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

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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.

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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.
Could you set up a system with this that would supply the gas for cooking and not water in the home?
Oops HOT water..

Seriously, all, please investigate the hydolysis of urine... The urea in the urine actually reduces (significantly) the current needed to electrolyse the water, just as seawater (with NaCl) requires less energy to electrolyse than pure water.

woodNfish1 year ago
If this were truly viable, everyone would be doing it, but I do have some prime swampland in Florida I'd like to sell you.'ve heard of hydrogen powered cars right? Well they use hydrogen and oxygen as fuel, and the only thing keeping them off the streets is the safety hazards of compressed hydrogen. Once a safety method is configured around that, this will be used in most likely every future car. "Electric cars" are simply a stepping off point, they won't last.
Yeah, I'm aware of them, but it takes more power to split the water than what you will get back from the hydrogen produced in addition to hydrogen being very unstable.
The biggest problem is not only safety issue, but the energy density of hydrogen or oxygen is so much ridiculously lower than fossil fuels. You will need to burn up a couple grams of Hydrogen and Oxygen to get the same energy from just burning a microgram of gasoline.
The difference being you can catch some rainwater in a cup.

Alternatively, go build an oil rig, drill a few thousand feet down with highly skilled workers and a ship-load of equipment, pump it into a holding tank, ship it to a refinery (hoping the captain isn't drunk or drugged up and runs aground killing an ecosystem and millions of wildlife), refine it, put it in a tanker and deliver it to a gas station where you use your own gas to get to and fill your tank up costing whatever the market feels like charging that day.

No thanks. I'll go for the water -> HHO any day. ;)
"No thanks. I'll go for the water -> HHO any day. ;)"
So , my question here is, if this became a viable option, and all cars, power stations and other bits and bobs ran on water, what are we going to do when the water runs out?
the thing is, the electricity is simply converted, the water doesn't actually burn.


It takes 2 molecules of hydrogen and 1 molecule of oxygen to make 1 molecule of molecule of water

You have a cup holding 10 molecules of water.

You remove 2 molecules of hydrogen and 1 molecule of oxygen from your cup?

You're saying that your cup still holds 10 molecules of water?

The difference is that when gasoline or any other fossil fuel is burned it is destroyed forever. When Hydrogen is burned the result is water so it is a renewable cycle. You break water into hydrogen and oxygen. You burn the hydrogen and you get water again.

I think some people are missing the actual benefits of hydrogen.

It is non-toxic. It readily combines with nearby molecules, so spills are never an issue as far as toxicity like petroleum. While it is bound up in other molecules, it is still the most abundant element in the universe. Which is why it is not pursued: it is not a commodity, and cannot be controlled as readily. Remember what happened to Nikola Tesla when JP Morgan found out he was researching to produce devices to broadcast electricity that people could "pick up" out of the atmosphere on an antennae. No more funding.

Hydrogen is portable as a storage mechanism, and can be transported to where it is needed, like electricity, but in tanks, or pipelines. It can be made with solar panels and water. The technology costs, but the source of energy in this case is free, minus the catalyst, which is negligible in cost.

It really is not a "fuel" in the sense of gasoline. it is not refined, or drilled out of the ground. it is not found in deposits, except in stars like our sun. And it does take more energy to make it than it puts out. That's OK, we do that every day. Only about 42.25% of the total energy we put into the US energy chute makes it to an end use.

But this HHO is recyclable, from water to HHO to water. Some of the oxygen is lost to nitrous oxides, but there is other oxygen in the atmosphere to combine with the hydrogen to make water again. The amount of NOx is small. With a sealed fuel cell it does not combine with the nitrogen in the atmosphere.

Hydrogen is an elegant energy carrier. We still need something to generate that electricity, but dams, wind generators, wood, and solar panels are renewable sources which can produce a portable fuel in HHO or hydrogen. Efficiency only plays a minor role.

Do a google search for "sea water to jet fuel." The US Navy has a prototype to create 100% synthetic, carbon-neutral, and recycleable hydro-carbon fuels. The infrastructure already exists for these fuels and it would be a monumental tax on the economy for a large scale fuel change over such as hydrogen fuel vehicles would require. Plus, it has the potential to solve that "rising sea levels" problem :D

'Swut I was gonna say. There ya go!

Billytz MichaelH53 months ago

Using regenerative braking, shock absorber generators, solar sun roofs and any other source of energy that could be put effectively on a car to power the Oxyhydrogen Generator rather than using fossil fuels would it not only lower the use of fossil fuel's and toxic batteries but if every car used it using water from the ocean could it lower the sea level as well as create fresh water for our rivers and streams like here in California?

The world is made up of 80% water. It has never dried up since the world developed (in a sense, after the "soupy-gunk" theory). Actually, water levels rose up by 1 ft. in the past year. Also, a comet that just went around the globe left a trail of ice in the atmosphere! Now since the world is being warmed by the sun, the ice will melt & fall to the earth (of course) causing floods deep enough to submerge Empire State Building, Eiffel tower, Petronas Towers, etc. So we need to harvest all the water need.

PS: A penny for your thoughts.

sea water wouldn't be ideal because the salt would corrode the engine to quickly. You would have to install a desalination unit which would use even more energy to produce the hydrogen. In a pinch at the beach I would say a gallon wouldn't harm it to much. Or even deep in the woods I would say urine would do.

As I understand it from scientific reasoners, the same drinking water that Marco Polo's aide carried in a leather pouch way back when - - is still circulating in today's eco-system. It simply moves away from arid places and ends up being somebodies flood somewhere.

H'lo again chastjones,

Ok, so you're telling me that you'll end up with just as much water to create HHO as you started with after the HHO has burned? Alone, HHO is a combustible mix, but it will still come into contact with the atmosphere at some point during it's combustion. Since our atmosphere is a blend of oxygen and other gases. When HHO burns it also burns the nitrogen, releasing various oxides of nitrogen as well as what's produced with the various other gases in the atmosphere. I do not believe it to be possible to end up with the same amount of water to create HHO as you will after the combustion of that same HHO.

Max just keep sucking down all them Hydrocarbons in the atmosphere and coming from your tail pipe while the rest of us try to find another solution. Oil isn't forever. Trying to do math will hurt your head. Gas ,coal etc, do nothing to clean the air. Hydrogen does do that. You can argue your water this water that theory, but in the end it will just be water under the bridge.

Assuming that no free hydrogen escapes to the atmosphere un-oxidized, then yes, you will end up with exactly the same number of water molecules as you started with. If some of your oxygen ends up reacting with carbon or nitrogen or some other element then free oxygen from the atmosphere will be required to completely oxidize the remaining hydrogen.

that kind of doesn't make sense. If water is 2 parts hydrogen and 1 part oxygen, and you separate the two and then burn the hydrogen wouldn't you only have oxygen left over?

Well the word "burning" suggests that something is destroyed. This is true with a fossil fuel in that the process for "burning" or oxidizing permanently changes the fuel materiel. Remember, Oxygen must be present for anything the "burn", Hydrogen is no different. When hydrogen is burned it must combine with oxygen at a 2 to 1 ratio. This is because oxygen's valance is -2 so to fill that -2 shell it needs 2 electrons and since hydrogen has only 1 electron it take 2 hydrogen molecules. Rather than use the term "burn" it is more proper to use the term oxidation which more accurately describes a chemical reaction. So, using chemical or electrical electrolyses you liberate hydrogen and oxygen at exactly a 2 to 1 ration and when you oxidize hydrogen the reaction results in the release of heat energy (exothermic reaction) and the recombining of the hydrogen and oxygen in exactly the same ratio 2 to 1 which we know is just water. Neither gas is every destroyed in the process. The only way to destroy either of those two elements or any element for that matter is thru a nuclear reaction (fission or fusion).

hho burns clean and when burned reverts to h2o. therefore zero emmissions (except for the return water)

No, what none of you seem to understand or willfully ignore is the fact that it takes more energy to separate out the hydrogen than you will ever get back by burning the hydrogen as an energy source. In other words you will spend $10 to get $5 in return. Does that seem like a smart thing to do?

Explain it to us woodNfish. If you are using free water and free energy from a solar panel how does you $10 in $5 out theory work?

After you buy the solar panel, how much does the sunshine cost that will make $5 worth of hydrogen? That's right, zero.

Take the cost of a solar panel, about $1 per watt and divide it by the energy generated over the lifetime of the panel. So, 250 watts, costs $250 to purchase the panel. It produces about 1250 watt-hours per day on average. That's 1.25 kWh, at say 16 cents per kWh or about 20 cents, per day, times 365, times 25. $1825 of electricity for $250. Pretty good. Even when I get $912 worth of hydrogen, it's still good.

So $250 per kWh divided by 11,400 kWh = 2.2 cents per kWh. or perhaps 4.4 cents per kWh of the equivalent amount of hydrogen. Still great.

The 25 is the years of life in the solar panel.

And $250 per panel. it's late...

