James Burgett of computer recycling fame shows me his test setup at
ACCRC for running his Lincoln on aluminum soda cans.

They threw this rig together quickly to test the concept.
The concept works.

Here's how it works.

Soda cans are dumped into a tank of Lye (sodium hydroxide and water).
The sodium hydroxide peels off the aluminum oxide surface from the aluminum allowing water to come into contact with aluminum metal. The aluminum immediately oxidizes, ripping the water's oxygen atoms away to make aluminum oxide. That releases the hydrogen which bubbles out to be burned in the Lincoln's engine.
Here's the reaction: H2O + Al -> AlO2 + H2 + heat

Step 1: Lye tank and water bubbler

Here's James with the lye tank. The aluminum cans go in here.
His left hand is on the hydrogen vent hose. The gas that bubbles out of it is hot and steamy and has a fair amount of powdery white aluminum oxide in it. So next it goes into a pipe to the bottom of the white bubbler tank, where it bubbles through water. That makes it cool and clean.
Just like in a hookah or bong.
<p>Pardon me if this is naive, but why couldn't the aluminum in water be used to generate hydrogen which then is burned to heat a house?</p>
<p>Is this a serious forum, or just screwing around? </p>
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does your motor now run without gasoline, or is this just an enhancement of the gasoline combustion process?
its mainly just an enhancement , but try sticking that thing on your car !!!
<p>enhance what? This was my parts car for another Lincoln It had no gas tank or gas line. Ran only on hydrogen.</p>
<p>I want to know that running an engine on hydrogen which is extracted from water is possible in today's date?</p>
<p>As a proof of concept, yes. As something you'd want to try to drive around? Only in a Zombie apocalypse. Problems: 1) Hydrogen is has a very low octane rating and makes a lot of noise and heat and not a lot of kinetic energy, 2) crappy energy density without pressure vessels or cryonics (those who think you can electrolize on the fly can bite me). Unless you cheat and burn hidden energy like I'm doing in this trick with the aluminium. 3) look up &quot;hydrogen embrittlement&quot; before you do this to any car that you aren't willing to destroy. 4) Be aware that you add extra explody and the unique hazard of turning yourself in to soap speread over a wide area with this fielld of research. It's amusing, but honestly I don't think this is the wave of the future.</p>
<p>i think this is the future because as you see. energy crisis will be there so this is somethig from which we can produce energy</p>
<p>But it isn't really. There is no hydrogen utilization strategy where the production of the hydrogen does not require more energy than you could possibly get out of it, hydrogen is not a power source, it is a power storage medium and not a very good one, very low energy density. It requires very high pressures and very low temps. you might want to look into the &quot;Fischer Tropsch&quot; process, or &quot;blue diesel&quot; to make it into something a little more storable.</p>
<p>The galsone system was totally disconected. No tank or fuel line.</p>
<p>Hello the car which was running on hydrogen from aluminum is 100% <br>running on hydrogen and if yes then for how much CC how much <br>hydrogen/liter is required ?</p>
<p>We filled a ten gallon, inflatable bag with gas at just over sea level pressure, the 462 cubic inch engine emptied it in a matter of seconds. </p>
<p>Hello I'm the idiot who made this, I didn't know this was here or lost this memory in the stroke, very cool, Thanks Tim!</p>
I might of missed it but what is your lye water ratio, do you use a small amount of it, or like 20, 1lb jars of it.
<p>This was tricky. The process is exothermic and get more efficent as it gets hotter and as the chemical density increases. So the longer it went, the better it got. &quot;too much&quot; was easily applicable. 25 gal of water, six jars of lye, and a bunch of cans, heat sinks, aluminium scrap etc. The amount of surface area on the aluminium was also a major factor.</p>
Do the aluminum cans eventually dissolve completely? And how often do you have to &quot;refill&quot; with water, lye, or cans?<br />
<p>The cans would dissolve but leave plastic sleeves behind.</p>
It is all going to depend upon the size of your generator's holding capacity. With a 2.5 gallon tank, I was able to produce hydrogen for roughly 1 hour and fifteen minutes before the water was depleted. At that point, there was still some residual aluminum remaining in the generator. It is also going to depend upon other variables. If you add more caustic material, it will generally react faster and also expend the fuel (water) faster. If you are able to remove the plastic lining and paint from the aluminum, the reaction will, again, begin faster and also expend the fuel faster. There are many variables and it is all relative to those factors.
