Separate Hydrogen and Oxygen From Water Through Electrolysis

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Introduction: Separate Hydrogen and Oxygen From Water Through Electrolysis

About: Buildin' not buyin'

Electrolysis a method of separating elements by pushing an electric current through a compound. It is used in various industrial applications such as removing copper from its ore. It is also used to separate hydrogen and oxygen from water. Electrolysis isn't the most efficient way to obtain hydrogen, but it is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to "homebrew" hydrogen.

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. With the "green-energy" craze and talk of powering our future oil-free economy on hydrogen, it has gotten much attention in the last few years. Learning about this potential fuel of the future is important and interesting. Besides, hydrogen is a powerful fuel, and blowing stuff up in the name of science is fun .

Step 1: Electrolysis of Water - an Explanation

This section is an explanation of the electrolysis of water, feel free to skip it if you don't find it interesting.

2H2O(l) = 2H2(g) + O2(g)

As everyone knows a water molecule is formed by two elements: two positive Hydrogen ions and one negative Oxygen ion. The water molecule is held together by the electromagnetic attraction between these ions. When electricity is introduced to water through two electrodes, a cathode (negative) and an anode (positive), these ions are attracted to the opposite charged electrode. Therefore the positively charged hydrogen ions will collect on the cathode and the negatively charged oxygen will collect on the anode.

When these ions come into contact with their respective electrodes they either gain or lose electrons depending on there ionic charge. (In this case the hydrogen gains electrons and the oxygen loses them) In doing so these ions balance their charges, and become real, electrically balanced, bona fide atoms (or in the case of the hydrogen, a molecule).

The reason this system isn't very efficient is because some of the electrical energy is converted into heat during the process. There have been reports of 50%-70% efficiency, but I doubt that is possible in a home environment. Anyway, enough with the boring stuff, lets go make some gas!

Step 2: Materials

****DISCLAIMER**** You are putting electricity into water. It has the potential to be dangerous. Do so at your own risk. Be smart about it. If you wouldn't touch it with your hands don't stick it in the water. If you're worried about it wearing rubber gloves will give some extra insulation. ****DISCLAIMER****

****DISCLAIMER**** Hydrogen is highly flammable and explosive (think Hindenburg). The amount we're making isn't extremely dangerous, but be careful. Flying shards of glass are never fun.****DISCLAIMER****

Separating Hydrogen and oxygen from water is really simple. It can be as easy as sticking two wires leading from a battery into water and watching the bubbles form. We however want to collect all the little bubbles, so its just slightly more complicated.

Things you will need:

@ (1) Med.Container - To hold water. Preferably clear so you can see whats going on.
@ (1 or 2) Gas Collecting Containers - A test tube, or an old soda bottle like me. Also clear. 2 if you want to collect both the hydrogen and the oxygen
@ (1) Power Source - I use a 12v 1000mA adapter, 9v batteries (in a series) and other sources work too. Bigger the power source, faster the bubbles form.
@ (2) Graphite Electrodes - Optional. You can stick a bare wire into the water, but it corrodes pretty quick. You can pull them out of a 6v Lantern Battery
@ Salt
@ Water

Step 3: Water and Salt

Water alone is not a very good conductor. You need to add some sort of electrolyte. Regular old table salt works fine. Add as much as will dissolve into the water, and don't worry about it if there is some sitting on the bottom, it really doesn't matter. Pour this salt/water solution into your med. container, and also fill your 1 or 2 gas collecting containers

Step 4: The Tricky Part

Ok, this is the tricky part. You need to flip the gas collecting container(s) upside down in the med. container, so that no air is trapped in the gas container(s). I do it by holding my thumb over the hole, and flip it really quickly. Its not a huge deal if air is trapped, your hydrogen just won't be pure.