That is the beauty of HHO, its self replicating. The engine burns the hydrogen thus expelling it to the atmosphere producing more water. Let's see what gas does for the atmosphere lol

the water will never run out because the car spits the used water back out. Or as RolanC suggested recapturing the water and reusing it. Altho now that I typed it it has occurred to me that once separated from the oxygen and burned the remaining hydrogen would have to be re-oxygenated to become "water" again. So I would think that this system would need the separator and a joiner of sorts.

It doesn't run out. Split water into HHO, burn it producing (mostly) H2O, and re-use.

Plus Earth has a truly unimaginable supply of water. It's everywhere. Even in a desert, using a solar still water can be wrung from thin air. (Probably not enough to power an engine but it IS there.)

Can't say that for oil - even if some of the oil is found in desert regions!

perfectly said markhutch. I for one am anticipating the "Ford H2gO" my own little watercar idea I kick around in my head

true but the efficiency of a fuel car is around 20% / 30% all the rest is lost... while HHO will bure more efficiently.... right?? ( I'm not entirely sure but i think is something to take in consideration

Well you are both right and wrong about that. Hydrogen has 1/7 the energy density as gasoline by volume but it has 5 times more energy density than gasoline by weight. This is why they uses hydrogen to power rocket engines. hydrogen is actually more stable than gasoline under the right conditions. Under the wrong conditions you get the Hindenburg.

catprog syntaxing11 months ago
Hydrogen has a value of 286 kilo-joules/mole

gasoline has a value of about 5460 kJ/mole

2g/mole for hydrogen
114.23 g/mole for octane

143 kilo-joules/ gram for hydrogen
47.8 kilo-joules/ gram for octane

Hydrogen is almost 3 times more energy dense by weight then gasoline.

Weight of gasoline 0.737 kg/L
Weight of hydrogen 0.009 kg/L

35,228.6 kilo-joules/Lfor octane
1,287 kilo-joules/L for hydrogen

Gasoline is about 30 times more energy dense by volume then hydrogen.

You are probably thinking per volume not by weight
I hear / read this statement a lot: takes more power to split water than ...".

Has anyone ever calculated how much energy it takes to dig up the iron ore (and make the machines to do the digging), smelt the ore into steel, forge the steel into oil rigs, tow the oil into position over the sea bed / transport and construct on a land site, transport the workers to operate the rig, actually operate the rig, pump the crude oil or transport it to a refinery, refine the oil, transport the gas to the gas station, and for the end-user to drive to the gas station to pump the gas?

I wonder how much energy there could possibly be a in a gallon of gasoline? And is there so much that it's MORE than the energy required to produce it?

I'd love to know the answer to those questions. Anyone?

Very nicely said, sadly we will never see those figures so we will just assume that it is a lot. on a small level one gallon of gas would never be worth the energy to produce it. They pump millions of gallons of crude which to them is worth the effort.


Making hydrogen, using hydrogen cells to separate the oxygen from the hydrogen and then introducing the hydrogen into the air intake of the engine does not require it to be compressed and if the power is cut to the cell all the cell has in it is water, couldn't be safer, far safer than gasoline, propane, natural gas. there is no fuel storage tank with a hydrogen cell. It can be used to enhance gasoline combustion or used all on it's own. To turn hydrogen into a storable gas would take about 5000 PSI or greater, I believe it is closer to 8000 psi . It is a very difficult gas to compress into a liquid storable fuel, and it doesn't need to be making it one of if not the safest fuel systems there is.

Stroover14 days ago

I'm wondering the same thing abrown39 and krash are. My fragmented mind is telling me that if the middle plates are just kind of floating there unconnected that they wouldn't produce any gas without currant flowing through them.

The whole point is that the gap between the plates causes the electricity to jump the gap between the two plates by traveling through the water. When the electricity does this is ionizes the water into 2H+ and O-. Once two of the water molecules have been ionized the Ions then combine to make H2 gas and O2 gas which are more stable than the separated ions.

Gotcha! Makes perfect sense now. Thanks.

caimartin15 days ago

Can lye be used as koh

let me correct what I said. Lye cannot be used as KOH but it can be used instead of KOH. Lye's chemical compound is NaOH. They are both strong electrolytes and Alkali Salts. You could also use table salt (NaCl) or any other strong electrolyte though if you use table salt you will also create Chlorine Gas which is dangerous so I would not suggest that.


Is there a reason you are using stainless steel plates as opposed to aluminum? While both are resistant to oxidation I would think aluminum would be better as it is going to remain submerged in the water.

Will this machine work on its side

No, the air will not reach the tue and water would be pumped through instead.

Ok thxs that makes perfect sense
caimartin15 days ago

can you provide a shopping cart for these items

MikeB1523 days ago

Could humans use Hydrogen gas as an alternative fuel source in the future?

wangg24 days ago


galihpa129 days ago

What kind of problem might I encounter if I use this project on my motorcycle? I was thinking of getting rid of gasoline and replace it with water since the prices of gasoline in my country just went way up. Please kindly answer my question.

These generators are not used for converting engines to hydrogen. They generate hydrogen using the excess electricity of the cars battery and alternator, and feed the hydrogen directly to the air intake, creating a hybrid engine. Increased MPG is what we want.
moxmox1 month ago

Hi there,
Thanks for this great tutorial!
I have one question. You talk about the voltage applied to the system but you didn't refer the total current drain. Did you measured it? I think that although the voltage is an important parameter, the current is a more relevant one.

If you're having a high current passing over the system, this means that you are transmitting more energy than the system really needs to an efficient electrolysis and that drives you to extreme heating and thus, energy loss by heat.
I'm taking in serious consideration the built of a generator like yours.
Your answer will help me determine if i'll do it like you or with a different design.

H2evolution2 months ago

Pepsi,intel uses this tech to save fuel, you can install them to your car too

intel hho.jpghqdefault.jpg

What happens to the oxygen once it leaves the bubbler?

How about attaching a downtube from the generator to let it pass through a radiator or cooling system then route it back to the generator?

AngelT12 months ago

This is a neat design and I know what's being demonstrated is an Oxy Hydrogen here Generator. With a couple of modifications one could generate almost pure hydrogen and get rid of the Oxygen . I am intrigued with someone's comment on using a PWM based power supply. I really like that great idea. Sounds like a win win. A bit of thinking would be needed to keep it from exploding with prolonged use however, the price of experimentation. Definitely worth a try.

Could this gas actually run an engine?

NASA uses it to power their rockets

Yes it can

How would it work?

I realize this is old, but in carbureted engines you can simply feed the hydrogen into the intake of the carb. They actually do this on an episode of mythbusters with a tank of hydrogen gas and get the car to run. I'm sure it would be a little more practical if you did it with a weedwacker or something smaller.

instead of a vapor gasoline:air mixture and igniting, you would use the gas instead of gasoline hence cars that run off of water

RolanC2 months ago

just a few shot in the dark questions, wouldn't magnets help seperate the particles since they are ionic in nature. but regardless of that, storing the gas would be a terrible idea enough said on that. secondly would changing the plates into two cork screw shapes one inside the other both of them without touching each other help in the conversion process? thirdly could the geet system be used with the hho generator? also how about recapturing the released water? consider if u buy ten gallons of water and just keep reusing it wouldn't the cost eventually be a profit? also some other curious thoughts to ponder. the capacitor idea, can it be charged using solar power. then u could use the entire surface to directly charge the capacitor during the day. also some other thoughts, what about using that sterling motor to help the performance? ideally set it in the exhaust system and use it to help generate electical energy. or how about a turbine in the exhaust system to help recapture some of that energy since it is free energy.there are a few other questions to be had mind u. for instance what about a few wind turbines integrated in the car to help collect more free energy? also does the water come out hot after it has been rebonded? and is there anyway to tie this back into your power grid at home , i.e. i would love to flip my electrical meter back and have my power company pay me for producing energy. see i have this idea of using solar panels with this HHO generator to produce energy during the day and at night turn it off. so any energy i dont use just gets plugged back into the power grid and flips my meter.

saran.moule3 months ago

could u lend me this for 3 days i will give u 82.69 $ i am doin it for a fair plssssss

though the water is a renewable resource, the iron/steel used is an oxidizing metal, meaning it will eventually rust to nothing. using other similar superconductors like copper will result in the same. Stainless steel will even corrode over time, though not as quickly... Gold or titanium, though more expensive, are better choices and will last indefinitely. consider a gold plated metal so that you may maintain a high conductive surface area

aasylum4 months ago

hey i would like help on this where did you get your plastic/acrylic tubes?

gravityisweak4 months ago

Have you considered using a Pulse Width Modulated power source as opposed to a car battery? Supposedly the heat you got in your 24v test is a result of inefficiencies and too much current being turned to heat instead of gas. PWM allows the water to stay cooler with higher voltages by pulsing the voltage instead of a continuous flow. It's worth a shot.

selectum25 months ago
Could I get a complete list of the parts and there sizes and dimensions please?
geraldpaxton7 months ago

Reading over the comments here, many questions...sodium or potassium hydroxide can be ordered from Duda Diesel, 1lb or more. I've seen a unit to power a car, roughly 100-6x6 inch plates in a 1" thick plexaglass box with a 12v to 110 inverter supply for power. Urine for electrolyte produces hydrogen only. Hydrogen can be stored in a sintered titanium/iron mix at low pressure and density as great as liquid, Mercedes busses in germany were hydrogen powered and used this storage method.

