in tank-based gas storage systems and you _will_ have an explosion at some point. If you're unlucky the hydrogen will ignite at that point. Just to emphasise how bad it can get, exploding CNG and LPG (propane) cylinders in cars have a nasty tendency to shred the vehicle even if they don't cause a fire - which is why metal CNG/LPG tanks were banned for automotive use 30 years ago in most countries (Propane gas bottles for domestic use are subjected to much lower stress levels than automotive ones due to far lower charge/discharge rates and normally thoroughly tested at each refill)

Don't think you can get around this problem by using a thicker walled metal tank such as one designed for CNG or Acetylene. Hydrogen will still eventually weaken and destroy them.

If you really must use hydrogen then make it as you need it. There are plenty of pyrolysis setups available to do the job (and there are twice as many hydrogen atoms available in a litre of diesel than a litre of liquid hydrogen)

For short term stationary storage, the old "gasbag" (balloon) technique is safest and loses the least gas. It's very close to atmospheric pressure and any H2 that does escape will A: go more or less straight up and B: won't all escape at once, so there's less liklihood of an explosion. Expanding town gas storage tanks use more or less the same principle.


This brings up the oft-touted issue of hydrogen fuelled cars. Apart from the handling issues mentioned above, hydrogen fuel must be made from _something_. In the old days "town/coal gas" (about 80% h2, 5% CO and assorted other volatiles) was made by pyrolisis of coal in a reducing environment with water added.

The most common method the days is reduction of natural gas (the Haber process), at a net 60% energy loss over the raw stock. You may as well just use the natural gas.

The only _viable_ low carbon way of making hydrogen fuel requires a very high temperature nuclear reactor and if you're going to do it that way you might as well just expend extra energy and tack on extra carbon atoms extracted from the atmosphere. That way you have a much easier to handle fuel with a much higher energy density (see comment above about diesel). The higher energy cost of production is offset by much lower energy costs in distribution and handling.

Putting aside the CO2 emissions, bear in mind that large chunks of the pollution issues with both gasoline and diesel revolve around the issue that the fuel isn't "pure" octane or the same long chain hydrocaron (diesel is at least 30 different hydrocarbons plus contamination). Synthetic fuels would have very low contamination levels and be of a hiughly uniform chemical structure.

It's worth noting that one of the largest contributors to pollution reduction from both fuels is down to tighter refining specifications with lower allowed limits of contaminant such as sulfur and more stringent control over the mixures of hydrocarbons beind sold as "diesel" or "gasoline" (Ethanol mixed in reduces pollution levels slightly but the overall downsides are far worse than the positives)

emh_0077 months ago

Interesting topic...

I was thinking of running an engine with pure hydrogen, not hho. HHO does not seem sufficiently potent to run the engine.

The issue is how to store the hydrogen, or to put it in the bottle...

I have also seen Bob Lazar running his Corvette on Hydrogen, however he uses metal hydrites to store the hydrogen into some tanks, which seems to be heated when the hydrogen needs to be used.

Here is a good link on hydrogen, demystifying it.


Perhaps you need to use a hydrogen generator "on demand", which for instance use aluminium, KOH, and water (or other types of alloys and water). This will produce a good amount of hydrogen which can be used instantly. Some are running engines with this technique (hydrolysis).

RossT25 emh_0072 months ago

Now you're on the right track for vehicles.... :) Low volumes on demand either through direct generation from water on the spot or storage in a solid medium. As I mentioned to the guy above, ammonia bromide is very very promising. There will be a dutch company I think coming to market with the bromide pellets soon. I don't think they are milking it properly (they are getting another company to recycle the used pellets) but hey, it's a step in the right direction.

emh_007 RossT252 months ago

the technology already exists, it is being suppressed...


If you don't think this is possible, there are other means to generate hydrogen, from aluminium and lie (see movie below)

My conclusion, the banksters/ oil industry will do everything to misinform anything about hydrogen, "this could blow up"!!!!

Hydrogen is more volatile than gasoline, hence it wil dissipate faster than gasoline.

