Electrolysis Apparatuses




About: I'm a Mechanical Engineer who has been a part of this community for over 10 years! My interests have evolved over time, and now center around 3D printing.

This video shows off two hydrolysis apparatuses I made.  The reaction that breaks water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen gases is incredibly exciting to me, and was the first thing I could remember building.  I thought it was a shame that there was nothing I had published on Instructables to show how much I admire the ability to create flammable/explosive gas from simple materials at home, and so I recreated in better quality the hydrolysis apparatuses I began tinkering with years ago.

There is an infinite amount of information on this topic online, and so instead of repeating everything I have learned here, I am merely showing off what I made.  However, I would love to hear any questions you may have if you leave a comment.  I like it when people follow my channel!

How it was made:

The first hydrolysis apparatus was made using 1" diameter PVC Pipe and fittings.  The design allows for different electrodes to be changed out using female-threaded PVC end caps.  Holes were drilled in each of the four end caps.  Stainless steel bolts were set in place in two of the end caps and secured using JB Weld epoxy.  Small sections of firm plastic tubing that I had laying around were set in place in the other two end caps and again secured with JB Weld epoxy.  These will serve as the points where tubing can be attached to the apparatus to extract hydrogen and oxygen gas.  The base to support the apparatus was made out of 1/2" thick particle board that was left over from another project.  It was cut using a jigsaw and put together with wood screws.
~1M NaOH solution was prepared and used from the hydrolysis reaction, and ran best at the highest setting of the battery charger, being 12v, 60A.

The second apparatus was made using a fancy cup I found at the store!  holes were drilled in the lid for two stainless steel bolts and a piece of plastic tubing.  All three pieces were held in place with JB Weld epoxy again.  The electrodes were made using stainless steel sheet metal from an old microwave housing and stainless steel wire from a previous project.  The sheet metal was cut into roughly 1"x6" strips, and the wire was attached by drilling holes in the sheet metal to weave the wire into.  The wire was attached to the bolts in the lid using small stainless hose clamps.  The two sheet metal electrodes are kept at a distance using a small piece of plexiglass that was cut with a Dremel rotary tool and a cutting wheel bit.
The apparatus was filled roughly 1/3 full of left over ~1M NaOH solution, and filled up the rest with tap water.  This apparatus ran well at the lowest setting of the battery charger, at 6v, 2A.

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    5 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    cool project, I'm not intend to be annoying and stuff... but the correct name is electrolysis and not hydrolysis. hydrolysis is a different process when you use water to break other molecules

    2 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for pointing that out. I was under the impression that the terms were interchangeable in this scenario. I should've known better.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    that's totally understandable. because in this instructable you are breaking water molecules and "hydro" stands for water and "lysis" stands for break/divide. but in this situation it is always good to remember that the first part is the process being used and the second is what it does. well, any way, I'm glad I helped.