Yes. They will. They will actually cause the oxygen molecule to bond with the aluminum, as the hydrogen gas is released. The waste product that is produced in the process is called aluminum oxide, or alumina. It is the result of the aluminum and oxygen interacting. Alumina is used for many different industrial uses including brake pads, sand paper, or even body armor. So, it will dissolve into a powered substance (once all water is removed through either the process of creating the hydrogen, or from draining it from the tank that is utilized. The caustic material will, of course, still be mixed with the alumina at that point. I used such a system on a 1988 Honda Accord with a carb and an automatic transmission and achieved 50 mpg on the combination of gasoline and hydrogen, several years ago. I've recently begun to work on these projects, again, and I'm incorporating this same chemical generator into my truck, as well as an HHO unit. Unfortunately, I now have to spend additional time and money dealing with tricking the computer, as it is fuel injected.
<p>Minor and very late corrections to this post, The tuna can was to allow the system to vent in case of a backfire, we used the existing carb for throttle control and when you leaach wood ash you get potasium hydroxide, not sodium. the confusion is common as both are commonly called &quot;lye and in this and most other cases can be readily substituted.</p>
I'm not trying to be negative, but this is a terrible waste. I appreciate the science behind this but it would be much better in overall energy savings to recycle the cans. That way the aluminum would be re-used and save the intensive amounts of energy that is used to produce new aluminum. Hydrogen powered cars are also completely uneccesary. I would suggest BioDiesel which is what I use, or if you prefer a gasoline style engine and have a truck you should look into The Mother Earth News wood gas generator. Both are much less offensive uses of energy. This in my eyes, is like burning gold.
Actually. using an electrolyzer to produce hydrogen and oxygen is the best method! Theres no mess other than a quick wash out of the unit once every other week and the gas mileage gains are great! My 93 4x4 subaru 2.2L went from 17.3 in town to 25.4...ON THE HIGHWAY I WENT FROM 21.4 to (50.91 MPG) thats right 50.91....Doesn't seem like a waste to me!I paid the unit I built off on my first trip!!!
If you didn't waterproof the cylinders and exhaust system, your car is going to be ruined. Burning hydrogen and oxygen creates water, which can rust them out.
<p>you make a pound of water for every pound of gasoline you burn.</p>
You must work in the fuel industry somewhere. <br>There are always going to be these (insert favorite derogatory slang here) 'people' that want to slam on any possible new technology and new applications of little known existing technology. Either because they have a monetary stake in doing so or are skeptical to the point of mental problems or just think they know everything there is to know.
Have you ever seen water dripping out of an exhaust system at a stoplight? If not,you are not very obsevent !! One of the signs of near perfect combostion in an engine is water out of the exhaust!! Besides,well anytime you are on an intake stroke you are pulling in air! Air from the real world always has some moisture in it anyway!! How in the hell do you waterproof your cilinders? You are impractable!! And I do not think I would take advice from you! It really sucks when everyone is an expert!!! Especialy when they will confuse people that will not do research for themselves!
Haven't you ever seen a rusted out exhaust system? If not, you are not very observant!
Any exhaust system will fail over time!! I was a mechanic for years,and have seen many cases of bad exhaust pipes! The point I am trying to make is that water is a byproduct of combustion!! Go ask your mechanic to waterproof your cylinders and see what he tells you! I might be missing something here? If I were told to waterproof your cylinders I might put a snorkel on your intake manifold? The military and some off road guys do it all the time to waterproof there cylinders..