To store hydrogen into a cylinder tank:

1. Hydrogen must be remove from all oxygen making hydrogen an inert gas form.
2. Hydrogen must be liquefied at temperature of 20.28 K (−423.17 °F/−252.87°C) and maintained at this temperature so it does not turn into gas form by means of nitrogen.
3. Hydrogen; maintenance of liquid state and the devices in order to do this requires an industrial MAZMAT type licensing and certification. This can only be acquired if undersigned by corporate entity with engineering degree with over-sight. Liquid hydrogen requires cryogenic storage technology such as special thermally insulated containers and requires special handling common to all cryogenic fuels. Liquid hydrogen is in all purposes considered an explosive in liquid form or gas form and certifications are not for public use.
4. Hydrogen; if you do not storage H2 in liquid form, or gas form and have proper ventilation is still considered illegal for vehicular combustion volume metric efficiency usage in public highway motor applications, but currently is not enforced. As a private citizen on a public highway using water-hydrogen-cell for hydrogen+oxygen mix usage is considered an explosive do to oxygen in gas line with H2/Hydrogen. If hydrogen is introduced into combustion chamber without oxygen mixture then it is inert until contact with oxygen, therefore none explosive till that O2/Oxygen contact point of gas mixture. If hydrogen is introduced in combustion cylinder chamber as only hydrogen then it is considered legal if done by qualified professional certified by DOT/Department of Motor Vehicles, but again these laws are not in effect. Thus, do not become a poster child/adult as an example for the enforcement of these law awaiting to take effect. Therefore, do not ruin this new H2 application to further your fuel economy, please be careful and be certain hydrogen will not have any areas to pocket in engine compartment awaiting an ignition point explosive.
Please Be Careful, and Be safe. Think of others in your science project.


could you clarify what you mean by "return to gas form by means of nitrogen"?

Hydrogen is NOT an inert gas, regardless of form.

You do NOT need an engineering degree to handle liquified gases, including hydrogen. (The key mistake here is "engineering degree")

Do you just make this up or are you paraphrasing (badly) some other source?

RossT25 nitrous2 months ago

There's lots of inaccuracies in this stream. Actually..... I have better things to do with my time. If people are intersted there are some hints above to follow and learn more. Peace and common fear mongerers..... work together to find a solution don't be a wet towel.

can i storage on a big hard balloon and connect to a little stove heater just for a evening cooking ? last time i make hydrogen (electrolysis) i use a regular balloon for storage and i connect a firefighters like hose (smaller scale of course) and i fire up like a torch for like one minute and was fun until balloon was empty :). i guess i can do same with bigger maybe cylindrical balloon (human size could be) and cook something. sorry my bad english

This I have personally seen done. Yes, but don't expect that balloon to last more than a day.

PaulW2485 months ago

Google "Norway Hydrogen Highway" and "Scandinavian hydrogen highway partnership" to see what the rest of the world is actually "doing", not just fear-mongering about. Norway has legislated out all gasoline, diesel & hybrid autos by the year 2025. Refueling stations already in use afford H2 refueling within 3 minutes employing high-pressure hydrogen gas.

RossT25 PaulW2482 months ago

Ah I should have read down before I commented about fear mongering. lol. :) re your post. I'm working on a hydrogen gas system in tanks and it's not the "scary everything dies" story. Looking forward to perfecting my PEM cells. Hopefully get a doctorate out of it. Fun fun.

lane56254 years ago
You cannot, I repeat cannot compress hydrogen into a propane tank, period, end of story. 1) hydrogen and oxygen explode so you would need to evacuate ALL oxygen from the cylinder. If you're using HHO forget that, it has it's own oxygen in the mixture. 2) The amount of space necessary to compress hydrogen far exceeds the capacity of a propane cylinder. One gram of hydrogen takes up as much physical space as 11 liters of oxygen. 3) Did I mention it will explode?

Now, do some research into storing your hydrogen in a metal hydride state. There are three ways to store hydrogen, 1) freeze it at -238 degrees Celsius, 2) compress it at 20,000 PSI and lastly 3) absorb the hydrogen into a metal hydride.

You can take a cylinder the size of a 12 gram co2 cartridge, fill it 80% of the way with a metal hydride and it will hold 12 liters of hydrogen. It still needs to be compressed, but at 112 psi, not 20,000

Now you're asking yourself, where do I find metal hydride. Well the easiest place is inside NIMH rechargeable batteries. The negative terminal of a NIMH battery in most cases contains LaNi5 which is a good metal hydride for storing hydrogen.

The outside case of a NIMH battery (in all cases is the size of a AA battery) and made of stainless steel. It can be cut open using a good pair of wire snips. Make a small snip in the metal and peal it like an apple in a circular fashion. This will remove the outside casing. Unroll the two metal plates. The inside plate is the positive side (contains NOOHI and not very good for hydrogen storage) and the outside plate is the negative side, that's the one you want. Scrape the metal hydride from the nickle plate and you have LaNi5. Collect enough of it and you can fill a small cylinder.

