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

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

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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Comments

sabinjts (author)2017-09-23

what is the full form of lpm

DavidL237 (author)2017-08-03

Do you ever make any to sell?

fdea (author)2017-08-02

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.

MartyS28 (author)2017-07-13

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.

Builder_Of_Bots (author)MartyS282017-07-19

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.

KrityatirthaP (author)2017-04-22

I am confused with the reaction plate arrangement. your system has 16 plates exclusive of the connector plates; but according to the washer and bolt setup you show in the video only 2 plates get positive and 2 plates get negative connection from the battery. Is it supposed to be like that? What is the use of the remaining plates? Are they just to increase the surface area for the system?

I think that their called floater plates. They act like resistors or something and helps with the production of the gas.

That makes no sense. "Resistor plates" would hamper the production of gas.

All I'm doing is repeating what I've heard. In my generator, just as much gas comes from the "floater" plates as the plates that are electrically connected. I made my own version of this generator and used 20 non-connected plates and it produces enough gas to fill a 1-gallon milk jug in ten seconds. My other HHO generator with no floater plates produces a lot less. (1gal. = 2-5 min.) So the extra plates make a huge difference.

dave570 (author)Builder_Of_Bots2017-07-09

First of all this thing has a combination of hydrogen and oxygen, together in the same container!!! Bad idea !!! 2nd of all, you must remember the electrical current is passing through the water so the floater plates will pick up the polarity of the current flow through the water!!! 3rd water is an insulator!! so you need something in the water to conduct electricty, hence the polarity and current flow !!!

Builder_Of_Bots (author)dave5702017-07-09

Yes, the ratio of oxygen to hydrogen in the gas that comes out is explosive and extremely fun. (Yes very dangerous too) I don't store it in large quantities so if it did go off it would only hurt my ears. Water is an insulator only if there are no ions in it. I'm using homemade distilled water. It doesn't conduct very well so I've added potassium hydroxide to help conduct the electricity. I've added a lot more than Thomson so it conducts electricity better and makes a lot more gas. The tradeoff is that it getts very hot extremely fast.

PaulA23 (author)Builder_Of_Bots2017-07-11

You are correct - VERY dangerous because (unlike most fuels) this fuel is already oxidized, so ONLY heat is needed to complete the fire triangle, which the generator itself comes dangerously close to providing enough of at higher voltages...
Readers, PLEASE be careful if you build a higher voltage & more heat tolerant version of the OP's generator; you are literally building a bomb with an unknown trigger...
At the VERY least, ensure that your Hydroxy collector/storage tank is very remotely mounted, with anti flowback/check valves to decrease the chance of accidental explosion.
A pre-existing fuel is VERY volatile. If you've never heard an oxy-acetelyne torch *POP*, it's starting & scary...
Just trying to help us all stay safe! :-)

Builder_Of_Bots (author)PaulA232017-07-11

I'm using a hydrogen dedicated anti-blowback valve and a bubbler. The hydrogen gas ignites at around 900 degrees F. Water boils at 212 F so the steam would probably dilute the HHO gas probably only allowing it to burn slowly. I don't store it in large quantities either. Oxy-acetylene is wicked stuff. Much more powerful than HHO gas. I wonder if you could alter the ratio of the gas by adding surface area to either the anode or the cathode. Yes VERY dangerous but most humans have common sense.

PaulA23 (author)Builder_Of_Bots2017-07-12

If you collect the gases separately, you can then meter them into a better burning mixture. It's difficult to do with this setup, but you'd need something like an inverted beaker over each plate to separately collect them.

PaulA23 (author)PaulA232017-07-11

***...that should be a pre-OXIDIZED fuel...

cyril33 (author)dave5702017-07-09

As I understand this system, assuming there are only two plates, one plate gives off hydrogen and the other oxygen, these gases can be separated. One disadvantage with burning hydrogen is that believe it or not the result of the combustion gives water so the engine has to be run on petrol afterwards to burn this off before stopping, that is unless the cylinder is ceramic lined.

HHO...what is that?

