Introduction: How to Make a Simple Hydrogen Fuel Cell

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Made By Manish Kumar


Today, I will be teaching you how to make a Hydrogen Fuel Cell. A Hydrogen Fuel Cell generates electrical power quietly and efficiently, without pollution. Unlike power sources that use fossil fuels, the by-products from an operating hydrogen fuel cell is only heat and water.

A single fuel cell consists of an electrolyte sandwiched between two electrodes, an anode and a cathode. Bipolar plates on either side of the cell help distribute gases and serve as current collectors.

In this case, Water is first broken down into its components Hydrogen and Oxygen using electrolysis. When The Power supply is switched off, these two recombine which actually creates Electrical Energy. :)

Step 1: Materials

Step 2: Platinum Wire

Take approximately 12 inches of the platinum wire and cut it into two equal pieces of 6 inches each. Take the end of each wire and twist it over the nail, so that it looks like a spring. However, leave approximately 1 inch free on the end. These will act as your electrodes. 

Step 3: Sticking

Now use the tape to stick the free 1 inch of the platinum wire on the Popsicle stick. Leave some wire free on the end. Do this for both the electrodes. 

Step 4: Connecting Leads

My connecting leads were made of wire, with crocodile clips on the end, so that they can be connected to almost anything and everything. Attach the crocodile clips to the free end electrodes. 

Step 5: Popsicle Stick

Place the Popsicle Stick with the Electrodes connected on top of the beaker of water. Make sure the electrodes are immersed in the water and that they aren't touching each other. 

Step 6: Multimeter

First connect the other end of the connecting leads to the Multimeter, and it should read 0.001 or 0.000 Volts. Both are fine. Disconnect the Connecting leads from the Multimeter next. 

Step 7: 9-Volt Battery

Next, connect the leads to the 9-volt battery. Keep it on for a second, (You will observe that bubbles will be forming on one of the electrodes. And then immediately disconnect the leads from the 9-Volt Battery and connect the leads back to the multimeter. The Multimeter will now show some voltage such as 0.43 volts or  0.85 volts depending on the amount of time you kept the battery pack connected. You can actually use this voltage to power small objects such as a LED with the amount I used. On a Large Scale, it can power a Car or large electrical appliances. 

Step 8: Your Done

Congratulations, your hydrogen fuel Cell is now ready, and you can use it to power small items. Note : If the power supply is kept on for a long time, you are able to power something for a longer amount of time. 

Comments

author
Asylum-ET made it!(author)2017-07-11

This is NOT a hydrogen fuel cell! This is just electrolysis of water to separate hydrogen and oxygen from H20. A hydrogen fuel cell consumes hydrogen and converts it to electricity.

author
rasel88 made it!(author)2016-03-29

Your project is but it is very small here i make new projects it is run my car and motorbike easyly. Here i use stainless steel metal.

https://www.instructables.com/id/Hydrogen-Fuel-Cell-for-Car/

author
gijoe3843325 made it!(author)2017-03-15

Sir,
I am very interested in learning this, as i had seen where a gentleman ran small pump using water as fuel. Do you have any specific guides/instructions/material list/tutorials?

author
RicardoP70 made it!(author)2016-04-05

What steps did you follow?

author
wacival made it!(author)2016-12-21

This is not a hydrogen fuel cell. It is a very rudimentary HHO generator. Hydrogen fuel cells create electricity with no moving parts. coupled with an electric motor they power a new breed of German U-boats which are the quietest ever built. a true hole in the water. Paired with the supersonic torpedo they also developed, they are the deadliest subs ever. they can destroy a target without ever being heard.

author
MudassirFarooq made it!(author)2016-12-01

Does not this Instructable fall under plagiarism?
http://sci-toys.com/scitoys/scitoys/echem/fuel_cell/fuel_cell.html

author
Tinker-Dan made it!(author)2016-01-14

Is platinum wire required? Your saying ill need 12 inches but that's very expensive. I'm just wondering if any wire will do in replacement even if efficiency is affected.