Hi Albee - can you post some details about your electrolyzer on here? I'd love to know more. Almost all of my mileage in on the highway!<br><br>regards<br><br>Rog
Can you post where to get the instructions on how to make this and where to get any special materials. This looks like an easier and cheaper way to make than some of the other methods I have seen. Thanks
Check out my dry cell powerpoint, I'm not trying to get views I just think it would help, it has some good information on electrolizers and where to get plans.<br>http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Basics-Of-A-Hydrogen-Dry-Cell/
Where can i get plans to build this electrolyzer? Thanks Eth
Dito! After looking into my project that is similar to this. It is far cheaper and safer just to go buy 3000L of H2 gas from the welding shop for $50 get a cng composite tank and fill it.<br> <br> Frank<br> <a href="http://www.primeonly27.net" rel="nofollow">Primeonly27</a>
Hi JeremyA<br><br>Have you considered how much diesel fuel is used by farmers in the harvesting of whatever oil you plan on using for your bio-diesel? Although how about using electrolysis to produce hydrogen and oxygen, which can be injected into the fuel mixture of a regular car? <br><br>Rog
nothing is free Roger. However the amount of diesel used to produce the feedstock for the oil is very little. A diesel engine running at low RPM is very fuel efficient. The total energy demands versus energy output of BioDiesel is something on the order of 3 units out/1 unit in. It is a energy gain. The nice thing about BioDiesel now, vs. when I first got into it, is that it is not just heresay anymore. It's all documented. Do some searches on biodiesel and you will see it is the way to go. I have also witnessed systems similar to albee's set up below in real life and they are spectacular. They are a great addition to any engine and wish they would take off more.
Another nice thing about aluminum - noone eats it. <br><br>Bio diesel is a good option now, because very few people are doing it and you can get used cooking oil cheap. However once that supply becomes more heavily utilized the benefits go away if you look at the whole system. For instance one of the major sources is palm oil - and thanks to that the prices on it have risen so much that the 'greenies' are starving out half of indonesia by outcompeting them for their primary food staple. On top of that, all that crap has to be shipped, and that hapens with normal oil. Most everything that produces efficiently for that matter can't be grown here - palm, sugarcane, a few others, they're mostly equatorial or at least tropical species. Corn is absolutely terrible for it and to boot it is a primary food source. The assorted grasses produce very little biomass per acre per growing season. The ONLY plant that can compete with things like sugarcane and palm oil (that can be profitable w/o massive government subsidies that are just going to give us another wrecked economy run by a couple of dumb greedy turds) is hemp, it can grow everywhere, several crops a season, is oilier than a venetian prostitute and also (as a nice side benefit) its seeds are better than soy for pretty much everything except protein. <br><br>But try and get you a license to grow hemp for biodiesel in the US. Might work in Canada, but you try it here and it ain't happening unless you've got enough dough to grease lots of hands. Hell, that's one of the main impetus which drove the criminalization of the plant - the whole thing about it making mexicans rob people and black people raping white women was, in case there is anyone who hasn't figured that out, neither true nor honestly believed by any of the political shysters pushing it. They needed somewhere to put all the monstrous enforcers they'd created during the last prohibition where their brutality wouldn't make the gov't look bad, anslinger had way too many friends to be denied, the AMA was fleeced like the fools they are, but most of all hemp was a major threat to the fledgeling petrochemical industry which had major industrial backers. Everything we use oil for we used hemp for for... dunno, thousands of years. Canvas is dutch for hemp for instance, all of our school books were printed on hemp paper, our clothes made from hemp fiber, our plastics made from the same (like the first model T) as well as our oil, plastics were hardly the revolution claimed - few of the synthetic fibers beat mankind's traditional industrial crop's super fiber, and pulling the crap up out of holes in the ground wasn't ever really a whole lot cheaper. <br><br>Petro won out because it was the new thing, a new angle for someone to weasel their way higher in the power structure, all