Hi Gerry! Please tell me more about Urine as an electrolyte! What ratio? And you say an "inverter" as in 12DC to 110 AC? surely you meant "transformer"?

Peace to you and your's, Glenn.

I found the 'Urine' converter in a new's report about 3 African girls who had built a system from a couple of bottles and were using their urine to run a generator and a university study/report that said the voltage required was lower. There are "P" power systems on you tube. The 100+ plate system is built by a man named Boyce and the output of the inverter drives mosfet oscillators at 3 different frequencies feeding a toroid transformer. His system produces 50-100 liters per minute of HHO.

abrown392 years ago
so I have a question, just the inner 2 and outer 2 plates are connected to power? the outer 2 being connected electrically by the bottom "bracket" and the 2 inner being connected by the nuts correct? And then the remaining 4 plates are neutral being separated from direct current by the plastic washers? if you could explain that a little more that would be a huge help. or if my assumptions are correct a simple yes will do.

Hey abrown39, did you ever get an answer?

krash abrown391 year ago
I have been wondering the same thing.
krash krash1 year ago
Just found this. Here's our answer!
sniffrumble6 months ago

Plus Earth has a truly unimaginable supply of water. It's everywhere. Even in a desert, using a solar still water can be wrung from thin air. (Probably not enough to power an engine but it IS there.)

instead of a vapor gasoline:air mixture and igniting, you would use the
gas instead of gasoline hence cars that run off of water

Fastaco2266 months ago

How were you able to keep the gas in an open water bottle, without it escaping?

it would have come out eventually, he just used it quick enough before it have flowed out

hello, good item ,butt were did the video go. now that's unfair and sign up now usd$ 39.99 one time paypment , that if I pay this payment is the only one time/ of payment I will ever pay is right. p/s I would like to pay the one time payment of usd$39.99, butt im afraid to, just there mite be hiden charges by a unknowen third party. please return the video? not fair to any one. thankyou.

sheepbars8 months ago

Water is made of 2 hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Thus, it is known as H2O. When you apply an electric current, it splits it into 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom. This creates the gas you see.

This looks like a really awesome Instructable, I can't wait to make my own. My only problem is that I can't really obtain any potassium hydroxide, and I don't know where I could. Can anyone point me to another catalyst that works, or where to obtain potassium hydroxide? Thanks,

You can also use salt or baking powder but they can dirty the electrodes.
hnilsson8 months ago
The video is gone
oraddad8 months ago


Hi im kinda noob in this, so i have to ask: When you put electricity into water, the hydrogen atom get extracted drom the water? (2 hydrogen atom) On school we used hydrochloric acid and zink dust.

Water is made of 2 hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Thus, it is known as H2O. When you apply an electric current, it splits it into 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom. This creates the gas you see.

chubby81 year ago
apparently.... "Stainless steel contains chromium and thus the chromium is consumed, and you end up with poisonous chromates in your electrolyte. Dumping these on the ground or down the drain is illegal. The compounds can cause severe skin problems and ultimately, cancer. Hexavalent chromate is poisonous.
Does your electrolyte turn yellow? That's a sign of chromates.
Best bet - don't use stainless steel no matter how tempting it is."
mykiscool chubby88 months ago

It seems that carbon rods such as the graphite found in pencils may work well since it is harmless and is conductive.

though it is tempting..... and electrolysis is awesome.
adesmarais9 months ago
I'm am not fully educated in electical lingo, but I am just wondering how you would make this model, produce sufficient fule to increase mpg, and reduce amprage as to not fry my electrical source.

Increase voltage if you cannot increase the amps.

instructageek9 months ago

I love this, very professional looking. I hope I can make one soon.

gazumpglue10 months ago

yes but needs to be a little bigger, need to be hooked up correctly

chimplost11 months ago

How much did this cost to make?

yes but needs to be a little bigger, need to be hooked up correctly
lewster1 year ago
This looks like a really awesome Instructable, I can't wait to make my own. My only problem is that I can't really obtain any potassium hydroxide, and I don't know where I could. Can anyone point me to another catalyst that works, or where to obtain potassium hydroxide? Thanks,
you can use baking soda or salt dissolved in the water to increase conductivity
thaliks lewster11 months ago
can you please tell me which bold size
sorry, don't use salt or it will produce chlorine gas
Aaand now I'm glad that I haven't got around to doing this yet.. Many thanks!
u can also use battery water (sulfuric acid)
thaliks11 months ago
please answer me steel nuts and bolds size
thaliks11 months ago
can you please tell me which bold size
Hey couldn't I use aluminum instead of stainless steal its more conductive and doesn't have chromium and is pretty corrosion resistant
Jedeyez12 months ago
A hho generator is very simalar to a battery lead acid battery cell when over charged. they maintain 2volts and when given 3-5 they begin electrolysis. hence test your electrolite's resistance (witch is your final limmitation of power consumption)start with distilled adding concentrated baking soda solution in steps measuring as you add. idealy (i have found) 3-5volts will overload your hho cell @ 30-40amps and give you maximum efficency and maxim production also. rember the continuity you found to make this work best so it can be repriduced.
steveazhocar12 months ago
though it is tempting..... and electrolysis is awesome.
though it is tempting..... and electrolysis is awesome.
h3manth1 year ago
Can you connect this to AC?
pg1315 h3manth1 year ago
this can be done using a simple AC to DC converter (AKA a dc power supply)
mvmrqz981 year ago
hi there! I'm trying to recreate this for my investigatory project. since its an investigation, what type of water can i test this with other than purified water? also cool project btw :) hope you can reply asap since we're on our way to make this^^
Or do it with pickle juice. That might work.
You could always use different electrolytes, or different mixtures of water to salts (meaning chemical salts(sodium bicarbonate,potassium hydroxide etc.)not table salt).
Sounds cool though, make an 'ible of your investigation!
How much did this cost to make?
You could also have an array of them (10-12 maybe). Just hook the output gas hose to a car engine and that might be able to do it
I wish. Electrolysis is about 50% efficient, combustion of oxyhydrogen is about 50% leaving you with 25% efficiency. Not only will you need a few fuel cells but also quite a few batteries which you will have to plug in like an electric car to charge. or you could just build an electric car with 90-100% efficiency because an oxyhydrogen vehicle is essentially an inefficient plug in hybrid. Stanley meyer claimed to create an hho system that used the energy from the engine to create the electricity to make the hho to run the engine but basic science tells us our energy output will never exceed our energy input. One practical use of the oxyhydrogen fuel cell is an aluminum welder.
Misac-kun1 year ago
Hey, Grant. I was wondering, what more this bubbler can filter?
Great video! Informative and flowing! Thank You!!
Wouldn't it be awesome if all cars were like this. We would no longer have to worry about the oil crisis and if u would no longer have to fuel up the car for months. Why can't there be cars like this?!?!? : (
randersen61 year ago
nice. I will try this :)
Bro how often u change the water.....?
I think this would be great IF the two gasses were generated seperately and stored seperately - and used for oxy-hydrogen torches - used in glass blowing etc.

Keeping them mixed together - I had an odd battery explode and Hmmmmmmmm NOT good.
rjohnson671 year ago
my question is as we know the bi product of normal petrol and lpg is CO2 AND H20 do you think that the OXYGEN and the HYDROGEN in both those exhaust gases can be collected and feedback into the main combustion chamber like a turbo forces air to create more power do you think those 2 gases can be used to increase efficiency of the petrol or lpg
What is the are hole locations/sizes?
jryan51 year ago
Great video! Informative and flowing! Thank You!!
fgil1 year ago
Dear king of random.

This is a very good project. congrats!!
I'm doing some research and I've found that your project can convert solar power in to an H2 resource from water. I'm wondering if some modifications of your project could generate enough H2 to power to refill the "Hydrostick" here the link!minipak/c156u. I think so...

I open my question to all the comunity. This might be a solution for many of us looking for a cheap and abundant home made energy.

