How to Convert Water Into Fuel by Building a DIY Oxyhydrogen Generator

1,186,294

3,079

903

Posted

Introduction: How to Convert Water Into Fuel by Building a DIY Oxyhydrogen Generator

SciStarter Citizen Science Contest

Grand Prize in the
SciStarter Citizen Science Contest

Here's how to build a sexy looking generator that uses electricity to convert water into an extremely powerful fuel!  In this project, you'll learn how to build an OxyHydrogen generator from scratch.

Step 1: What Is an OxyHydrogen Generator?

An oxyhydrogen generator, like this one, uses electricity from your car battery to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gasses.  (Electricity + 2H20 --> 2H2 + O2)  Together, these make a fuel that is much more powerful than gasoline, and the only emission released is—water!

Of course, to be a completely clean fuel, the electricity used to generate the gas needs to be from a clean source.  Solar, wind, or water power could be a few examples.  

This video shows step-by-step how to make one.  

NOTE: The amount of electrical energy required to make the gas is more than the energy you can obtain from it.  This is NOT an energy generator so much as it is an energy converter.  

Step 2: Getting Metal for the Generator Plates

For this project, you're going to need some stainless steel and some ABS pipe fittings. I visited a local fabrication company, and not only did they have plenty of scrap metal to choose from, they were even willing to help me cut it to custom sizes. A job that would have taken me hours with a pair of tin snips and a hacksaw took only a matter of minutes with their equipment.

I used 20 gauge stainless steel, and with the help of their hydraulic punch, cut precise holes in the tops and bottoms of the plates. When finished, I had 12 plates measuring 3" x 6", 4 plates at 1-1/2" x 6", and three 1" connector bands that were 6", 4-1/2", and 3 1/4". A belt sander was used for smoothing down the jagged edges around the hole.

Step 3: Increasing the Plates Surface Area

Next I used 100 grit sandpaper to sand each of the plates diagonally. You can see the "X" pattern I sanded into both sides of the plates. This increases the surface area of the plate, and will assist in producing more gas.

Step 4: Configuring the Plate Assembly

The plates are joined in a configuration so that the 2 inner plates are connected to one electrical terminal, and the 2 outer plates connected to the other terminal.  Plastic rods, plastic washers, and stainless steel nuts help to form the proper electrical connections.

The generator plates are assembled in the order of plate, plastic washers, plate, stainless steel jam nuts until 8 plates have been connected.

To see a step-by-step of the generator plate assembly, watch that specific portion of the video here.

When the plates are assembled, a 4" ABS clean out plug is attached at the top with some stainless steel bolts.

Step 5: Making the Generator Body

The body is made from two 4" ABS clean out adapters, with a 4" plug inverted and cemented into the bottom. A 4" tube of acrylic or ABS makes the body, and the generator plates and cap screw down into the top.

A water bubbler is made in a similar fashion out of 2" clear acrylic tubing, but needs a way to clip onto the side.

Step 6: Making Clips for the Bubbler

Clips can be made from scrap acrylic or ABS tubing, and glued to the side of the body.

To make these clips, I cut 3/4" off the 2" tubing I used to make the bubbler, then cut the top 1/3" off to form a claw.  These were then cemented to acrylic rods, and attached to the side of the generator body.  

Step 7: Adding a Check Valve

Some poly tube, and a one-way check valve is added to the top elbow, making sure the valve will let gas out, but nothing back in.

Step 8: Making the Electrolyte

The electrolyte is distilled water and about 2-4 teaspoons of KOH (potassium hydroxide). Salt or baking soda could also be used, but may dirty and corrode the plates over time.

I stirred the KOH flakes into the water, then used a coffee filter to strain the solution into the generator casing (after it had been cleaned thoroughly).  

Note: Potassium Hydroxide is caustic and can burn the skin.  Avoid direct contact!  

Step 9: Finishing Touches

Water is added to the bubbler, then the cap is put back on, and the poly tubes are hooked up.

I tested it out with a 12 volt car battery and some jumper cables. The gas formed is collected it in a small water bottle, and ignited with a flame.