of the crap we tell ourselves about the wonders of plastics and the modern age being pretty laughable really (before we made our shirts of cotton or teflon you could pass your clothes onto your great gradchildren :P Imagine how hard it must have been to connive people into buying a new label every year back when the clothes didn't wear down in that time, the horror!), just another layer of lies they laid on - all of that crap can be and mostly has been made with biological oils, mostly hemp which is the only real industrial crop for the northern hemisphere. <br><br>So yeah, our only real viable biodiesel crop is mostly illegal, and its going to stay that way until and unless the big boys decide that they are ready to switch us off from oil, and even then its gonna be heavily regulated and tricked out so that the avg person can't supply their own fuel. That's kinda what our power structure is based on, impeding small scale entrepreneurship so as to force good skilled craftsmen and engineers into accepting a tiny percentage of the revenue they generate working for some conglomerate. I say screw them all, and any source which allows the public to be more independent is a good thing! And a source that isn't going to make half-starving families' grocery bill double, or require massive government subsidies that will ofc only be distributed to the companies with the most of our 'representatives' in their pockets, that's not half bad either. <br><br>Honestly though I'm about ready to just build me a freaking concrete raft with a nice greenhouse on it (or mebbe one of those concrete submarines) and sail the hell away from this crazy place. Mebbe go out to the great garbage spot where all our soda bottles collect up with a gasifier :D
If you would look in to the number concerning what you said you would see your folly.
That is kind of a vague response. What number concerning what part of what I said. I know exactly what I am talking about, so I don't see my "folly". Besides who says folly? Are you from the USA? Have you ever been with the opposite sex? Your comment about recycling the cans putting the stored energy to waste is ridiculous too. With how many uses we have for aluminum we should not be lightly destroying it for fuel purposes. The harvesting and processing of aluminum takes tons of electricity. Recycling it for re-use in other aluminum goods saves as much as 75% of the electricity usage, which many times is produced using coal fired powerplants. The overall energy used to create the aluminum can in the first place vs. the amount of energy put out to the wheels of the car is so inefficient, you might as well just create a coal powered car. Do some more research.
<p>Hey, this is very interesting and simple <br>Only improvement I would suggest is exchanging the cans for the deposit and buying aluminium scrap. At current metal prices , you would get a lot more aluminium that way </p>
<p>Great instructable to get the basic out there for people to see. It's hard to understand how there can be negativity toward hydrogen diyers, it is far beyond economical and environmentally friendly compared to just about everything out there in the alternative energy collaboration. I have a well, so water doesn't cost me anything, I use solar and wind to power and charge battery's. Making distilled water in very similar to hydrogen production, so how is it some people say it is not worth it. As far as protecting your engine you need to realize that: using gasoline or number #2 fuel oil/ diesel is the reason for the 5000 kilometer oil changes, the oil dirties from carbon deposits left in the combustion chamber, hydrogen is one of the cleanest fuel's you can burn in a combustion engine much like alcohol. There is no carbon foot print. It has to be that some people just don't quite understand the process, or they believe the bad press from the oil cartels about this perfect alternative to the carbon fossil fuels. Keep the ideas coming, it is the back yard mechanic and scientist that will ultimately save our planet for all living things and our future generations. look forward to more of the keen ideas from the youth of today. I'm not so young but it is a fantastic thing to see the youth taking responsible moves forward on our past mistakes.</p>