HHO is just short for oxyhydrogen gas -- a.k.a. hydroxy gas (Hydrogen/Oxygen mix)

There is no such thing as hydroxy gas. When hydrogen and oxygen mix water is formed.

Hydroxy gas is just a nickname. Water is only formed when you burn the mix of the two gasses.

No water is formed when hydrogen is burned in the presence of oxygen. No such thing as HHO or hydroxyl gas or oxygenhyrogen gas.

PaulA23 (author)yrralguthrie2017-07-11

I'm sorry, but all 3 of your answers are wrong, uneducated guesses...
1-Oxyhydrogen *IS* the proper name of the gas produced by water electrolysis: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxyhydrogen
2-"Hydroxy"gas *IS* indeed a proper nickname for said gas: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroxy
3-Water (vapor) *IS* indeed a byproduct/result of burning said gas: http://hydroxyenergy.com/index.php?dispatch=pages.view&page_id=7
(It is also just about the cleanest burning fuel there is).

Although I already knew all of these, a quick 15 sec Google search confirmed them. Please at least attempt to research before making bold statements that could be (embarrassingly) false. :-)

Well, if it isn't a gas, then what is it? Has to be either a solid or a liquid. There's not but the three choices. LOL

Oh, I know, it is a figment of the imagination of some uninformed folks who believe in magic.

skylane (author)yrralguthrie2017-07-11

HHO is not a gas. Also known as "Hydronium Hydroxide" or "Dihydrogen monoxide".

SherpaDoug (author)KrityatirthaP2017-07-09

To split the water onto gas you only need about 3V per cell, where a cell is a positive plate, a negative plate, and the water between. Since you are using 12V to run your gas generator you want about 4 such cells in series. The floater plates divide a single cell into two cells with one side of the floater being positive of one cell and the back side of the same piece of metal being the negative of the next cell. As this generator is built there will be some electrical leakage through the water around the edges of the cells but if you have lots of amperage available the leakage is not a big issue.

The exact voltage needed per cell depends on the material the plates are made from and the type of salt added to the water.

GrumpyOldGoat (author)2015-07-26

How large of a unit would I need to build to help an F-250 Powerstroke get better mileage?

would the effort result in more MPG?

And before the whiners start..

I DO NOT expect to make a diesel run on Hydrogen.

Just help on the economy.

Those people that are putting a hydrogen generator on their vehicle to create hydrogen that they mix with the gasoline or diesel to get better mileage are either shysters trying to sell a system or deluded users that don't understand physics and conservation of energy. It can not work.

And if you had a hydrogen generator in your backyard how are you going to get the hydrogen to your vehicle anyway. A gallon jar full of hydrogen gas is very little hydrogen and you have to pressurize the hydrogen to make it a liquid. Can you do this?

Then even if you did get a source of hydrogen to your vehicle the mix of gasoline and hydrogen has less energy that pure gasoline. Same with diesel. Hydrogen has less energy per pound that either gasoline or diesel.

Mixing hydrogen with gasoline to improve fuel mileage does not work. You can reply to me and argue all you want, you can say it did or does for you, you can say you tried it and it does work. You measured incorrectly. It does not work. Don't reply and challenge me as to what makes me an expert. Read and learn some physics. It's not my idea, it's physics.

Using electricity to make hydrogen in order to use the hydrogen as an energy source is a losing proposition. Just use the electricity instead.

If we could just get past the water to hydrogen fuel source we could make a fuel source that will be better for the world and will help slow down global warming we could make anything happen if we put our minds to it.

The best way to stop global warming is to shut down the politicians and their friends that are making billions off a non- human caused phenomena.

There is ZERO data to show man has any influence.

There dose seem to be a lot of politically generated hot air, but nothing of value in thatisthere

tomo2015 (author)GrumpyOldGoat2016-05-29

Are you after coming out from under a rock. Burning fossil fuels like oil are rereleasing the c02 that took the planet billions of years to trap. And were putting it all back up there very very fast. Ive a question for you when they remove all the oil from an area under the earth.what do yoi think happens in that empty void. Take your time to think about that....clearly you will need it

ElvisM7 (author)tomo20152016-07-08

We might be able to pump those voids full of Co2 to keep them inflated .