author
rockyit98 made it!(author)2016-03-21

use carbon anode and cathode (you can get it from a zinc carbon battery)

author
QuinnS8 made it!(author)2016-01-24

You can separate the water with copper wire also

author
ImranA40 made it!(author)2016-03-01

i think the thing you made is acting like a recharge battery by holding some charge when you connect battery source and giving you that energy. hydrogen is lighter than air and it will not remain in that beaker for even a short time. and you cannot get any detectable voltage from such a bad design. a fuel cell efficiency depends highly upon its design

author
maryam123456 made it!(author)2015-08-28

i want that you can give me the all instructions and tutorial . plzzzzzzzz

animal-cute-full-hd-wallpaper-22164-hd-widescreen-wallpapers.jpg
author
JohnB110 made it!(author)2015-07-13

I'm looking into bottling the hydrogen, how would I do that?

author
HeathH made it!(author)2015-07-20

You could use a modified emergency air pump in line with a spent, purged and vacuumed propane cylinder either via male shrade valve or spare cylinder fitting, like off a camping stove. Use an inline pressure gauge to monitor pressure, and use the pump to evacuate the hydrogen generating cell into the cylinder. Do this only at your own risk and assumed responsibility for any safety measures.

author
JohnB110 made it!(author)2015-07-20

Haha thanks HeathH

author
HeathH made it!(author)2015-07-20

Don't forget hydrogen fuel systems are not lossless, meaning, you should see an 80% return on well built efficient setups. Eg. 100wh in and 60-80wh return. That being said, I would say if you are looking to source the metals paired with nickel, try using spark plugs, even many factory plugs, or ngk/dense aftermarket. Worn out ones in need of replacement might work just as well and would be tossed in the trash otherwise. For the past couple decades more and more plugs have been made from platinum, titanium, gold palladium and iridium etc, and all I've seen have a nickel/chrome plated ground electrode.

author
JohnB110 made it!(author)2015-07-20

Oh what a legend.. spark plugs awesome idea.. through the garage I go!

author
mondane made it!(author)2015-03-21

hi,is that liquied only water ??

author
sshaikh15 made it!(author)2014-03-15

How will it generate electriciy ???

author
JediDude6205 made it!(author)2015-02-13

when hydrogen seperates from water, it requires energy to do so. The same applies with bonding with oxegyn back into water. Only this is harvesting leftover energy that is produced

author
FelipeM5 made it!(author)2014-12-12

do the electrodes have to be platinum coated nickel wire or can it be a different wire?

author
JorgeM5 made it!(author)2014-11-07

If I wanted to make a stronger model that does produce 0.001 volts and I want it to produce 6 volts how would I do that and what parts would I need to change?

author
qscftr made it!(author)2014-11-04

mother fing nerd

author
jonc1234 made it!(author)2014-08-04

Here is the technology i have been interested in:

http://www.hydrogen-energy.jp/index-en.html

This is not difficult to reproduce and the hydrogen output is significantly greater only this is hydrogen gas not electrolytes stored in water... the bubbles on those electrodes store the hydrogen to my knowledge if you produce enough through boilig or electrolysis the gas escapes and can be trapped in the container...

author
jonc1234 made it!(author)2014-08-04

How many watt hours of electricity does it store and how long does it take to charge? Watt=ampsxvolt... its probably a function of the amount of the amount of hydrogen... if this works, you are essentially making a battery with electrolytic hydrogen solution, and anode and cathode (negative and positive terminals).

author
nchacko made it!(author)2013-09-08

can we use some other wire instead of platinum ?

author
hpatel8 made it!(author)2013-04-30

isnt it called a capacitor if you are putting electricity into it to get electricity out of it?

author
Nyxius made it!(author)2012-12-20

No offense dude, but this isn't a fuel cell. This is an open air electrolysis cell. A fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen to make water and electricity.

author
kvelmurugan made it!(author)2012-10-01

good and easy project thank you

author
howtowithmanish made it!(author)2012-10-02

Lol Thank you :) Please rate this Instructable and follow me if you liked it..

author
dhavaladj made it!(author)2012-07-08

can we use any alternative for platinum wire???? its hard to find one of those in here...so

author
LiquidLightning made it!(author)2012-07-24

The electrodes must be in the platinum group of elements. This is because of their catalytic properties (as well as non reactivity for the initial electrolysis, however stainless steel, graphite, etc will work for electrolysis alone). So that means you can use ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium, and platinum.