SAFETY ALERT!!!! <br>I literally created an account to say this to everyone interested in electrolysis, so for your own benefit please read this. <br> <br>I made an electrolysis unit and ran a Bunsen burner with it using no electrolyte additives. The device ran on distilled water and used only 150 watts of brute force 12VDC (No Pulse). Inner/Outer tube cell design. <br> <br>In 2005 i became interested in electrolysis for the purpose of liberating hydrogen from water and using it as fuel. I have since learned that there are many pros and cons (Professional's and Con-artists) in fact there are even some professional con artists selling devices on ebay that are very dangerous and poorly made using materials they found to be the cheapest for construction of their device. However, the real teachers would include STANLEY ALLEN MEYER, Daniel Dingel, and Bob Boyce. Google those names!!!! <br> <br>First and foremost NEVER USE GLASS as a container for your electrolysis apparatus because when you end up in a hospital from a flashback rupturing your cell, glass is hard to see in X-Rays. <br> <br>If you want to know the truth about Hydrogen instead of mere opinions from self educated individuals leaving comments (including myself) then visit YouTube and see the &quot;University of Berkeley Chem 1A&quot; series of videos. Here is a link to where they start; <br>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xK2l_pKrKI <br> <br>I used to make videos showing my progress with hydrogen projects but stopped making videos due to so many people having mixed feelings about the concept being a waste of time because it is not efficient. It is not a waste of time at all in my opinion. My videos are titled &quot;Hello Hydrogen part 1,2,3,ect&quot; <br>on youtube. I dont care about how many views the videos get and i am only sharing these videos in an effort to make people aware of safety issues. <br> <br>If you are serious about building an electrolysis device then visit www.hhoinfo.com to find literally thousands of builders and see there variations. <br> <br>Stan Meyer gave me the inspiration to run a vehicle on water after seeing his video titled; &quot;Equinox - It runs on water&quot;. <br> <br>R.I.P. Stanley Allen Meyer <br>&quot;Founder of the Water Fuel Cell&quot; <br> <br>Pointers; <br>Stainless Steel 316 and 304 are inert to hydrogen, oxygen, and the combination of the two being water. Electrodes should be made from this material to prevent decomposition of your electrodes. <br> <br>The nasty stuff you see in the bottom for your cell after use is not healthy, keep it off you skin and away from ground water. Your getting it from impurities in your water, use distilled water only. <br> <br>Never compress Hydrogen and Oxygen together, its a recipe for disaster. I personally have ran my cell to 80 PSI during a cell pressure test, later I came to find out I was lucky I didnt lose my life in the process. Hydrogen and Oxygen will self implode at a certain pressure and also at a certain temperature and that is without any spark or flame. Keep it safe test your cell PSI with ambient air and a compressor not Hydrogen and Oxygen. <br> <br>Buy a real flashback arrestor that is safe for the use of hydrogen and oxygen DO NOT use a fish tank air line check valve as i have seen some try to do... <br> <br>Do not bother building a lawton box.... If you insist on pulsing then buy a pulse generator. HP Agilent makes a good vintage pulse gen (HP 8131A is what I got) that sells for around $300 on ebay these days, they where $42,000 in 1982. <br> <br>Do not get discouraged when you hear a college grad chemistry major try to tell you about the second law of thermodynamics, they didnt take into consideration that the water is holding the energy like a relay. It takes energy to break the covalent bond of water but you liberate energy in the process. They also didnt take into consideration that resonance can also play its role in electrolysis. It is believed that High Frequency Pulses of High Voltage DC can create very efficient electrolysis. The frequency of resonance is different for each cell and each cell condition such as cell construction, cell surface area, water temp, water composition, ect. So basically its a science still being understood just like everything else. <br> <br>If you were to P in an electrolysis device then turn it on you would create many gases aside from Hydrogen and Oxygen. During combustion one of the byproducts would be water vapor, that water vapor can be condensed back into water. Pure water. Water that is so pure it has 0 parts per million total dissolved solids. In fact the water needs nutrients added to it to keep it from leaching nutrients from the body when it is used as drinking water. <br> <br>Nasa has an electrolysis system on the space station ran by solar power to provide oxygen for breathing, it gets its water delivered from earth but can even run on water taken from urine! <br> <br>(Picture) http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/oxygen-made-aboard-a-spacecraft-1.jpg <br> <br>Below is an article on it found at the following website; <br>http://science.howstuffworks.com/oxygen-made-aboard-spacecraft.htm <br> <br>The International Space Station (ISS) was designed for long-term spaceflight and has been in orbit since 1998. So how is oxygen made aboard the ISS? It's handled in one of three ways, using oxygen generators, pressurized oxygen tanks or solid fuel oxygen generators (also called oxygen candles). <br> <br>The primary method is accomplished by the oxygen generators: the Russian-made Elektron and the U.S. Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS). The Elektron is located in the service module (Zvezda) and the ECLSS is located in the Destiny laboratory module. These devices make oxygen from water by a process called electrolysis, during which an electric current passes through water from one positively-charged electrode called an anode to another negatively-charged electrode called a cathode. There's a small concentration of salt in the water to conduct electricity because water itself is a poor electrical conductor. In the process, water gets split into hydrogen gas and oxygen gas. Here's how the chemistry of the process works: <br> <br> * At the cathode, a type of reaction called reduction occurs. Electrons (e-) from the cathode combine with the water (H2O) to make hydrogen gas (H2) and hydroxide ions (OH-): 2H2O (l) + 2e- -&gt;H2 (g) + 2 OH- (aq). <br> * At the anode, a type of reaction called oxidation occurs. Electrons get removed from water and flow into the anode. Removing the electrons from water yields oxygen gas (O2) and hydrogen ions (H+): 2H2O (l) -&gt; O2 (g) + 4 e- + 4 H+ <br> <br>The electricity is generated by the station's solar panels and supplied to the oxygen generators through the station's power grid. The water gets delivered to the station from Earth by Progress supply ships and the space shuttle. Water also gets reclaimed by condensers that remove water vapor from the cabin air (astronauts exhale water vapor). Finally, water can be recycled from the astronauts' urine by the ECLSS unit. The hydrogen gas made in the electrolysis process gets vented into space and the oxygen gas is circulated into the cabin air. <br> <br>ARTICLE END <br> <br>In my opinion, I do not care if it takes a 10,000 watt electrolysis device to get an small 4 stroke engine running, because the sun and the wind and the water are still free. For now at least... <br> <br>If you found this comment helpful or interesting please feel free to copy paste it anywhere you like. <br> <br>by Richard Collins
Since the nay-sayers object to the amout of power used to produce new aluminum, let me say this; <br> I am very green conscious, I run 7 large solar panels and a 450 watt wind generator. These charge a bank of golf card batteries which run a 5000 watt Inverter from which I get 120Volts a.c. <br> I can use this to get 12 VDC to run the hydrogen device to provide fuel for my main vehicle engine or my 120VAC propane fired generator. <br> So my aluminum use is free except for the deposit I could get by selling the cans. I get those for free along the highway anyway. <br> An often overlooked source of aluminum is old window and door frames, eavestrough, enhine blocks, manifolds etc. and I really watch where the hydro electric company is working, the high voltage power lines are often aluminum and they always have scraps and chunks that I can talk them out of... <br> Most of this stuff winds up in the landfill anyway.
Ok lets run this through the mill--- I collect and melt down aluminum cans into small ingots for later use to make antique car and boat parts. So, the paint, excess oxides etc are already gone. I could pour the aluminum into a mold to make grids or whatever to run into the lye solution like nuclear fuel rods. The excess heat could be used to preheat aluminum scrap for melting. Perhaps the hydrogen could be used to augment the propane usd in my home made air blast smelter. I have ordered a unit to put in my 1 ton chev diesel truck... <br> Jim
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If u had fuel injection you cloud add it to the intake valve for air
I would think that you could spray the solution on the aluminum until the pressure built up and then cut the spray or dip it. I think the key is to use hydrogen to burn.. say hot oil vapors. that way you need only a fraction of the h2 to upgrade used smoking cooking oil smoke.
Look scary as hell, but you rock! (hope your next door neighbor has a bomb shelter)

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Bio: Tim Anderson is the author of the "Heirloom Technology" column in Make Magazine. He is co-founder of www.zcorp.com, manufacturers of "3D Printer" output ... More »
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