Step 5: The Electrodes

Now take the two electrodes leading from your power source. The hydrogen will form on the positive electrode, and the oxygen on the negative. If you don't know which is which, turn on the power source and stick the electrodes in the water. The one with more bubbles is the hydrogen. Now stick the electrode underneath the gas collecting container. (turn off the power first) If you're having trouble making the gas collecting container stay up, and the electrode stay in the right place, tape it. Thats what I do anyway.

Step 6: Thats It!

Thats it! Turn it on, and watch it bubble. The amount of time it takes depends on how powerful your power source is. Stronger it is, faster it bubbles. Mine takes about 5 min for a test tube.

The electrodes do corrode if you don't have graphite, its pretty gross, but i don't think its dangerous. (don't quote me)

Here is a video of it bubbling:


Step 7: Further Ideas

When your gas collecting container is full, try lighting it. The hydrogen will give a very satisfying *POP*, and the oxygen won't do anything.

Here's a Video (sorry for not wearing a shirt =0 ):



Notes:

For a bigger and better explosion, put both electrodes into the gas collecting container. Hydrogen needs oxygen to burn, and the ratio of 2:1 is the best ratio. That is what we get when splitting water. You will get a much more powerful explosion.

I've personally always wanted to make a model rocket powered on hydrogen. I know that there is one that is sold on the market, but I don't remember what its called. I'll look for it.

T3Hprogrammer and Kiteman suggest using baking soda rather than salt as an electrolyte. Table Salt (NaCL) has the potential of producing chlorine gas and sodium hydroxide when introduced to electricity.

JakeTobak suggests using platinum electrodes instead of graphite as graphite will chip, splinter, and corrode. They're as cheap as a couple dollars, and can be found on Ebay (thanks Kiteman)

Further Reading:

@ Homemade Hydrogen by Theodore Grey http://www.theodoregray.com/PeriodicTable/Stories/001.1/
@ Fuel from Water: Energy Independence with Hydrogen by Michael A. Peavey via Amazon.com
@ Water Car - How to Turn Water Into Hydrogen Fuel via Amazon.com

2 People Made This Project!

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831 Discussions

0
hho1960
hho1960

Question 6 weeks ago on Introduction

Normally the electrode connected with negative terminal of battery is used to collect Hydrogen but here it is collecting Oxygen?

0
therandoms213
therandoms213

2 months ago

you should use not use salt it releases dangerous gasses

1
onebadvette
onebadvette

9 years ago on Introduction

One thing people need to keep in mind with this kind of setup is that you are not going to get the kind of flow required to do any kind of work that will help MPG. These HHO system type things are sold on ebay with plans etc. The amount of work and energy required to get a substantial amount of gas is...substantial. I don't have a degree in physics, but used to run a machine that was designed to make pure O2 for submarines. It required 1050 amps of DC current to produce 120scfh with double that for Hydrogen which we disposed of overboard. The amount of gas produced from a 12 volt source is not enough to help your car. It's a cool science experiment for school, but that's about it. Former MM2(SS) A-gang type. (google what that is. I also used to run the CO2 scrubbers and COH2 burners for atmosphere control.)

0
daddyo44907
daddyo44907

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

I have to disagree with you. I have worked with HHO for 7 years. Our engines receive 14.7 parts of air to each part of fuel vapor. The oxygen content of that is is 20% or less. That is not enough oxygen to burn all of the hydrocarbons. The result is carbon monoxide and a few other greenhouse gases. Adding more oxygen content --- to the metered air --- will increase the burn so that more of the metered fuel is burned and less metered fuel makes it out the exhaust. Oxygen is an oxidizer, without it, the chemical process of combustion will not produce a flame. The more oxidizer, the hotter the flame. People that are using HHO in their vehicles have near zero greenhouse emissions. The engines run smoother, have more power, oil changes are fewer, fuel economy follows -- if and only if the government mandated vehicle computers allow it. They are programmed to maintain 14.7 parts of air for each part of fuel vapor. There lies the problem with fuel economy. The added oxygen, from HHO, does make a positive difference. The added Hydrogen is only a small amount of fuel, but it too makes a difference.