Thanks again!!
kdr19651 year ago
Thanks a lot king of random.
akinich1 year ago
Hey amazing instrucable
i have three questions
what is the total watts consumed by the system ?
what grade stainless steel are u using ?
and finally :P does the stainless steel rust?
Sure but don't try it
zbalagot1 year ago
Hi! I have a question, can the fuel, or the final product be substitute to the gasoline or diesel used in the generators?
YOU ARE AWESOME! i just love your projects! greetings from Romania! you got a new fan, sir! :)
It's great to have a fan in Romania! Thank you!
Bmud1 year ago
if you try to run the generator without potassium hydroxide or any other catalyst how much does it decrease production? i made one and it is producing hardly any bubbles at all and we were trying to diagnose the problem.
The King of Random (author)  Bmud1 year ago
The reaction drops pretty much to nothing without a catalyst. You can also try adding a pinch of lye (NaOH) and that will work.
this is realllyy coooool.I am building a miniature version at home but i'm not sure whether the bubbler is necessary.please tell me if it is needed.thank you!
I would never have one without the bubbler. Watch the video at the end to see why :)
ASCAS1 year ago
That's a great looking HHO converter! Clean finish! Probably the best I've seen.

You could also try the brine solution (salt&water) for a more economical use.

The only thing that stops me from making another one of these, was the feedback explosion that happen to me when I was 10. HHO could be a lot dangerous considering that the mix (HHO) contains the oxygen for the fuel to ignite. Well sometimes the bubbler doesn't work as expected :/// Anyways good job !!!
The King of Random (author)  ASCAS1 year ago
Thanks, I'm glad you liked it! Check out this video for some of the explosions and to see how the bubbles gives protection.

Thanks again!
Platinum will catalyze the oxidation reaction of hydrogen with oxygen in the air; that is, it may cause an autocombustion hazard for your generator.
Thanks for the tip!
tjesse1 year ago
Congrats on winning! A top notch instructable for sure.
melody3331 year ago
This is one of the best instructables I´ve ever seen.
you are the king of random and the king of instructables.
Thank you so much
The King of Random (author)  melody3331 year ago
Hey thanks Melody!!!!
thomas96661 year ago
I take it the scratched steel plates can be replaced with the catalyst from the catalytic converters in cars? It would make more sense since its platinum, therefore lasting longer and providing more gas.
The King of Random (author)  thomas96661 year ago
Sounds viable Thomas! Do you have access to platinum? Try that!
Well, currently the people I'm sharing a house with are against the thought of me possessing chemicals so all my potassium hydroxide has disappeared over night :( When I convince them, cause I will, to give me my stuff back I'll start making the generator and buy an old converter off eBay probably. I'm also needing it for other projects
The King of Random (author)  thomas96661 year ago
Sounds great. Best of luck in the persuasions of your housemates :) brain is feeling more volatile than H or O and is about to explode after reading all of this and numerous links provided!!! In saying that I have just learnt a great deal. Thank you. I have friends who are currently saving on fuel with similar methods described here, but, a couple of them are stepping back and trying to find a simpler solution. One is making benzine in a 'batch by batch' method. Another is refining a 'continuous brewing' method for benzine production. Both are working very well and their standard simple petrol engines ( car, generator, lawnmower etc ) without modification. Both are using an enzyme found in cow dung. Both use green waste / food scraps as the raw material. The batch brewing method is producing 80 liters per week while the continuous brewing method is only producing 45 liters per week but is expected to be more once a slightly bigger 'machine' is built. You all sound clever enough to work all this out as I've been shown how simple this is and have an understanding of it. To date, nothing has blown up.......

Thanks again for this page and the time you have all taken. Seems even though we all think a little differently we all seem to be thinking in the same direction.... a healthier life.
Thank you for your comment! I've seen an exhibit in Chicago showing the process of cow manure being exposed to bacteria to break it down and release usable fuels. Great idea! That's is pretty clever :)

kmpres1 year ago
Nice 'ible.  This process has been much experimented with over the years and there's at least one company (name withheld) that sells electrolysis devices for use in cars.  The idea is not to run a car solely on H2 and O2 gas.  Rather, you make just enough gas to augment the burning process so your engine runs on less gasoline and produces more miles/gallon. 20-25% boost in mpg is the typical claim for these devices, but in my opinion they are about five times too expensive so I have not invested in one and don't plan to.  They also require that your engine computer be faked out to prevent it from over-richening the mixture when the O2 sensors detect a higher O2 content than normal.  This can be done with an add-on chip (sold separately)  that is matched to each car engine computer for best efficiency.  Again, company name withheld because I do not wish to endorse anybody's products, but a simple google search should find them.

There is another idea that seems to have escaped these comments.  While it is true that  it takes more energy in the form of electricity to perform the electrolysis than you get in the amount of H2 and O2  gas produced, you don't need a one-to-one conversion to obtain a useful benefit.  You can simply charge a battery from another renewable source, such as solar, or even a plain old house-current charger, and use it to run your gas generator.  Pound for pound, house current is much cheaper than gasoline, and solar is free for all.  This makes your car a kind of hybrid that runs on two different energy sources but without removing your dependence on gasoline, which remains your vehicle's primary motive force provider.  I imagine you could also produce enough gas to run your engine without any gasoline, but the battery and generator would have to be sufficiently large to produce enough gas to run the engine.
billgeo kmpres1 year ago
Charging a car battery with a (reasonable sized) solar panel for daily use is just not practical! It will take days! Even if you buy 3-4 extra batteries its still not practical. It will take years for you to compensate for the cost, even if you had any benefit from gas consumption. I am not at all convinced that the introduction of a minuscule amount of hydrogen into the combustion cycle of an I.C.E. will bring about any fuel consumption benefits. I have certainly not seen any scientific evidence (let alone proof).
I think super capacitors will be the way to go - not batteries. We all know how long it takes to charge even a phone battery, let alone a car battery.

A super capacitor takes seconds to charge. They're new and in development but probably will come along very quickly as they're VERY green (being carbon-based), quick to charge etc etc. Check out youtube.
Caps charge in seconds IF you provide the current.
Solar panels don't!
Let alone the added cost of a super cap (we are talking huge money here).
Its STILL not practical!!!
Check out the datasheets.
there are other sources for energy, nuclear, wind, water
Yeah... so?
its not practicle to put a nuclear reactor on a car
kmpres billgeo1 year ago
House current can make a supercap charge in minutes and costs much less than gasoline. Super caps can also be cheap (relatively) if you buy them used or in bulk. Check out eBay.
kmpres billgeo1 year ago
I don't disagree, however "practical" is what you make of it. If you value green self-sufficiency over actual cost then a solar cell battery charger is practical. If not, then gasoline, with its hidden pollution and health costs is more "practical". Hybrid cars may be cheaper to run for their owners but the hidden costs of lithium battery production may more than offset that cost - it all depends on how you view it. As for whether a small amount of hydrogen can improve gasoline burning efficiency, there are a lot of people who say that the numbers don't lie. Then again, there are a lot of skeptics who refuse to try it because they "know better". I'm not in a position to try it so won't endorse it one way or the other. I will say that the safety issues scare me more than the possible benefits attract so I am not likely to try it until this has been explored by an independent testing body.
NiVofHiR1 year ago
...I read on a page somewhere that the plates should be sanded (only 2-3 strokes) in a straight "horizontal" motion...this is supposed to create grooves that have a bigger surface area for the bubbles to collect, as opposed to "random sanding" or "circular sanding".
this is the most, ah, what can i say, fun i can have watching a video. i thank u for ur time in showing us a little bit of science that is the way of our future. please, please dont stop teaching us. Tanks again... john e da bike 420...
Thank you for your comment!!
shortw1 year ago
Hydrogen is very dangerous and is very volatile. A company based in california making parts for units to be used in cars blew up 3 times already and there was nothing left of the building. The last time it blew up, they transferred hydrogen from one container to the other container, which killed the owners son and other people and many had injuries.
It is a very big safety issue that could kill you and others.
EvilDefman1 year ago
Clearly, you've got the MONEY for the experiments.

From looking at the video, I can see one critical mistake you didn't do.

You should get a small petroleum fuel to electric generator, popularly electric generator, pipes the OxyHydrogen Generator GAS to the petroleum fueled Generator, and make it run, that petrol generator powers the ELECTRIC generator, which makes ELECTRICTY, thus that one can POWERS the OdyHydrogen Generator, it becomes a CLOSED loop, running ON DEMAnD, so no need for silly COMPRESSED HYDROGEN GAS bags or tanks or cells or whatever. Just ON DEMAND HYGAS whenever you want. Simple, clean.

I always wanted one, but had no means for a great WORKSHOP to make these.generators. WHen the small things WORKS, move up to a small car, then a bigger car, then a truck, and who knows, a boat, pretty soon, you can take out and modify your own car and be completely INDEPENDENT from the effing OIL companies FOREVER!

Plus saves on the money, too!

INDEPENDENCE! To hell with DEPENDENCE on the parasites Oil Companies!
The King of Random (author)  EvilDefman1 year ago
It would work to some degree, but I don't think it would be a perpetual energy machine like I think you're implying? Thanks for your comments!
Wow very well documented I have been wanting to do this for a while but could not find one that is documented like yours. I am going to have to try it now.
I'm glad you found some value in it! Thank you!
Another fun thing to do with electrolysis is the generation of Hydrochloric Acid and Sodium Hydroxide from the electrolysis of regular table salt (NaCl) and water. You just have to have two beakers separated by a saline bridge and an electrode in each beaker. You will generate both a powerful acid and a powerful base from the reaction.
I'm interested! Do you have a link to a video or a blog for more details?
OK, there's something I don't understand about the conservation of energy issue, and I don't know enough physics/chemistry to figure it out. (Being a psychologist by training has its disadvantages.)