Be careful of the white film that separates the two plates, this is potassium hydroxide and works like an acid. Use gloves and wash your hands with water when you're done.
RossT25 lane56252 months ago

Don't be such a "STOP DANGER" monger. Yes hydrogen is both explosive if handled wrong and hence dangerous but by going through a risk mitigation process you can reduce this risk pretty much to zero (aka SAFE). And there are heaps more ways than 3...... Removing oxygen from a tank can be done, and using a compressor you can get more than a small amount. Anyway..... Just dislike fear and egotistical "only my way is right" talk. Don't take him too far away from his goal of storing hydrogen in a simple to access way....

Suppose I can provide a vacuumed propane cylinder, can you explain to me why I can not just keep pumping the hydrogen gas into the cylinder until it reaches the pressure I want?

There is no reason you couldn't. You just wouldn't be able to store much.

The propane tank won't reach a very high psi. You may only be able to store half a liter or less of compressed hydrogen in that amount of space.

Hydrogen requires super high compression to store efficiently in gas form.

That is why the use of a metal hydride is mentioned so you can store vast amounts in a small space then chemically release the hydrogen when needed, by releasing into a secondary holding container to be used on demand.

PaulW2485 months ago

The exaggerated fear of hydrogen gas storage and "embrittlement" is epidemically rampant! Purified hydrogen gas >99.5% is compressed well above 200 bar/~3000 psi and delivered in STEEL WELDING TANKS for everyday use from every major gas welding supplier known. I've had a steel cylinder sitting in my shop for almost 2 years with 1600 psi remaining and UNCHANGED.

Employed internationally offshore on rigs, here's a standard rack of STEEL H2 gas bottles compressed at 200 bar:

emh_0077 months ago

ok, this is getting more interesting... Materials to store hydrogen:


lane5625 emh_0077 months ago
They won't sell to anyone that does not have a business license or has a business designed for chemical storage. Not all MH will store hydrogen. I was getting MH from NIMH batteries, I designed a process to safely remove the hydrogen by submersing the MH in water then boiling the sludge. The hydrogen is released when you reach high temps, then you keep cooking it until the MH dries. It is then safe to handle. If you expose dry NIMH powder straight from a battery, as soon as it loses the moister it bursts into flames. Get it wet as soon as you take it out of the battery. I was getting 300 grams from Prius batteries using a metal saw to cut into the battery, separating the plates, and scraping off the MH. Just have to keep the powder wet or.....spark, poof, burn.....

Thank you for the insight. I want to collect metal hydride from NIMH batteries as you suggested to put in Cylinder to store Hydrogen gas. but why I cant use the extracted metal hydride as it is? Can you please guide me and explain why I should add water to it and then dry it? Will it not react with water and become obsolete? Many thanks John

emh_0077 months ago

More digging on this topic...

I was watching a car tv show, and they talked about the Toyota mirai which runs on hydrogen using a fuel cell... I looked at their system and they do not appear to use hydrides, they are using a HIGH PRESSURE composite tank!!

Also, I remembered this project in Island where they have hydrogen stations performing electrolysis, and running different car brands running on hydrogen.


Make your own conclusions.

emh_0077 months ago

Here is a book I found, talking about magnets and their hydrogen absorbtion phenomena.

"Intelligent Application in Material World Select Papers from IPMM-2001"

This is for educational purpose only.

emh_0077 months ago

I have been looking at this for a little while now, and digging into metal hydrides.

I read the rare earth magnets use metal hydride, and I was wodnering if they could be used to store hydrogen...

Here is what I found:


Storage of hydrogen in bottles is dangerous. However storage of H2 in solid array is stable and safe. I however doubt you have the means to do so. Metal hydride storage of hydrogen is very safe and stable. Even more safe than storage of petrol in your vehicle tank. There is a lot of sensationalism over hydrogen storage because of one zeplin. This isn't then. Solid State storage of hydrogen is very safe. Do not attempt liquid or compressed gas storage, it is just asking for trouble.

CaveD1 year ago


It is wise not to say "can't" in our evolving science, my friends. From the first fuel cell design in 1801 (that's 214 years ago), much of this has been considered, designed, and tested. The link above is current, and the link below shows fuel cell history.


MarkC171 year ago

Ahh the danger of speaking in absolutes. Here is a fellow doing it in a residential setting on a large scale - albeit at low pressure/high volume. Really gets the imagination going....


iljpj12 years ago

Could you store it in a a propane tank for a grill, or maybe a refrigerant tank?

lemonie7 years ago
Propane is probably cheaper, definitely safer, and you'd get more of it in a bottle. Don't try it.