0
onebadvette
onebadvette

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

Disagree with ME all you like. You CAN'T disagree with the laws of physics and chemistry. What company do you work for? What degree do you have? 7 years? I ran these machines for the U.S. Navy for 12 years as a Machinist Mate. Don't take it from me, here's a link that will dumb down the physics/ chemistry for you. http://www.aardvark.co.nz/hho_scam.shtml and this http://www.aardvark.co.nz/hho_scam2.shtml Now, I'll gather that your going to reply and state that "no, no, no, you've got it wrong." Okay, what's your source? What are the numbers you are going to give us? Consider this as well. Hot rodders use nitrous to have gains in horsepower. Of course, they add more fuel to the available oxygen, but the pitfall is that there is limited amounts of it stored under pressure. When the bottle runs empty, there goes your source. Reread my initial post. If these things were really that efficient, the Navy would use them on submarines for life support. Not just to get more MPG in your car. The company that makes the machines for the Navy is calld Treadwell and their upgraded machines pump out a whopping 225 cubic feet per HOUR. A car is rated in cubic feet per MINUTE. Big difference even in usage. Also, look at that machine and what it takes to make it work. http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/treadwell-supplies-oxygen-generator-components-for-nuclear-subs-2-04690/ If you have a device that puts out that amount of CFM, sell it to them and make millions and I'll be quiet. Until then people, these things are nothing more than a cool experiment to show kids. Here's one more great article totally debunking this. http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/alternative-fuel/gas-mileage/4310717

0
daddyo44907
daddyo44907

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

Of course I can disagree with the laws of physics and chemistry. They have been proven wrong many many times. How do you think they got written. Pooof --- there they are? Nadda. John Bedini, Tom Bearden, Howard Johnson; just a few modern day geniuses. It is statements like yours that hold back the future of mankind. You do it because you were taught wrong (you were lied to and made to believe the lie). Let these young people open their minds to possibilities. Don't close or block doors they want to persue, just because you have been there and done that; what might you have missed?

Electrolysis of water is the easiest way to demonstrate the chemical process of separating the ions. Let them do their experiments and let them form their hypothesis; and let them dream of ways to use and improve the knowledge.

As for Nitrous (NOX) --- it is not a fuel --- it is an Oxidizer. Oxides are what make the existing fuel burn hotter.

As for HHO, it only takes one quarter of a liter, per minute, to reduce the harmful emissions that exist in the engine exhaust. Wow, that much. Automobiles are not going to run on HHO, per-say, they are engineered to take in air (they are air pumps). The air dilutes the powerful HHO "perfect fuel". Fossil Fuels need Air in order to burn a flame; HHO does not. HHO is an explosive gas; a perfect mixture. It is many times more powerful than gasoline. I know from experimenting; not from reading what someone wrote about it. Money makes the world go round; Big Oil fuels the world. Big Oil creates the illusions that you read - and believe. Of course, they make it very believable. You can't disagree with the Laws of Physics and Chemistry. Right?

0
onebadvette
onebadvette

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

You got at least one thing right....NOS allows you to ADD more fuel because the benefit is an increase in HP. You're statements are more rhetoric than anything. Yes, I think people should push the limits with technology. You have to start somewhere. But to state that this system will increase your MPG's is just rubbish. It won't do that with the current materials and technology. Someday maybe it will. If a new metal or combination of metals that allow a smaller amount of current to allow this process to happen and there is a breakthrough of a catalyst that allows the electrolysis to be near self sustaining, then it would be great. Most of the gasoline that we "burn" is sent out the exhaust pipe.
As to your experiences, what degrees do you have? where have you been published? What field experience do you have other than tinkering around in your garage? One quarter of a liter per minute that reduces emissions. That's your findings? The setup presented here won't make that much. Did you bother checking out the machine from treadwell? They make 225 cubic feet per HOUR. And this is getting electrical power from a nuclear reactor. Think that little box in your car is going to make a quarter liter per minute? Wow. I have ocean front property for you in Arizona. REAL CHEAP. Call me.

