Introduction: Make Hydrogen Gas - Clean Burning, Inexpensive, Lighter Than Air!

This video demonstrates a purely chemical process to produce large quantities of hydrogen gas from common, inexpensive chemicals. Hydrogen is a highly esteemed alternative fuel candidate because its combustion with atmospheric oxygen results in only clean water vapor, rather than carbon compounds as is the case with most other fuels. It is less dense than air, which means that it can be used to lift objects into the sky.

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mike.michela.3 (author)2015-01-02

building right now

deakonos (author)2014-06-04

How does one dispose of the liquids in the flask and the bottle safely?

NightHawkInLight (author)2012-04-28

Yes, but it requires very dangerous amounts of electrical current to produce hydrogen as quickly as this. It also requires a more complicated setup to get hydrogen only, rather than a dangerously explosive mix of hydrogen and oxygen.

vistal (author)NightHawkInLight2012-05-02

You still removing oxygen into there. Its 2 parts hydrogen 1 part oxygen you are producing . the only way to get pure hydrogen you need to use a separate cathode in a separate tube. I produce 2.5 lpm of oxyhydro in container for my Car. 12v 6 amps total. what your doing is just as dangerous since your using a corrosive chemical. I can do the same thing faster with a simple car batery.

NightHawkInLight (author)vistal2012-05-02

You are incorrect. There is no oxygen involved with this reaction whatsoever.

2Al(s) + 6HCl(aq) --> 2AlCl3(aq) + 3H2(g)

mkuzan (author)NightHawkInLight2012-05-03

I'm curious, how did you get 6HCl from a 300 mL aqueous solution?

badideasrus (author)mkuzan2012-05-15

for those of us without a chemistry degree, he's getting the hyrdogen from the acid, not the water. not sure why the water is needed exactly, but im sure there is a reason.

he said the acid mixture heats up. water is able to absorb heat very well

The water dilutes the acid so that the reaction is slowed to a controllable pace. It also helps to reduce bubble formation.

NightHawkInLight (author)mkuzan2012-05-03

That's called a balanced chemical equation. It just tells you how many of one atom or molecule must react with how many of another to result in a whole number of products. If all you started with in the equation was:

Al + HCl --> ?

The products would have to be listed as fractional values, since there are not enough atoms given to allow you to form the complete molecules. Instead, the reactants are multiplied individually until they make a whole number of products, with no unreacted chemicals left over:

2Al + 6HCl --> 2AlCl3 + 3H2

This gives you a molar ratio that can be used to determine exactly how much aluminum or hydrochloric acid to react with a given amount of the other to have none wasted in the end. The equation tells you nothing about the quantity or concentration of chemicals that might be used to preform this reaction, it only gives a ratio, and shows all the chemicals involved.

If you wanted to do the math you could determine exactly how much HCl was in the 300 mL, and then from the equation calculate exactly how much aluminum would be needed to use it all, but I find it much easier to simply add the aluminum until it no longer reacts. Even if you did do the calculations, you could not add all the aluminum at once or it would react far too violently to be controlled, resulting in boiling acid spraying everywhere.

vistal (author)NightHawkInLight2012-05-02

when you remove hydrogen from water .. where does the extra oxygen atom go?

NightHawkInLight (author)vistal2012-05-02

The hydrogen is not removed from water in this reaction, it is removed from hydrochloric acid, HCl. The chemical equation in my previous comment explains what happens to all elements involved.

vistal (author)vistal2012-05-02

Im having a electrolysis machine installed to run my stove and furnace and still uses less power then i would normally in my old electric stove and furnace.

badideasrus (author)vistal2012-05-15

mhm... so, hows your water bill?

seraine (author)2012-09-08

I have been using this method to make hydrogen, but for some reason it seems to produce about 1/3 as much hydrogen as you do. Is there anything I could to for trouble shooting?

NightHawkInLight (author)seraine2012-09-08

I can't really tell you much without witnessing what you're doing. Would it be possible for you to record a video?

Is your acid the same concentration as what I show in the video?

seraine (author)NightHawkInLight2012-09-09

It is the same concentration as yours. I may be able to record a video.

tqwerty (author)2012-06-26

I was watching this video, when my mom walked in and asked me why I was listening to Zulu... of course..

Anyways, great 'ible.. as always!

harry88 (author)2012-06-11

I have found a diagram that was on hooloovoo33s instructable thanks hooloovoo33 it demonstrates my description with bottle instead p.s. sorry cant hit remove button on kindle so three pics are stuck

harry88 (author)2012-06-11

Could you use two Pbc pipes with a cap on each end of both pipes then a hole with a tube coming out of the caps and two tees with a section of pipe going beetween the tees with a small hole in either pipe for anode and cathode just an idea for electrolis method sorry about no punctuation and bad spelling I am typing on my new kindle fire and the keyboard is horrible

yapoyo (author)2012-06-08

i saw how to do this on kipkay

nathanielg (author)2012-05-30

explination of what goes on in a works bomb

Jake-off (author)2012-05-08

Is this the same reaction that happens when making a works toilet cleaner bomb/

TheHawkeye (author)2012-05-02

Now make balloon targets for archery practice with a flaming arrow. Maybe try affixing a piece of a 'punk' from a fireworks store to the tip. A punk is a long-lasting, slow-burning, low-temperature rod usually made of camel feces that stays just hot enough to light firework fuses, but cool enough to not light damp grass.

Kharabe (author)2012-04-27

ok man ive checked out a few of your ibles and you need to do us all a huge favor man design a way to hook this hydrogen generator up to your foam rocket so you can pipe hydrogen into the rocket instead of hair spray but still be safe about it, like a one way valve or a shut off valve from the hydrogen generator to a balloon to the rocket or something! Rock on keep up the killer work!!

NightHawkInLight (author)Kharabe2012-04-27

Not very safe to be firing a toy rocket near a flask of acid.

Kharabe (author)NightHawkInLight2012-04-27

very true maybe bag the hydrogen to a balloon and then feed away from the acid flask into the launcher as needed.... my son has a hydrogen rocket from a big name model rocket company but you cant find the crystals to make the hydrogen any more....

NightHawkInLight (author)Kharabe2012-04-27

If it used crystals it sounds similar to a carbide cannon, in which case the fuel was acetylene, not hydrogen. Calcium carbide produces acetylene when dropped into water, which is what a number of replica cannons use for a loud report. Never heard of its use in a rocket, but it might be worth asking the manufacturer or checking online if that was indeed the fuel, in which case you may be able to find it under a different brand.

fozzy13 (author)2012-04-27

Cool! Sounds better than needing to order NaOH online, to make hydrogen from the reactions with aluminum.

NightHawkInLight (author)fozzy132012-04-27

NaOH is also commonly available in hardware stores and supermarkets, marked as Lye.

fozzy13 (author)NightHawkInLight2012-04-27

I had heard and read that online a lot, but whenever I go to look for it at the store, I can never find it, and the employees don't seem to know what I'm talking about. Are there any particular brands that you know of that I could look for or request?

NightHawkInLight (author)fozzy132012-04-27

Red Devil or Rooto

fozzy13 (author)NightHawkInLight2012-04-27


airsoftbeast40 (author)2012-04-27

So easy!! who knew??!!

pyromanic (author)2012-04-26

Cool You rock need to build

About This Instructable




Bio: I like turning boring things into awesome things! Usually on video.
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