On 12 volts, this produces about 1.5 LPM.  I also hooked it to 2 car batteries in series, and on this higher 24 voltage, the system produced over 5 LPM and filled up a gallon milk jug in 38 seconds!  

Note:  Higher voltages allow more current to flow through the system, and it heats up quickly over time.  If allowed to continue, there is a risk the plastic casing will melt from prolonged exposure to high temperatures.  

Step 10: How Powerful Is the Gas?

This system was not designed for use in a vehicle, but more as a device to demonstrate the electrolysis of water and what the gas can do.

To see some experiments where the gas was ignited, and some useful features of the generator, check out the video.

If you liked this project, perhaps you'll like some of my others.  Check them out at www.thekingofrandom.com

2 People Made This Project!

  • Hey bro, i replicate...-RafaelO1

    RafaelO1 made it!

  • made it!! yay!-BerkehanE

    BerkehanE made it!

Recommendations

  • Epilog Challenge 9

    Epilog Challenge 9
  • Gluten Free Challenge

    Gluten Free Challenge
  • Sew Warm Contest 2018

    Sew Warm Contest 2018
user

We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.

Tips

Questions

Respected sir
i want to make a chamber for co2 reduction by photocatalyst.
so please help how to make it

862 Comments

I am amazed at the comments. Many think oxygen comes from one plate and hydrogen from another. NO, NO, NO!!! Water molecules are H2O. TWO hydrogen and ONE oxygen part for each water molecule. When you separate a water molecule, each molecule breaks down the same as all others. Two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. Not separately from different plates or electrodes. The only way to separate the two differing parts is through membranes that can filter out the oxy/hydrogen gas from the bottle into separate chambers, allowing oxygen to go through one membrane, and hydrogen through the other. The two differing parts are different sizes, so one merely needs to use membranes that fit the size of the oxygen molecule and another that fits the size of the hydrogen molecule, and viola!!! You have a container with only oxygen, and another with only hydrogen.

BUT, that is not necessary. I have made hundreds of these devices, using differing materials. The plate procedures produce more hydrogen, and last longer. You are actually engaging on a type of electrolysis, similar to that used to electroplate jewelry, to chrome metal and plastic, and so on. Anodes and cathodes are used, and one is sacrificial, so it always will degrade over time, and one will gain material over time. Cannot be helped. These won't last forever if used constantly.

Making these hydrogen generators allowed me to increase the mileage of my cars and trucks by as much as 300 percent. But, this causes problems in the generator. So achieving mileage increases from, say 20mpg to 40 mpg is reasonable, and the hydro generator will last for many months. One must also trick the car's computer to gain these increases. The hydrogen is fed directly into the intake manifold, and causes more power, and smoother running of the engine.

You are not correct. The different polarities in voltage at each terminal, positive and negative, cause different reactions and produce hydrogen and oxygen gas respectively.

From Wikipedia:

In pure water at the negatively charged cathode, a reduction reaction takes place, with electrons (e−) from the cathode being given to hydrogen cations to form hydrogen gas. The half reaction, balanced with acid, is:


Reduction at cathode: 2 H+(aq) + 2e− → H2(g)

At the positively charged anode, an oxidation reaction occurs, generating oxygen gas and giving electrons to the anode to complete the circuit:


Oxidation at anode: 2 H2O(l) → O2(g) + 4 H+(aq) + 4e−

As best I know, the terminals must exist in the same water supply, in order that the cathode can utilize the hydrogen cations produced by the anode. But the different terminals can be isolated and used to isolate the hydrogen and oxygen gases, which is very useful because:

1. The oxygen produced (at least from pure water) can be used for oxygenation applications, possibly even medical if the water is pure enough. (However, do NOT try this with seawater, which produces chlorine gas, or polluted/impure water.)

2. The pure hydrogen fuel produced is far less explosive than oxyhydrogen. Oxyhydrogen is a chemically complete explosive, and can blow up from a really good knock on a brutally hot day, or a static electricity spark in the air on a cold one. Hydrogen, however, needs environmental oxygen to combust. (However, hydrogen systems do need to invest in high-tolerance fittings and avoid leaks, or you basically just end up with oxyhydrogen anyway as environmental oxygen seeps into the tank.)