The argument seems to be that due to the laws of thermodynamics, you can't get more energy out of burning O and H than you put into separating them out from H2O via electrolysis. Here's where I get confused: Why is the energy-in, energy-out comparison being made to the electrolytic conversion, instead of to the process by which the H2O molecules got created in the first place?

I.e., let's say I create some water by producing fire (water vapor is part of what flames are made of; see e.g. It's not hard for me to figure out that if I electrolyze this water, then ignite the H and O, the resulting fire won't burn as hot (and/or as long) as the original fire. However, why is the heat energy that's released in the chemical reaction that produces the new flame inherently less than the electrical energy used to separate the H20?
Energy is always conserved no matter what, but the biggest difference is what "form" the energy becomes. For instance, the first law of thermodynamic dictates that Q_dot + W_dot = Change in internal energy. This law is always conserved.. When you split water into Hydrogen and Oxygen, the energy required to split the water molecules is called enthalpy of formation. Ideally, you get this energy back when you combust the fuel. But in reality, some of the energy is "converted" into entropy which leads to this "energy" lost illusion. I hope this is the answer you were looking for.
Madjack1 year ago
Just a question. How do you safely store it for future use? Wouldn't it be highly volatile under heat and pressure?
jasan12341 year ago
Excellent presentation. Video clarity is superb.
Verd681 year ago
Solar (photovoltaic) is not a clean source of energy.
Remember kids, DO NOT try to compress oxygen unless you have at least a bare minimum of 1m life insurance policy. the same could be said for hydrogen...
(removed by author or community request)
I'm an old Mother Earth News fan so I've seen variations of this before. It's definitely worth following up. Perfection should never be the immediate goal...just improvement.
jalford1 year ago
would love to see you connect this hydrogen generator to a bbq grill... cooking with hydrogen gas would be super cool... cheers!
I'm heading to Costa Rica as soon as I can. 12 hours daylight 12 hours night whenever its not raining (rainforest/Talmanca). A bbq from the sun...hell yes. I'll let you know.
30 years ago I used a Water Welder brand which had a teeny tip to weld small parts. It was hard to control the amount of gas, though. It was great for occasional small jobs and ran high temperature (at that tiny tip). It had separate hydrogen and oxygen hoses.
pongpak1 year ago
Is it possible to use an arc welder for the power source?
Arc welder? That's too powerful. It would melt through the plastic.
Flash6351 year ago
Warning! N00b comment!
Would it be safe to compress HO or H by feeding gas into the intake of a regular air compressor then delivering it to a pressure vessel?
You could compress to 110 - 120 psi, nowhere near enough to make it liquid but still more compact than "loose" gas.

I've heard that an auto air conditioner pump can produce 400 psi and I've also heard of people successfully and safely using propane as a refrigerant in an auto A/C. Meaning the pumps can be used with flammable substances safely.
It is unwise to attempt compression of Hydrogen gas. Compression creates heat and if there's any oxygen still in the mix you could have a major disaster on your hands.

Secondly, Hydrogen is very difficult to store under pressure because it literally leaks through the storage tank, in the same way as Helium leaks through rubber balloons.
Thanks for the reply, I wasn't going to try it myself.
bennyb11 year ago
I've been doing this nearly 10 years, simple unit in 3 different vehicles. Simple gets me up to 10 mpg more in an F150, 351 engine. Worth the time, and small amount of money. I use white vinegar, and don't have to worry about soda or whatever you use. I don't remember the output, but it's around 12 amps. I put it right into air intake.
Reboot2 years ago
Which is the energy conversion ratio? I mean, if I were to produce H2 for using in a H2 fuel cell, how much energy will it be lost in the process?

e- -> H2 -> e-
crob09 Reboot2 years ago
286000 jouls per mol. That's the exothermic reaction for Hydrogen.

A x V = W (measurement to determine electric power)
V=I x R (Measure resistance, Volts, Amperage, Ohm's law)
You can't loose energy, "Energy cannot be created or destroyed only transformed" Einsteins theory or relativity.
So when you ask "much energy will it be lost in the process?" the answer is none. The energy gets converted in one form or another.
The conversion 2H2O -> 2H2 + O2 process generates heat, which is lost to the environment, so there is some loss in the process. (HS chemistry was 50-odd years ago, so I don't pretend to know how much).
Heat is generated because of the circuit, the less resistance in the circuit means more Amperage is being consumed.
So the energy needed to produce this Hydrogen using this method is just not economical.
In theory you could take the heat generated and utilize it, also if you where concerned about heat incorporate a micro-controller that draws a few milliamps and a thermisitor to read the water temp, if temerature reaches (X) then turn the unit off, or start the air engine.
You get the idea.
crob09 crob091 year ago
Wrong, you can use the heat.
Again it just depends on the system.
For example a "Stirling Engine" AKA "Air Engine" works off a heat variance. It provides torque.
You also have other energy conversions like sound and light, the bottom line is, you can build a system that utilizes and transforms energy in a way you'd like.
There is no actual energy loss.
Reboot crob091 year ago
Yeah, I know that. I just consider heat as energy lost, cause it dissipates and I can't profit it.
Skipped HS chemistry, did you? If you build your water separator so the bubbles of hydrogen and oxygen can be directed in different directions, the gasses can be used for something other than making noise and blowing up things. Also, you might want to consider powering your separator with a solar panel. Slower, but environmentally friendly.
thatdude382 years ago
Hey, great instructable. A couple things about it though that are misconseptions. First, the 5.0 L that you are creating per minute is enough to run a medium sized car. You said in the begining, that this is not a generator. While technically true for the set up that you have, could easily be set up to be and will produce more energy than you have to put into it. Before I get a bunch of people tell me I'm wrong, you are burning water, it is a viable fuel and some water is lost in the process accounting for the energy difference. If you were using no catalyst, then you could not have a successful engine. To say that you don't get as much energy as put into the system is to say that you don't with gasoline, your not accounting for the huge amounts of energy released for the oxygen and hydrogen.
Second to save time and money, you can use stainless steel light covers that can readily be found at most hardware stores for your plates. Third, if you do decide to hook this up to a car or generator to produce energy, you may get some build up of potasium in your engine and will need to care for this accordingly. There is a good chance that your engine could be ruined by doing this, but if you don't mind driving a really cheap car could still end up being cheaper than paying for gas. If you decide to do that, make sure you do your research. I'm not sure as to the reactivity of potassium with parts in your engine, but it definitely has potential to be catastrophic.
I also saw in one of your comments that you were going to try to seperate out the gasses. This isn't worth the time, and would have a detrimental effect if you were to only use hydrogen for the explosion. A lot of oxygen is needed to explode hydrogen right, and is readily available with the conversion of water.
One last thing, at one point me and my father had his 8.1L engine running entirely off hydrogen (we disconnected the fuel line while running) The only problem was we were using baking soda as the catalyst which when burned make hydrochloric acid, which would eat the engine.
As others have pointed out, you cannot get ANY net energy from water, even if you "lose" some. In fact, you will get out MUCH less energy than you put in due to gross inefficiencies in such a simple system (overpotential, resistive losses, etc.).

Also, you should NEVER produce / store a mixed H2/O2 gas. Under ideal conditions, it can remain inert indefinitely, but real systems are subject to static discharge or the presence of catalysts that can initate the reaction with a very small local input of heat or light, and in that case even a modest amount of H2+O2 can produce a powerful explosion. It is not hard to produce the two gases separately -- indeed it is common practice for commercial water-electrolysis systems, and that is what you should do. Store the gases separately if you want them both, or store the one and vent the other, but NEVER store them as a mixture!
You cannot get more energy out of a reaction than is put in, even with a magical catalyst, or additive, that energy has to come form some place, and you are not achieving fission so you are not destroying oxygen or hydrogen molecules for their component energy. Also Baking soda is not a catalyst. at best its a electrolyte to improve the conductivity of water. That alone implies you are working off false information and could gain from taking a few classes and or learning from 200 years of experimentation that has been done, And last but not least, hydrogen is caustic to many metals. Hydrogen embrittlement is the process by which various metals, most importantly high-strength steel and aluminum, become brittle and fracture following exposure to hydrogen. Your baking soda likely had very little effect on the damage.
Thank You !!!! often many good writers post bad data here but makes it sound so good. I think it might be practices work for politics
My friend made one using titanium plates he picked up in a junkyard. He gave it to me but I haven't tried it in my vehicle yet. WARNING!!! If anyone installs a Oxyhydrogen generator in a vehicle it must be connected to a source that is only hot when the key is in the on position, otherwise, if constantly on, it is very dangerous.
Try hot using a catalys (baking soda), then you would be getting a more efficient burning process. You need a ratio air/gas of 13:1 but with pure hydrogen you would need a ratio air/hydrogen of 1000:1, so try to get the most hydrogen possible out of the electrolysis process. No catalyst means more wattage to transfer the ions through the water. So you can by 1 liter of hydrogen gas and use a PGC gas supply system to run a standard combustion engine. A propane conversion kit fuelled by hydrogen-hydrxide gas.
This absolutely does NOT produce more energy than is put it it. Your understanding of electrolysis is flawed. Conservation of energy, conservation of mass, and the laws of thermodynamics still apply.
kelseymh2 years ago
This is a very nice construction I'ble. You do realize that you are going to use more electrical energy to generate your hydrogen than you will ever get back by burning the hydrogen back to water. The ratio of the output to input energy is the efficiency of the process, which is less than 1.