0
KellyCraig
KellyCraig

Reply 4 months ago

Keep in mind, 3-M / NASA / BANGOR / PSNS / etc. engineers did not invent everything. Many an item was developed by individuals lacking credentials and in less than ideal conditions.

Too, many of the things we find useful to day are the product of hit and miss experiments, and happy accidents or discoveries, in the course of doing something else.

I have no degrees and my formal schooling has been minimal. Still, things I studied are significant in number and breadth. Though I lacked credentials you describe, the federal government used hundreds of my procedures and ideas to solve problems, or to improve efficiency. Engineers at Keyport, Washington, assigned me many projects and had me effect repairs to complex electronics systems in other states. Though I never went to school for it, they even called on my to do drafting [pre-CAD] for them.

Having worked with MANY engineers on many projects, I can say, with certainty, while intelligent, some can be comedy relief in other than their SPECIFIC area of expertise.

As well, I can say, with no uncertainty, outright dismissing someone because they have not been recognized by some school can be a fool's errand.

Those things aside, and regarding your responses, are you factoring in the changes in the efficiency of rapid oxidation (firing) of fuel when changes are made to it or things added to it, such as we see when octane levels are changed?

What would happen if a minute amount of water vapor was introduced, as might apply to my description of the performance of my motorcycle, and when hydrogen and oxygen re-combine? I, honestly, do not know, but do know simple changes can effect big results, in many instances.

What could we see if just oxygen was introduced to fuel (as suggested elsewhere)? We know a simple cigar can be made into a cutting torch using pure oxygen. Again, what, when we introduce hydrogen and oxygen.

Perhaps, rather than getting insulted, and insulting. we'd be more valuable, both to ourselves and others, if we shared ideas to help others avoid known pitfalls, or what have you.

0
daddyo44907
daddyo44907

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

The people here are not claiming this "experiment" will provide more mpg. This apparatus is a visual aid at most. Someday the world skeptics will realize it takes more than a gallon equivalent of gasoline energy --- to make a gallon of gasoline. How is that for efficiency? Care to compare it to making hydrogen? How about the cost of delivery? Hydrogen can be made at the pump; no middle men to mark up the price. Heck, it can be made in the home; in fact, hydrogen was piped to homes as fuel for stoves and furnaces in 200 major cities, long before natural gas was harnessed, Natural gas eventually used those pipes. It cost nothing to manufacture the natural gas - just delivery of a waste product at the time.

HHO gas is easy to manufacture. It is easy to use it to overcome the pollution caused from burning fossil fuels. It is possible to get better mpg with it. It can be manufactured on board as you drive. The same can be accomplished with just adding oxygen to the metered air. The same can be accomplished by just adding hydrogen to the metered air. So tell me, why won't the EPA just allow more metered air? The rest of the world does; and the rest of the world gets better mpg. Pollution from automobiles is man made. In this country, it is mandated to be 14.7 parts air to each part of fuel vapor. That is so that we the people can not easily get better mpg. It is enforced by our automobile computers.

You are correct about one thing. There are some scam companies out there that advertise and guarantee better percentages of fuel efficiencies. There are no guarantees that any one vehicle will get better mpg's. But, there are thousands of silent testimonies out there, that can attest to getting better fuel economy because of HHO. In the beginning, one had to keep their mouth shut in order to keep their HHO Generator.

You have your opinion of the HHO system based on what someone else published, researched. You are welcomed to it. I for one, have my knowledge of HHO based on work and experimenting that I and others like me accomplished by not listening to skeptics. I thank you for keeping me at the grinding wheel. It is my calling.

As for you having Ocean front property in Arizona, tell me how a smart guy like your self, got suckered in to buying it.