PaulA23 (author)ElvisM72017-07-11

L-O-L....!!!

PaulA23 (author)GrumpyOldGoat2017-07-11

...not to mention that said politicians are making BILLIONS off the oil industry, and therefore alternate energy technologies are squashed or made EXCESSIVELY expensive (like solar panels). Technology for 40+mpg cars has been around for quite a while, but yet... (See 1985 Honda Civic CRX HF, yes, that's 1985...)

True but what I am trying to say is carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide aren't doing us any favours with global warming are they so if we can create a fuel that does not produce either of them we could stop carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide poisoning.

"Carbon Dioxide" a naturally occurring gas in the atmosphere that is necessary for all forms of life on the Planet.

Fauna exhales CO2 after breathing in the oxygen NEEDED to sustain their life.
Flora absorbs the CO2 for it's life sustenance and emits OXYGEN.

Shall I continue?

This "INSTRUCTABLES" and a place of learning.

But probably not a place to hold verbal battles over politically contrived 'disasters' that are not happening.

But if we can make a clean fuel source we could solve many problems

And we come full circle to the main thrust of this Instructable.

And one other thing their is too much carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide in the air more than we or the plants and trees need I may be a kid but I know what I am talking about because I am studying this right now so either help me create a clean fuel source or stop replying to me.

ElvisM7 (author)cleanworldengry2016-07-08

Aren't the trees and plants growing faster and greener as a result ?

Mr. Bulbasaur'sC (author)ElvisM72017-01-14

actually some studies say that too much makes plants grow slower
http://news.stanford.edu/pr/02/jasperplots124.html

Hemoglobin. The best viable fuel source with a dark little secret.

PaulA23 (author)yrralguthrie2017-07-11

Again, your bold statements should be backed by references - ie, proof of your research... It *will* work - at least it a gasoline engine, b/c said engine needs no modification to run on hydrogen gas, and said gas (not liquid) is fed directly into the air intake. Google the hydrogen car Mythbusters episode. The only difficulty in a "hydrogen helping" scenario would be to dial back the gasoline usage when hydrogen is being fed in order to maintain gasoline's stoichiometric ratio of 14:1. (Google it if you don't know it), because feeding hydrogen into an already-running gasoline engine would disturb said ratio, causing a "too rich" condition. However, if the Hydroxy gas were properly metered & mixed such that it maintained its own stoichiometric ratio, then said mixed gas could be be directly fed into the intake without disturbing pre-existing fuel ratios, since the Hydroxy gas is pre-OXIDIZED. You *really* should do some reading before jumping out there so matter-of-factly... Anything is possible with the right amount of knowledge & resources... This may appear impossible to you because you seem to lack the former, but you can easily remedy that.

PaulA23 (author)PaulA232017-07-11

I apologize for all the typos; this phone seems to think it knows "what I'm trying to say" instead of just repeating exactly what I type, lol

BrianR244 (author)yrralguthrie2016-12-27

With a better attitude I think you would be able to see the potential. You can generate electricity with the solar on your roof, difference of temperature, wind, pressure, kinetic energy, magnets, etc., to build up the hydrogen so that every time you come home you can fill up what has been generated. And I suggest you do a little more research on the energy density of hydrogen vs gasoline. The hydrogen in the gasoline is what's important. Carbon is key because of how well hydrogen bonds to it. Hydrogen will be a large part of the future as it is abundant and "liquid" economically, since it can be easily produced and converted.

JamesM323 (author)yrralguthrie2016-02-03

You learned your physics incorrectly.

Not to mention most people can use hydrogen without major modifications to their engine, most people cannot use electricity easily as it is a compleltly different motor.

GrumpyOldGoat (author)JamesM3232016-02-03

I'm still waiting for him to find out exactly how much energy would be in a pound of Hydrogen.
We still don't know if he meant in a gaseous state or Liquid state.

KennethT33 (author)GrumpyOldGoat2016-06-12

I filled a balloon with hydrogen and went to weigh it for you, but it floated away :/

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