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a3983/4310717/ If running HHO gas through a car would make it get better gas mileage, then car manufacturers would put them in their cars so they could brag about being green and having more mpg than competitors.

BOB, I see your science, but I wonder if you could attach an adequate solar system to the vehicle in question, would you see a difference then, because the Hydroxy generator wouldn't be drawing from the engine then. Just a thought. I'm going to do some playing around see if I can't make a small stationary motor run off a solar panel and one of these. For science and shit's and giggles you know.

That's a great idea. The thing with that is it would be more efficient to power an electric motor in the first from the solar cell than to rip the water molecules apart and then burn them in an engine. But, if you needed to run an engine from the sun it would probably work as long as you got the fule:air mixture right.

That's both the challenge and exactly what I plan to do.

Though the difference between running an electric motor off the batteries and a combustion engine is you'll get more power out of a combustion engine assuming you can get it to run right. I honestly feel there's a trick to it that hasn't been worked out fully yet. And at any rate, it'll be cheaper than fuel. And even if it's not practical it'll be fun to try. My plan is to get a stationary motor running off it, work out the intricacy's of it, flesh it out and the end goal is a 250cc dirt bike running off the sun and water. Good science experiment, even if it is doomed for failure. I have faith and ideas though.

what is the full form of lpm

Do you ever make any to sell?

user

This instructable must be understood as an experiment to approach into a research on oxhidrogen, aka brown gas.

This electrolizer architecture is highly ineficient, due to the fact that the first electrode is in direct contact with the last one through the electrolite. And that the voltage per cell should be around 2,5 volts. It drains a lot of current that only produces heat and water vapor. Remember that the electrolite has a very low resistance. A current limited power source is then a must, or you will get huge ammounts of heat in very few seconds.

The uses of this gas are interesting, but the fact is that even the best electrolizers are not very eficient. Despite of this there are many places where its aplication is still profitable.

Small electrolizers for welding are commonly seen in jewelery of metal and glass. This small boxes use the common electric source to produce pure welding flames only on demand. Instead of buying big bottles of these gases that have to be storeged near the people. Less risky. Only some destilated water on storage.

Some industrial welding machines of this kind are higly apreciated for cutting and welding. There are many places far away from the source of oxigen, acetilene or hidrogen bottles. Again some destilated water and a common electric source are enough to produce this gas on demand.

Some other times the purity of this flame is apreciated. Remember that the byproduct is water vapor. When the products to be cutted or melted do not react with it, the aplication has to be considerd. The properties of this flame allows to obtain even strange but strong weldings like between iron and bricks or iron-aluminium. And can melt even the highest melting point products.

This applications have in common that this gas is produced only on demand. It is very explosive and even electrostatic electricity can produce the explosive combination of the gases. Metal corners onto the electrolizers have to be avoided for that reason. It also becomes a bomb when pure gas is medium or highly presurized. And the speed of the flame is 1000 faster compared with the acetile-oxygen or fuel-oxygen speed flame. This property requires specific safety features when producing it.

Its application in combustion motors enhancement is possible only when produced on demand. Along WWII some tanks had this feature. In current electronic managed combustion motors it becomes a little bit complicated. The sensors read the excess of oxigen added with the gas and applies more fuel, reducing the expected benefits. So some electronic enhancement is also needed. It has succesfully used frecuently.

There has been some attempts to make it work only on this gas, but have not been well released.

Some researches have used specific electrolizer architectures to produce separately oxygen and hydrogen with renovable sources and store them liquified, so it can be used later with electroionic cells to produce electricity. The investment is high but can be considered in remote places.

I have studied and used this gas for years.

Probably the best source of knowledge that I have found in this matter, because is easy to understand, practical and enciclopedic, comes from EagleResearch. For sure the cheapest way to research and apply this gas to practical issues with safety and eficiency. Only one problem, it's only available in english.