0
onebadvette
onebadvette

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

Wow. Your thoughts on this subject are comical at best. HHO can be made at home, and in the car. The sheer VOLUME of gas requried to make the difference in output of the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) in power, MPG, or even just to reduce the greenhouse emissions WILL NOT be attained by a system installed in an automobile with TODAY's technology. In the future? It is a possibility.

I was pretty transparent about my experience with this topic, while yours is still nothing but your meanderings on the internet. Where are you published? If you are so secure in the technology that you are using, where is the proof? What sources do you have that are verifiable and repeatable that meet the common scientific standards? Sorry, but "I have my own knowledge" is nothing more than a faith based standard. No more verifiable than asking someone about the existence of God. It's what they believe in based on faith. I'm looking for scientific data that backs up your statements seeing as how you responded to my statements about how much you need to run a car and that this instructable is for demonstration purposes, not an HHO car conversion post. You chimed in on that. PROVE me wrong and make millions, no BILLIONS in the process. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure this back and forth is moot.

0
daddyo44907
daddyo44907

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

Well young wippersnapper, you will just have to live a little longer and experience more out of life before you will understand anything someone tells you. Maybe you will grow up to be a scientist or a scientologist. A good start would be for you to pay attention to what you read.

As for it being possible to make HHO in your car, it is possible. We the people are doing it. As for cleaning up the exhaust emissions, only a half pint of HHO per minute is needed for in-town driving. Not very much is it! It takes less than 5 amps to make that much. That is 60 watts of power. Wow, so much power. You can't make that much, but the rest of us can and do.

I am amazed at how one sided your posts are. No wonder you got stuck with lake ocean front property in Arizona.

But something good came out of this. You now have received your first comments on this website. Wow, that must be a 2 year record. By the way, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you know that Profile thingy, well you forgot to fill it out. If you need an example to follow, look up mine.

0
onebadvette
onebadvette

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

Young wippersnapper? I'll let the readers judge for themselves as for the validity of your claims. You've provided NO real facts when asked. NO SOLID PROOF, other than to forward your obvious agenda from your profile "thingy". Yes, I know what it is. No, I'm not going to change it. I've completed 10 strategic deterrent patrols on Trident ballistic missile submarines. Probably more technology on board than most people see in their lifetime. I pay attention to what I read. You can keep on believing in a device that is akin to perpetual motion. It doesn't work. Chemistry, as well as physics, prove it doesn't provide enough energy to make a difference at this time. Yes, the process itself works, but not on a big enough scale to do what these people claim. It's obvious from your profile what your agenda here is. 33 posts in 3 days? You must be here trying to scam people into believing the fals science that is HHO. The internet, and any physicist or chemist will tell you, that it's a scam.
The Arizona property was in jest. You're 63 and should know sarcasm when you see it. I've been here at this site, unregistered however, since inception. I'm sure you have better things to do with your time in retirement than to go back and forth on the internet about a system that you think works, and which I, as well as anyone with moderate common sense, knows doesn't. Good day.

0
zuner2012
zuner2012

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

@ both of you. Since making HHO takes such small amounts of energy, small solar panels can provide enough power to create it. Consider this: letting solar panels sit and create a lot of HHO while you're watching a movie or reading a book seems fairly efficient to me. Sure, the law of conservation of energy says energy cannot be creates nor destroyed, only transferred. The creation of HHO would be converting the sun's energy to chemical energy in HHO. We can then use this to increase the efficiency of fuel burning.

But hey, whatever.

0
Lindner
Lindner

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

I like Zuner2012's idea. And it would work in theory, but.... You see people have been able to form H2 and 02 for over a hundred years the only reason we are'nt using it is that we have no way of safely storing it. H2 and 02 are used as fuel for the majority of space crafts (in liquid form) and it produces almost 5 times the amount of energy per gram of tnt. So if you had a hydrogen fuel cell in your car and you happened to get into a crash there is no way you would survive and there is a good chance that it would kill anyone in surrounding cars as well. As for the two arguing geazers, I have a friend that has a small h2 o2 generator in his car and it gives him about 2 extra miles per gallon while on the highway. Whether you believe me or not I have proof for myself that it does do a little something for your engine.