It is quite difficult to do properly, but I'm curious whether you've had an opportunity to measure your conversion efficiency for this build. Are you able to get 50% efficiency out?

It would be responsible of you to include a statement about the efficiency, and the utility of such a generator, in your introduction.
I was thinking the same thing. The major issue with hydrogen energy is how to get the hydrogen without using more energy than it will produce. I have seen some work into using this type of technology as a method for storing energy from solar, wind, etc. as opposed to traditional batteries because it could potentially reclaim more of the energy lost in batteries and have a longer life span. That is why is does have potential to be used in cars or other mobile devices, but to be used as a stand alone power source is futile since it takes more energy to make the fuel than the fuel will actually produce.
I agree, and the other challenge that would need to be addressed is how it could be stored safely if produced off green energy. My experiments with the gas lead me to believe storing it could be very dangerous :)
True. Hydrogen and oxygen are both explosive, flammable gasses. There was a lot of fear with using hydrogen to power automobiles for that reason, but the counter argument is that if the tank were punctured, the gas would quickly dissipate into the atmosphere - as opposed to gasoline which would just spill into a puddle onto the ground below, waiting to catch on fire and/or explode. The real issue with containment and use in cars is that it takes thick canisters to hold compressed gas, kind of like oxygen tanks for a scuba diver - those things are heavy!
That is why a car would need an on board production system, too bad it will never be commercial though, because the government can't tax it.

Fun fact of the day, Edison's first car ran on water, but decided that since petrol was so readily available, that it wasn't worth the extra engineering.
But that's going in circles... it takes energy to make energy, and it takes a whole heck of a lot more energy to make hydrogen using electrolysis than you get from it given our current methods and technology. The supply would never be able to keep up with the demand unless you only drove 10 miles at a time. The only way that would ever be possible is if there was some sort of passive (as in no need for electricity) filtering system that collected hydrogen from the atmosphere, and it would have to collect a lot of it and quickly to be of any use.

It's the same reason electric cars aren't designed to be solar powered - the extra weight of the solar panels and equipment would use up most of the extra energy that they produce because the energy generation is so inefficient. You'd still have to have a huge battery bank to store the energy generated when the car was at rest to be used during motion.

And commercialism has nothing to do with government taxation. There are plenty of independent entrepreneurs who make and sell things without any government subsidy, and each product they sell is still taxed by the government. On top of that, government has been looking into taxing us per mile driven based on GPS data since cars are moving away from oil based fuels. They'll get their share one way or another.

Lastly, Edison didn't design any cars running on water. Edison DID design a nickle-iron battery that used an alkaline solution composed mostly of water, but that isn't much different than a standard lead-acid battery, just less toxic. There has been some work done to modernize his battery to be used in electric or hybrid cars, but the batteries would only assist the superior lithium batteries already in use.
Is it more dangerous than storing radioactive waste?????
Yes it is, btw radio active waste are not dangerous and has its use nowdays :) But still I like it for its is a really good idea to use H as storage for solar/wind energy, the only thing is, you would probably end up wasting a bit more energy while liquidizing H to take less space.
Keep in mind, that is what we do with petrolium fuels... wasting energy. Nothing new there. Is this a viable alternative to petro-fuels? Can we produce the H gas without NEEDING oil, in other words? Fruit? Oceans? Solar? Think outside the box!
Yes, exactly. If you use external/"free" input energy (solar, wind, tidal, whatever), and use the hydrogen as a storage medium, then the conversion efficiency is less interesting.

However, I'm not sure that electrolysis/reburning is the most efficient way to store such power, as compared to batteries or supercapacitors. Of course, that is a quantitative engineering question, not a basic physics issue :-)
But aside from that, this is an awesome project and a very well put together instructable. It should do great in the science contest! (Voted)
Thank you Kurt!
The King of Random (author)  kelseymh2 years ago
Thanks for your suggestion. I'll make the update :)
cjrush10092 years ago
Pointless, you cant get more energy out of this, than you put into it.
The author specifically denies the creation of "free" energy.
Not pointless. You're converting electricity and water into a portable energy storage source. You have to give up energy in the form of the heat in the device to gain the freedom of portability. It's either lose it there or lose it as heat in voltage drop in your vehicles extension cord. :-)
If you have a good array of solar panels or wind generators, and want to store the surplus energy as a seperate gasses, for say an oxy hydrogen torch for glass blowing / welding borosilicate glasses.

Then this is a brilliant idea.

"free fuel gasses, no cylinder rentals, water line gas pressures and storage systems"

Brilliant - just don't mix the stored gasses and light them.
never could get that kind of bubbling from the generator I built.
Did you add an electrolyte like Potassium Hydroxide and hook it to your car battery?
Ya I used.baking soda. But this just turned the water green when it reacted with the galvanized steel that I used (bad idea) for a cathode and anode. I also used a design of 4 coils (2 on the inside and 2 on the outside with a cathode and anode in each group)
drcad1 year ago
Hi mate,

H2O will make H2 and some O if you push one molecule in the system, but having lots of water you get 4(H2O) = 2(HO) + 3(H2) + O2 which they are explosive by themselves...

Now what you are getting is one of the above explosive gases. Sorry not being in a lab, it would be hard to determine in which proportion you get of the mixture. Be carefull, those gases are quite explosives and heavy as they stay trap in basement of houses and room corners. By the way, a pcv check valve is not a security item for those types of gas, it does not stop the backflash (College experience in the 1986's. The best flame retardant would be a water chamber or the very expensive Hydrogen backflash arrestor. These are my two cents and be aware of the men in black, you are playing with a gold mine that can be very explosive.

Cheers, and keep up your quest.
Gelfling61 year ago
I've seen a waste digester for a boat, which had a similar design.. it would use electricity to break-down the waste water slurry before disposing of it.. the gray water would enter one chamber, be broken-up by a motor driven stirrer (kinda like the shake mixers at a soda fountain), then pass between metal plates to additionally break-up the waste & I imagine the water was divided to the gasses, and the higher oxygen would rapidly decompose the waste, before it was passed to a final chamber, again mixed back a slurry, before being disposed of.
The Electrolyser corporation manufactured a commercial Hydrogen generator many years ago. Primarily used for H2 weather balloons. The 'electrolyser' used 5 cells and nylon bags to separate the Hydrogen and Oxygen gas streams while still maintaining electrical conductivity within each cell. It is very important to never store Hydrogen, if it is contaminated with Oxygen. A violent explosion can occur from static, spark & even friction. Be warned!,_front,_B.jpg
Shawndoe2 years ago
I have to ask, you have a perfect mix of Hydrogen and Oxygen in a closed space that has enough voltage and current to spark. If you touch the terminals while holding a staic charge it could blow up. You should try separating the terminals by a larger distance so you can catch the Hydrogen and Oxygen seperately. You can vent or capture the Oxygen and store the Hydrogen.

I love the build and am interested in how you would store the produced hydrogen safely. I suppose a steel cylinder would do, but I am not sure how to safely compress Hydrogen.

Have a good one.
DO NOT COMPRESS HYDROGEN! you will be driving around with a little nuke in your car if it ever blows. a safe way to do it would be to have a water storage tank hooked up to a small pump to pour water in as it is used. also for safety, you should have a bubbler and several barriers of copper wool submerged in the water along the way. (steel wool will not work)
Compressed Hydrogen is ok of it is 99.99% pure, but once you add oxygen to them mix they you risk a explosion, either outside or inside the storage vessel.
@thatdude38: What would be the point of generating Hydrogen as you drive? It will take more energy from your hydrocarbon-fuelled engine than you will get back when you use it. It makes some sense to generate Hydrogen using static sources such as wind turbines or solar or waste heat for later use in mobile applications such as cars.
It's not going to be an issue, there is no reasonable way to generate hydrogen from water as you drive. The production is far too slow given a mobile, self propelled vehicle that must carry all equipment to do so.
Shawndoe ac-dc2 years ago
Actually I have heard of one use for this in a car. It was to use the hydrogen to increase the efficiency and cleanliness of the burn for normal hydrocarbons fuels. Maybe use thermocouples around the exhaust pipe to collect waste heat from the engine for conversion to hydrogen and oxygen.

