Make Hydrogen From Water and Household Parts




About: I was born and raised in Central Florida. I hold a bachelor's degree in business management and do network maintenance for a broadband/telecommunications company. I am married with two perfect girls. I ...

This project is to make a single hho cell out of household parts. This process produces hydrogen through electrolysis. This design is taken after others I have seen. I just worked with what I had lying around. I would assume this is no more than 20$ to buy the parts. I realize the parts do not fit perfectly, but it generates hydrogen and that was good enough for my first test run.


Step 1: Parts Needed

5- large stainless washers 4- smaller stainless washers 1- nylon bolt 2- nylon wing nuts 8- nylon washers 2- 10-14 gauge jumper wires with crimp on terminals 4- small stainless washers

Step 2: Start Stacking Washers

Either cut nylon bolt and use wing nuts on both sides like I did or use the head of the bolt to tighten against. Stack in this order: smallest stainless washer, wire jumper, smallest stainless washer, large washer, nylon washer, small washer, nylon washer, large washer, nylon washer, small washer, nylon washer, large washer, nylon washer, small washer, nylon washer, large washer, nylon washer, small washer, nylon washer, large washer, smallest stainless washer, wire jumper, smallest stainless washer, wing nut.

Step 3: Tighten and Test It Out

In order to test this, you will need a non-conductive container (plastic or glass), a 12 volt power source capable of a 5-7 amps (car battery, power wheels battery, lawn mower battery) water, and baking soda. First, fill your container with about five inches of water and add a couple tablespoons of baking soda. Now insert the hho cell and place one wire to the negative side of the battery and the other to the positive side. You should instantly see it start to bubble. If not, check your connections and make sure none of the metal washers are touching each other and that the jumper wires are making contact with the outermost large washers. There are lots of different designs for this cell out there, some use neutral plates like I did and others just use two back-to-back plates. I have read that ideally for 12 volts, there should be seven equal sized plates with 6 gaps and a charged plate in the middle. I worked with what I had and had about 1.7-2 volts between plates--a little mismatch due to using different sized plates ( I believe). As always, do your research to see what best suits your application and have fun with it. Be careful though because hydrogen is very flammable.

Step 4: Update- Better Design

I found 7 same-sized washers and replaced the smaller ones in my previous design with these and got much better output. My next plan is to energize the middle washer and see what happens. By this I mean it will be as follows: -NNN+NNN- with N meaning neutral plate.



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    6 Discussions


    With your design only the two washers on the ends are getting power. The washers in between are doing nothing. You need a design where every other large washer has the opposite charge. That will be really hard to accomplish with a single center post. The much simpler version of what you have would be Lead, Large washer, Nylon washer, Large washer, Lead. There needs to be somewhere from 2mm to 5mm between the two large washers.

    4 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I thought the same thing when I first saw it but the washers in between are doing a lot. It would be a lot less effective without them.

    While I appreciate opinion and constructive criticism, why don't you research the purpose of neutral plates before claiming the middle plates do nothing? Like I said in the comments, there are lots of configurations and designs to accomplish the same thing and mine was done with spare parts in my garage. The modified design at the bottom of the instructible worked much better than the original and it was due to the equal-sized neutral plates.

    I have done the research and the experimentation. The neutral plates add nothing to the party. They are exactly that, neutral. With your setup you have to add a catalyst to the water to even achieve electrolysis. With the charged plates within 2 to 5mm of each other you only need filtered water. A lot of the energy is wasted in breaching the divide.


    4 years ago

    hello I'm planing on making a version of this and I want to know how much hydrogen this generates