Picture of 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. :)
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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 6: Multimeter

Picture of 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. 
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sshaikh1511 months ago

How will it generate electriciy ???

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

FelipeM52 months ago

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

JorgeM53 months ago

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?

qscftr3 months ago

mother fing nerd

jonc12346 months ago

Here is the technology i have been interested in:

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...

jonc12346 months ago

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).

nchacko1 year ago
can we use some other wire instead of platinum ?
hpatel81 year ago
isnt it called a capacitor if you are putting electricity into it to get electricity out of it?
Nyxius2 years ago
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.
kvelmurugan2 years ago
good and easy project thank you
howtowithmanish (author)  kvelmurugan2 years ago
Lol Thank you :) Please rate this Instructable and follow me if you liked it..
dhavaladj2 years ago
can we use any alternative for platinum wire???? its hard to find one of those in
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.
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
howtowithmanish (author)  dhavaladj2 years ago
You can use a Platinum coated Nickel wire. I got 24 inches of my wire for around 2 US Dollars
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.
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 :)
Please Follow me if you liked this article. :)
mhj5552 years ago
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)

Sounds pretty dangerous. H2, O2, Cl, all under pressure in container which can shatter and contains NaOH solution.
howtowithmanish (author)  mhj5552 years ago
The efficiency was approximately 4 % only. :P Please follow me if you liked this Instructable.
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?!
madonna20122 years ago
What is the process called for this????? i need to know for my GTT CLASS!!
Please comment ASAP!! :)
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.
howtowithmanish (author)  madonna20122 years ago
Hi. It's called electrolysis. Follow me please and rate this article too :)
rimar20003 years ago
Where did you get your platinum wire?
howtowithmanish (author)  rimar20003 years ago
From a Chemical Store in my city. I actually had my school's lab assistant for chemistry to get it for me.
Is there somewhere online i can get the wire?
howtowithmanish (author)  jamngary2 years ago

Follow me if you liked this article please :)
killbox3 years ago
Where did you get your platinum wire?
howtowithmanish (author)  killbox3 years ago
From a Chemicals Store in my city. I actually had my school's lab assistant for chemistry to get it for me.
GOGOKINK3 years ago
so nice
wergerfebt3 years ago
So im in 7th grade, and Im trying to use this basic idea as an experiment for my science research project, and Im wondering, what would be the electrolyte in this experiment?
howtowithmanish (author)  wergerfebt3 years ago
sry. Man, im new to this so I thought that the hydrogen and oxgen had to be put into an electrolyte such as sufuric acid to bind the two and create water/ power. In this example it shows water kinda like a battery in the way it stores electricity and puts it out. Anyways, thanks!
howtowithmanish (author)  wergerfebt3 years ago
In Sulfuric Acid the ions released are H+ and sulphate ions not oxygen, so you wont get oxygen. The best and most abundant source is Water.
244 Jake3 years ago
The stuff can't be that high $$, for less $80, you can buy a Fuel Cell with enough power to run small motors from Ebay. I bought one last year for $47. The cell is hackable. You all the stuff to explore Solar & Fuel Cell.

From one Seller
A Hydrogen Powered Radio Controlled Car. Power from water and sunlight, the Radio Controllled Car is the future of play today. The car features an on-board, state -of-the-art hydrogen fuel cell which provides all the power needed for road rippin' action! The refueling station insures there's always plenty of power to keep things moving! In less than 4 minutes, it converts water into hydrogen power and pumps it into the car.

ebay search for "hydrogen RC car"

No! I do not sale the items, I'm a user....

Big Jake
nemoskull3 years ago
i wonder if the platinum from my cat. converter in my car will work? its from the late 70's, but i hear it full of platinum.
howtowithmanish (author)  nemoskull3 years ago
If you can open it, and extract the platinum successfully , I guess it will work.
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