author
LiquidLightning made it!(author)2012-07-24

Disregard my previous comment. Only the anode needs to be platinum group (hydrogen side). The cathode side usually uses nickel for a catalyst (oxygen side). I'm attaching a drawing of a crude fuel cell.

fuel cell.jpg
author
howtowithmanish made it!(author)2012-07-09

You can use a Platinum coated Nickel wire. I got 24 inches of my wire for around 2 US Dollars

author
LiquidLightning made it!(author)2012-07-22

Where did you get that wire from? I would LOVE to buy some. Doing alot of electrochemistry recently and finding a good anode for cheap is next to impossible. $2 for 2ft of Pt coated wire is a hell of a deal.

author
howtowithmanish made it!(author)2012-07-22

Hi. :) The thing is, that I live in Pakistan and not in the States. So I really don't know the prices of all the electronic equipment over there. However, if you want, we can work out a deal and I'll FedEx it to you with any other things you would love to get from here. :) Follow me if you liked this article :)

author
howtowithmanish made it!(author)2012-07-09

Please Follow me if you liked this article. :)

author
mhj555 made it!(author)2012-03-15

Very cool experiment. I'd recommend keeping the top sealed so the H and O gases don't escape before they recombine.

Also, it'd be good to know the power efficiency of this setup.
Measure the voltage and current required to break down the water into H and O, then measure the voltage and current out of it and calculate the efficiency (100* PowerOut/PowerIn)

author
LiquidLightning made it!(author)2012-07-22

Sounds pretty dangerous. H2, O2, Cl, all under pressure in container which can shatter and contains NaOH solution.

author
howtowithmanish made it!(author)2012-03-16

The efficiency was approximately 4 % only. :P Please follow me if you liked this Instructable.

author
madonna2012 made it!(author)2012-03-28

Hey me and my friend is in 8th grade and for a prodject we need to know what the proccess of this experiment is called?!

author
madonna2012 made it!(author)2012-03-28

What is the process called for this????? i need to know for my GTT CLASS!!
Please comment ASAP!! :)

author
knexpert1700 made it!(author)2012-04-20

this is called electrolysis.whats happening is the electricity is running through the water and it is simply breaking the water into hydrogen and oxygen.this is why h2o is called h2o,2 parts hydrogen and one part oxygen.this method is used to run engines and cars or to create electricity.hydrogen is the most common gas in the universe.this gas is an extremely flammable gas.more flammable and rapid than gasoline and butane.-(butane is a chemical found in lighters).it can actually increase fuel mileage in a car by a lot.some people find over 50% better mileage on there cars with some hydrogen kits,and it produces much less polution in the air than gasoline.hydrogen has been studied for about a hundred years too and has been looked as a cleaner and better fuel for cars.

so,over all,hydrogen is a great gas that is much better that gasoline and could save you much money if you are willing to make the change.

author
howtowithmanish made it!(author)2012-03-28

Hi. It's called electrolysis. Follow me please and rate this article too :)

author
rimar2000 made it!(author)2011-10-07

Where did you get your platinum wire?

author
howtowithmanish made it!(author)2011-10-07

From a Chemical Store in my city. I actually had my school's lab assistant for chemistry to get it for me.

author
jamngary made it!(author)2012-03-06

Is there somewhere online i can get the wire?

author
howtowithmanish made it!(author)2012-03-07

http://www.scitoyscatalog.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=PLATINUM&Category_Code=

Follow me if you liked this article please :)

author
killbox made it!(author)2011-10-07

Where did you get your platinum wire?

author
howtowithmanish made it!(author)2011-11-07

From a Chemicals Store in my city. I actually had my school's lab assistant for chemistry to get it for me.

author
GOGOKINK made it!(author)2011-11-07

woooooooooooow
so nice

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Bio: I am an A-Levels Student at Karachi Grammar School, Pakistan. My passion is physics and mechanics and I want to be a Mechanical Engineer in ... More »
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