Instructables

How to make Hydrogen

Hello I will start by saying that this is my first instructable and would value any input that may lead to improve this article.
I would also like to advise everyone to take safety precautions.
DANGEROUS THINGS ARE DANGEROUS you get it?

Throughout this article I will  show you how to create, store and use your hydrogen.The hydrogen you will be making utilizes the hydrogen producing reaction between NaOH (SodiumHydroxide) and Al (Aluminum) in the presence of water. I will not go into the chemistry here, however, if you wish, Google will hold the answers.

 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
You will need the following materials to make, store and use hydrogen.
1. Drain Cleaning Crystals (Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH))
2. Aluminum Foil (1Meter or so will do)
3. A Beverage in a GLASS bottle
4. Balloons
5. Ignition source
6. Water
7. AND MOST OF ALL SAFETY EQUIPMENT

In total all this cost me less than $15 dollars Australian.

Step 3: Preperation step 2 - 3

Setting up the Reaction Chamber (filling the bottle)

1. Get yourself to a well ventilated area.
2. Get a bucket of water and grab some safety glasses if you wish.
3. Pour about two tablespoons of the Drain cleaner into the bottle depending
on the size of the bottle and strength of drain cleaner.
4.Get a reasonable length aluminum foil
5. Fold this foil into a long bar and force into bottle (don't worry if most of the foil is not touching the NaOH as it will eventually fall in. And If all the foil was at the bottom the reaction would be too vigorous )
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what about using electrolysis or is this a more effective method.
Suchitragd1 year ago
hydrogen produced can be used as a fuel for car( car based on hydrogen cell)???
dyoung391 year ago
You could also have the gas bubble through a bottle of ice water then a smaller empty bottle then through a glass pipe filled with dried Epsom salts at the end of this you get relatively cool hydrogen without any water vapor. If you do not know what a bubbler is google "bong" works the same way ie cooling a gas mixture.
You can use recycled aluminum cans and gallium in water if you do not want to use all that lye. You can even keep using the gallium as it just activates the aluminum
TrailblzrX1 year ago
Great Instructable! I've done this before, and placing the bottle in an ice water bath helped keep my balloons from melting. I was curious as to the purpose of the water added directly to the bottle. I'm aiming for pure hydrogen gas, so the added water vapor would make my balloons heavier than I am hoping for. Is there a point to the water I am missing?
steven07 (author)  TrailblzrX1 year ago
The water added directly to the bottle acts as a solvent for the NaOH.

Perhaps if you wait for the reaction to finish you the water will cool down condense and leave the balloon back into the bottle.

The ice bath sounds like a great idea, other ways which you can slow down the reaction and reduce the heat generated per unit time include using chunks of aluminium with a lower surface area.
steven07 (author)  TrailblzrX1 year ago
The water added directly to the bottle acts as a solvent for the NaOH.

Perhaps if you wait for the reaction to finish you the water will cool down condense and leave the balloon back into the bottle.

The ice bath sounds like a great idea, other ways which you can slow down the reaction and reduce the heat generated per unit time include using chunks of aluminium with a lower surface area.
petrolon1 year ago
Could I use hydrogen peroxide instead?
lfskx1252 years ago
this hydrogen experiment is awsome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
thecoonskin2 years ago
Just thought I'd let everyone whos doing this know, if you get an external burn from this use vinegar and water to clean it. This stuff burnt right through my chuck taylors and burnt my big toe. Also the hydrogen balloon blew up a little to close to my face, so you should also wear saftey goggles. Haven't had this much fun in awhile!
I love it .....and the idea of the lantern is fantabulous this would help in my chem projects......THNX!!!!!! :)
fwjs285 years ago
can't you do the same thing w/ electrolosys (sp?) and put a bottle over the area with the most bubbles (reasoning-more hydrogen, so more bubbles means more h)...or am i thinking of something else?
finniano fwjs283 years ago
wouldnt there be oxygen mixed in so it wouldnt be pure?
You can, but it takes a HELL of a lot longer...
Unless you use a very high current, ie. an arc welder. Then it goes pretty quick. If I remember correctly, that is :s
electrolysis is much easier. No running to the store and getting NaOH. All you need is electricity, water, baking soda/salt/other electrolyte, and a container to hold it all.
oeroeg3 years ago
tidak harus terdampar dulu jika anda bisa menggunakan / mengembangkannya akan didapatkan suatu energi yang besar
Does the reaction produce oxygen as well as hydrogen?
ToddisI3 years ago
Very good instructable!! The lantern seems like a good idea... if only the world new that if they were stranded on an island with drain cleaner, a glass bottle and some tin foil, they alsom have fire...
tennisbat4 years ago
I have done the experiment. It did work but not that much Hydrogen was produced. How should one improve?
eulaliaaaa!4 years ago
You could use vinegar and zinc.
Tell me that the sodium hydroxide corrodes away the oxide layer on the aluminum foil causing the aluminum to be reactive with water which is present in the solution which reacts with the Al to produce hydrogen! *catches breath* So am I right?
The easiest was is magnesium strips and dilute hydrochloric acid in an erlenmeyer flask, put the baloon or whatever you want to collect it in over the top of the erlenmeyer flask. Its a great way to get hydrogen ballons! (then u can add youre oxygen for an even bigger boom lol)
how diluted?
I believe the ideal fuel to oxygen ratio for ignition of hydrogen is 2:1. the same as in electrolysis of water.
here we have some more of these bombs hope u enjoy
wonder what would happen if you lit small fires areound that...
wat did u use for the last one? in part two
This isn't to smart since that gas can make its way to your lungs causing dangerous complications. When you use fire the hydrogen is demolished.
zoombaga4 years ago
wait but i thought sodium hydroxide, when in a liquid form, broke glass because of the silicon or something like that...
Jaycub zoombaga4 years ago
If you get it really hot and melt it sodium hydroxide will dissolve glass, but in solution with water it won't.
book1064 years ago
fsfsdfsdfsd
jpoopdog5 years ago
i have found out how to solve your heavy water vapour problem (yay) i did a test and found out that methylated spirits can substitute water , but i tested it out in a test tube and the reaction wasnt violent , but it was still effective. the problem is though i used 9parts meth and 1 part gasoline so eventualy the ballon melted and im not 2 sure wether it was the meth or the gasoline what i did find out though is that under the pressure the ballon was exerting the meth hardly evapourated. hope this helps . ice cube idea has been thwarted , har-dee-dar
ty weston6 years ago
can u use aluminum cans??if u cant y not ????
steven07 (author)  ty weston6 years ago
I don't believe you can as it would react with the NaOH thus destroying the can. However aluminum cans may have a protective coating, but i wouldn't see any point in using a possible reactant as a container
Derin steven075 years ago
well,put the can into an inert container and free reactant happens
They do have a protective coating.
what if you cut a strip of an aluminum can and throw it in the bottle, will it react?
steven07 (author)  damasta6 years ago
yes it would
Yes, you can.
ilias5 years ago
i will try it with hydrocloric acid (HCl)
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