Still I'm not sure it is worth it, but it would make an intesting experiment for somebody with a car out of warranty.

Have a good one.
not a nuke, more like a hand grenade. totally different magnitudes of power, but still sane advice. both are deadly.
Well, that, plus hydrogen leaks like a sieve through most steel containers, and the energy required to perform electrolysis and compress it is exorbitant.
That's exactly what I was thinking. Need to keep those things very separate.

I wouldn't do it at a distance. Instead create a u shaped container with the electrodes in each arm.

As fo storage, trying to remember my highschool chemistry here... You can try palladium sheets to adsorb (with a d) the hydrogen.

Very nice and simple tutorial here. You might want to spend a couple of minutes just explaining the science of electrolysis
Palladium will absorb the hydrogen if there is electrical pressure involved. But, it will not do so anywhere close to as fast as you'd need it to. In addition, Once the hydrogen is sequestered in the metal getting it out is really difficult and is the subject of billions of dollars and years of research. Storing the hydrogen in a chemical reaction is much more viable, but still inefficient. One researcher is using borax, and others are using a sugar alcohol/acid mixture. Any way you slice it, it is not a simple task.
Great 'ible! It's inspiring to see how many others in this world are actively trying to find alternatives to our society's carbon addiction.

Steel can't be used to store hydrogen due to a phenomenon called Hydrogen Embrittlement. Commercial hydrogen containers have an inner lining of Aluminium or carbon fibre.

I have a similar project here which captures the hydrogen and oxygen individually.
unless he has a huge source of green power, (wind or solar), its still carbon compounds being burned to make the electricity. and hes throwing away about 50% of that electricity in heat and other losses to achieve the breakdown of water.
The King of Random (author)  squiggy22 years ago
Thank you for your compliment, and for the link to your project. I'll check it out, as I'm interested in building a modified generator that does the same.
Thanks for your feedback and ideas! I'm thinking about making another system that will separate the gasses, just for curiosity and demonstration, but I personally like the gasses together in this one, and am comfortable with the risks.

As for explaining the science, this is already my longest video and my goal is to keep them short, so sacrifices have to be made :)
The King of Random (author)  Shawndoe2 years ago
Hi Shawn.

I see what you're saying, however the gas is vented out the top, so it's not a completely closed system. And the amount of gas is minimal because the solution is right to the top.

I appreciate your concern, and it is something that should be thought about when operating, so thanks for your comment!
Jollyrgr1 year ago
There won't be a "magic formula" that will allow you to split hydrogen and oxygen using less energy than what you will get back.

There is no magic steam engine that does not require many gallons of water and pounds of fuel to convert it into steam. There is a unit of energy called a BTU or British Thermal Unit. It is the amount of energy required to heat one pound of water by one degree F. If you take one gallon of water (just over eight pounds) at 60F and raise it to boiling (steam) 212F you need to add 1216 BTUs. (8LBSx152F = 1216 BTU).

There is no magic carburetor that you can bolt on an engine and make the car go from 20 miles per gallon to 100 miles per gallon. A carburetor is a metering and mixing device. For gasoline there is a precise mixture ratio (stoichiometric value) of 1:14.7. For every gram of gasoline you need 14.7 grams of air. Airplanes have a "mixture ratio" control on the carburetor that allows you to adjust this ratio. Set it too rich (more fuel than air) and the engine "floods" and won't fire. Set it too lean and the big fan up front stops turning. Thus you can't set a carburetor to use less gas and more air and get the same work.
Makedo1 year ago
3 problems .1) heat... a mason jar can handle the heat , because when the liquid level drops less current is flowing less heat generated. 2) when you have too much power applied you get steam not the gas you need. you must apply a narrow range of voltage to use all of the gas evenly. 3) when trying to apply to a modern engine the computer will sense the higher oxygen intake, this causes the computer to inject more fuel to compensate, You have to trick/ program the computer to operate with the new fuel mix. , if you don't the sensors will read wrong and your fuel usage will drop. any benefit your hoping for is gone. A carburetor engine has no problem.
Sorry to be a naysayer...but what's the point if you have to consume more energy breaking the chemical bonds of hydrogen and oxygen than the energy you ultimately get by burning or recombining the Hydrogen and Oxygen?
Its true up to now (and probably into the future) it costs as much to produce the energy as it does to buy alternative energy. But... If one day someone hits on the magic formula, we'll all be driving cars without fossil fuels.

When I was a youngster a fellow Aussie developed an advanced steam engine that actually ran a mid size vehicle and didn't need a trailer full of coal towed behind it. When he couldn't find any finance angels in Australia he took the invention to the USA and that's where it is to this day. Gathering dust somewhere.

The inventor? he lived richly ever after I believe. Died a very disappointed man that his life's work was bought to prevent it being developed further. One day this combination might be made to function. I suggest you encourage it so we might all benefit - one day.
Alienjones1 year ago
I've played with these fuel cells myself. Paid good money for the "scientific plans" to build one supposedly to power a vehicle. I hope yours is an improvement on the tries I've had but my experience is that they work, no doubt about that but the consumption of electricity - which costs money to buy, equals or exceeds the value of power you can produce with one of these things. I'm not trying to put this idea down. I'll make one to your instructions over Christmas. I've got a small vehicle ...A Fiat 500 (500cc engine) I'd dearly love to get running on water alone.

The problems I've had is that a 500 cc engine is not big enough to power a generator large enough to produce enough hydrogen! Perhaps using a welders bottle of oxygen to suplement the mixture might work this time. Keep up the experimenting Its only from people like you we get enough ideas to encourage others to try too. Your indestructible is an excellent one by the way. Clear and precise enough for me to follow.
steve0001 year ago
THANK YOU!. you gave me the right words to search for the clean out plug. I needed 1 for a camera box im making.
agis681 year ago
excellent instructable. Some guys in my neiborhood have done the same generator but the recipient of the precess is huge. has also modified his motorbike so accepts this fuel. With 1lit of this fuel can run his motorcycly for about 200km with a nice speed of 110km/h (90miles).....pretty ha?
Aren't the leads touching, shorting it?? The two electrodes appear to be one, and the batter or power source is connected to it.
crob092 years ago
Big problem I see.
A low resistance circuit like the one you constructed here will draw huge amperage, not sure how you managed not to kill your battery.
sbrown95782 years ago
OMG, I have never had any classes in school to remotely understand what any of you are saying. Maybe they were afraid they would be turning out terrorists? Don't know, but it all sounds good. I bet most of you have IQ's over 150. Or is it just a guy thing? good work anyway. I am not completely stupid though. I do know H2O and that it has caapabilities to produce energy, but I really hope it never comes to light. I say this because water is a finite resource. I know the circle, the circle, rain brings it back. Not all water is drinkable and getting and keeping this resource for an ever over growing earth population is in itself a feat. Please if this energy from water thing does come to light, make sure you also have a solution for water shortages too.
alzie2 years ago
I did this decades ago when i 1st started riding motor cycles. Their batts have a vent nipple that can used as above, though not nearly as quickly. I did screw up with the pneumatic trough and destroyed a batt. H2O combustions are truly impressive as youve demonstrated!
Jimmy1012 years ago
Lets see if we cant get at least close to accurate chemistry and thermodynamics.

"Before I get a bunch of people tell me I'm wrong, you are burning water, it is a viable fuel"

No, you can not "burn water", water is burned hydrogen and cannot be burned again. There is no magical setup, magical catalyst, magical fairly dust, that'll let you burn water.

"I also saw in one of your comments that you were going to try to seperate out the gasses. This isn't worth the time, and would have a detrimental effect if you were to only use hydrogen for the explosion. A lot of oxygen is needed to explode hydrogen right, and is readily available with the conversion of water."

Separating out the oxygen is actually a very good idea, you will loose a bit of energy but the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. You don't even need the oxygen since you can use air as the oxygen source. Dumping the oxygen the cell produces significantly reduces the risk of an explosion. A mix of H2 and O2 is explosive. Much more explosive, and much easier to ignite, than is gasoline. You'll notice that it is possible to by compressed gas tanks of hydrogen but you can't buy a tank of H2+O2 since that is an explosive and not a fuel.

"The only problem was we were using baking soda as the catalyst which when burned make hydrochloric acid, which would eat the engine."

Bad chemistry. Unless the generator is also part nuclear reactor you can't get hydrochloric acid from baking soda. If you use table salt (sodium chloride) as the electrolyte then you will generate some chlorine gas along with the oxygen. Chlorine gas is highly toxic and corrosive. Baking soda produces no corrosive or toxic products in an electrolysis cell.