0
daddyo44907
daddyo44907

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

Actually, hydrogen rises rapidly, 20 feet per second. It disperses so rapidly, a flame has to be darn near touching the escaping gas. Tests have shown it to be much safer than gasoline.

If you’ve used a rechargeable battery, driven a hybrid vehicle or put solar panels on your roof, you’re benefiting from the work of Stanford Ovshinsky. But unless you’re an energy aficionado or you work in the automotive industry, chances are you’ve never heard of him. “Stan can be a great salesman, but he always says: ‘I’m not going to tell you about it, I’m just going to show you.’” Stan invented a way to store hydrogen safely. http://www.hho4free.com/stan_ovshinsky.htm

After watching this video, I question what we have been told about pressurizing HHO. 15 to 20 PSI is supposed to self ignite. Hmmmm.
The Hydrogen Hog generator operates at 60 PSI and has been tested over 100 PSI. One comment left, on the video below, YouTube page, said it was safe even at 120 PSI. More research is needed. If it is safe to pressurize the HHO, then that will help move us forward. http://www.hho4free.com/pressure_tests.htm

Oh by the way, I am the old gezer that is arguing FOR HHO and its significant value.

0
dafrique
dafrique

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

Hi Daddyo, your comment are on point and i really have fun reading you replying to these degrees wavers and naysayers..one thing is clear to me...promoting HHO as new fuel for car or home heating will dwindle the almighty fuel hungry multinational oil companies and as you know, in every advance, there will always be some moles which role is only to make you believe this is impossible to do so to protect the interest of who sent them. We all know that now, only dumbers fail to realize that.and still wonder how did the world evolve??how many lost they live for changes and so forth...anyway i do believe you and i think you are on something solid here..I don't have all these degree but i'm dumb enough to understand that we as the people(99%) need to figure out a way to create our own safety net by trying to save and not spend like the 1% which your naysayers belong to . Anyway i'll be glad to know a little more about HHO fuel and how i can me too make it a reality in my daily life so to smirk at the renewable energy naysayers.
Also i'm working on some project for divers..i will need some of your expertise in it. feel free to email me..your response is highly expected.

1
daddyo44907
daddyo44907

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

Thank you dafrique, for the kind words and support. The young people on here are smart; they seek ideas, information, and support. That is good because they are our future, and our future Will Run on Hydrogen from water; not oil. The late Stan Meyer, one of the most noted water scientists, in my opinion, found a way to harness the energy in water. He once proclaimed that there was more energy in one gallon of water, than in 3,000,000 Barrels of Oil; no typo there. They killed him. His twin brother, Steven, carries on his work. Steven has a 2004 patent for an on demand HHO Fueling Station for hydrogen cars, as well as conventional fueled cars, trucks, air planes, machinery, and small engines. Perhaps you will be able to fill your oxygen tanks - there - with pure oxygen derived from water.

You are welcomed to visit my web hho4free.com. I sell nothing; absolutely nothing. I do not ask for or accept donations; and Information is Free.

0
lukemarq
lukemarq

Reply 10 months ago

Thank you for the website. I get furious every time I drive, knowing that my 25mpg car is intentionally designed to burn fuel inefficiently. (It is obvious by the huge amount of waste heat and stink of poorly combusted fuel from the tailpipe)

0
alanwms
alanwms

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

And you didn't install one on your vehicle because?

0
onebadvette
onebadvette

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

Here's the real deal with all of this. Do your own experiments and see what results you get. I'm here to tell you that if you think you're going to the cfm required to produce any kind of results that will make a significant impact, try it and see. let me know what your results are, and if they're that significant, I'll go in half with you and we'll make millions.