Electrolysis of water can be used as an energy storage mechanism but it can't be used to produce "free energy". The energy always comes from somewhere, gasoline, sun light, etc. This electrolysis setup is, in energy terms, equivalent to rolling a big rock up a mountain. When the rock is released you can recover the energy (minus the unavoidable losses due to friction, etc.). No matter how clever you are though you can't get more energy out of the rock as it rolls back down the mountain than the energy you used to push the rock up the mountain in the first place.
Spokehedz2 years ago
I love how clear and precise that the 'ible and your videos are. Absolutely wonderful. I had been wondering if I could make one of these generators and put it in my car but nobody had really clear instructions that didn't cost a ton of money to even look at.

I realize that this unit is not rugged enough for in car use, but it is sure pointing me in the right direction!
This oxyhydrogen generator demonstrates electrolysis.

(2)H2O +572KJ(electrical energy) --> O2+2H2 This is the chemical equation for electrolysis, which requires a minimum of 286kj per mol of electrical energy to break the hydrogen and oxygen bonds in a water molecule.

O2+2H2 --> 2H2O + 572KJ Here we are burning hydrogen and oxygen to produce water and 286kj per mol of energy. Energy is released as the elements bond to make water molecules.

Assuming 100% efficiency, you can only get as much energy as you put in to split the water.

When we are running a car off of hydrogen/oxygen electrolysis we are ultimately converting the stored electrical energy in the battery to chemical energy.

Burning gasoline is different, since gasoline is produced by distilling crude oil and is not related to electrolysis at all. Gasoline is a non-renewable energy source, meaning the reaction cannot go backwards to produce gasoline again. It would be like if you had a bottle of hydrogen and oxygen and couldn't split it after it recombines to form water+ energy, except with gasoline it becomes carbon dioxide, water + energy in an ideal situation.

I hope this makes sense, just want to clear up confusion.

manuka2 years ago
By chance there's a "commercial" hydrogen scheme presently being evaluated on a small island offshore from my harbourside home here in Wellington, NZ. See =>

Surplus energy gathered from solar or wind genes is used to electrolyse water, with (just) the hydrogen stored in buried heavy duty plastic piping ! The idea was to then run a fuel cell, but so far it's been limited to a demonstration hydrogen fueled BBQ! I've had reservations about the merits of the hydrogen scheme, & favour traditional storage batteries for such static applications...

There's nothing new about the wonders of electrolysis- Michael Faraday's laws on the matter date from 1834 & the technique has of course long been used industrially for the likes of aluminium smelting. However the conversion efficiency when electrolysing water is mediocre, & much of the supplied electricity simply goes into heating the water. Worse still is that if the hydrogen is later burned in a wasteful combustion engine then perhaps only a fraction of the gases calorific value is eventually exploited. All up the overall coversion efficiency can be  as low as 25% (whereas storage batteries may be more like 75%).

Of course hydrogen is a pig of a gas to store too as it'll embrittle & also readily escape thru'  the smallest orifice. For static applications banks of Lead Acid batteries are undoubtably both superior,safer, readily maintained AND far more versatile.
thatdude382 years ago
@dowtchaboy it wont let me respond to your comment so: see my comment below for a further explanation, but it takes a relatively low amount of energy to separate water than the output of burning hydrogen. To put the energy levels of hydrogen into perspective, it has an octane rating of 131 as compared to unleaded gas at 89 octane. That is also why you have an alternator to recharge your battery. Since the energy levels are lower to separate the water than output by burning the hydrogen and oxygen. you are harvesting (not creating) the energy from the water.
It requires an extremely HIGH amount of energy to separate water compared to the amount released by burning the produced hydrogen.

If someone had *free* energy, and an engine that runs well on hydrogen, it could make sense to produce it. That could also allow a longer cruising range but requires the vehicle capable of this which is a far more substantial detail than generating and compressing the fuel itself.

Otherwise, the better solution is to use that power to directly (through a regulated charger circuit) charge a battery array to power an electric motor instead of create fuel for an engine.
Could this provide enough Hydrogen to fly a dirigible? what is the volume produced?
nuckollsr2 years ago
Yes, this is an energy 'converter' and practical limits on the efficiency of an energy exchange say that one never secures 100% conversion efficiency. Hence, no matter how 'clean' the resultant fuel burns, this is not a "green" project in any sense of the word. Example: Plug-in-the-wall electric cars. Yes, the car produces no noxious emissions while operating but it is not a 100% efficient energy conversion system. Batteries, wires, motors, motor controllers warm up in operation. So part of the energy stored in the battery's chemistry is converted into heat as opposed to pushing the car down the road. Follow that energy path from your wall socket back to the natural gas or coal that is burned to generate electricity. Total energy pumped into the mining, transportation, burning, generation, and delivery of that energy to your wall socket is greater than if you had simply burned the natural gas directly as a fuel for your engine. Be cautious that you do not succumb to the hyperbole of thought that has polluted much of what passes for critical thinking and public discourse in the 'green' initiatives. When one considers the big picture for total-energy-in versus total-energy-out and the pollutants created in the process, many so called 'green' initiatives are in fact worse for the environment than the systems they propose to replace.
caruncles2 years ago
my cousin tried it a few years ago and claims it reduces his gas mileage. There were kits being sold on the web. Has to be a modern engine with a computer, because the computer controls the richness of the fuel, that's how this idea supposedly saves money/fuel. goodle it. Also google "Brown's Gas". the issue with the life of the anode is neglible. Just replace it. it's cheap. Use old lawn mower blades or whatever.
It flat-out does NOT reduce his gas consumption. It's been tested repeatedly, and none of the math works out. This is electrolysis, and it is a very lossy process of energy conversion.

This process is useful when, and only when, you have an abundance of excess electrical power you can neither easily store or use, like if you had a mini-hydro or windmill and your batteries were already charged.

Additionally, hydrogen would be stored separately. Even then, it is very hard to store it, because it leaks through steel walls.
v30003v2 years ago
hello great instructable....

i read in hurry (do not know if you mention it)
2 ways of increasing gas production:

never touch the ss without gloves.
try to fead cell with pulsed dc.

this to things will make the difference.
could you provide a schematic for the circuit
jpoopdog2 years ago
I think your forgetting one crucial thing, in the process of electrolysis, oxygen bonds to the steel, oxidizing it. your steel would erode away extremely quickly, regardless of the electrolyte, also, iron cannot be retrieved by electrowinning, its impossible in a practical environment. Stainless would last a while before showing signs of oxidation, but immediately the electrolyte levels would increase and oxidation would worsen. For this, especially at 12V, you would need something like MMO or platinum as an anode, in order to have an electrolysis cell wich wont corrode.
The King of Random (author)  jpoopdog2 years ago
These plates are actually stainless and after using on and off for about 3 years they don't show signs of corrosion. I don't doubt what you are saying, just wondering what the problem is that you're suggesting? I've been really impressed with the results of stainless steel and KOH. least it's more affordable than platinum :)
I could understand this with 3-6v, but not 12v. Unless this is some super high grade stainless, i dont understand how it could possibly survive. unless of course this contains cobalt, manganese and or titanium, or thalium. In any case, could you possibly find out what grade of stainless it is?
The King of Random (author)  jpoopdog2 years ago
Because of the "floater plates", the voltage is divided across the plates, so each plate in this case sees an electrical potential of 1.5 V. Does that make sense?
yes, that does make more sense
hms10182 years ago
If you do try it on a car, please let me be the first to know. I have confidence that you can do it.
The King of Random (author)  hms10182 years ago
Ok, thanks :D
thomas96662 years ago
Is it possible for you to make two plate assemblies and I can buy them? I really want to make his but I don't have a lot of spare time right now and this would help out a lot!
The King of Random (author)  thomas96662 years ago
I'm in the same boat as far as spare time goes. None what-so-ever.

Thanks for the request though :)
hms10182 years ago
You are always awesome with your Random Weekend Projects. I was wondering if this is similar to the items they are using for cars?
The King of Random (author)  hms10182 years ago
Thanks for your compliment! I believe this is the idea some people are trying with cars, but I haven't tried it on a car.
james.m.k2 years ago
The King of Random (author)  james.m.k2 years ago
Thanks James :)
your video tutorial is truly AMAZING! One of the most professional looking projects I have ever come across
That's a really great compliment. Thank you very much!
WWJDMUSTER2 years ago
Sorry to sound unintelligent to all those super brains out there, But i think this is an awesome instructable, and as far as output vs input, all you need to recharge the battery is any very simple device ( wind powered, magnet powered....ect. )
Great Instructable, thank you for taking the time.
The King of Random (author)  WWJDMUSTER2 years ago
You're welcome, and thank you for your nice comment :D
Lorddrake2 years ago
man .. your neighbors must love you hehehe
The King of Random (author)  Lorddrake2 years ago
At least they say they do :D
Thank you, but are there any residue from this process? I mean for example HO ?
thomas96662 years ago
Does it have to potassium hydroxide or can it just be any compound that acts as electrolytes?
JmGrant2 years ago
I've always wondered what would happen if you filtered / bubbles h2s gas through the water being subjected to electrolysis.
I think you'd make sulfuric acid, or at best sulfur dioxide vapor. Can you reference something which suggests this would be useful as an energy source?