Simple and Durable Hydroxy Gas Generator




Introduction: Simple and Durable Hydroxy Gas Generator

About: I'm a born again Christian. I'm going to school for mechanical engineering at South Dakota State University. I enjoy math, making things, drawing in my notebook, climbing trees, and watching Ironman.

This instructable is a description of how I made my fifth hydroxy gas generator. Hydroxy gas has been an evolving science for me as I have learned what works, and what doesn't, what you need on a generator, and what you really don't, and that you shouldn't ignite a milk jug full of this stuff at 10:00 PM in the middle of your neighborhood, or you will have some explaining to do. My goal with this generator was to make a device that quickly separates water into hydrogen and oxygen gasses, can be made without advanced tools and is as tough as nails, so that I can throw this thing in my trunk and set it up at a friends house without worrying about spilling caustic fluid, or starting anything on fire. So let's get started.

Step 1: Build a Container

Containing the generator, bubbler, and power components in one tough and organized place is a must for a durable setup. I chose to make my own box from cedar wood because it is rot resistant, looks really cool, and smells nice. In order to begin making the box you will need to decide its final dimensions, and in order to do that, you will need to skip ahead and find your stainless steel carriage bolt. It is important to have the bolt at this stage because this will determine the final height of your box. It is also important to add the length of your gas output connecter to the length of the carriage bolt to determine the height of your box. I didn't do this and ended up having to cut down my connecter. Here is a list of supplies and tools I used for this step.


- 2 Cedar Boards 1.5 in wide x 1 in thick x 8 ft long

- Titebond III Wood Glue

- Wire Nails

- Hinges

- Latch

- Paint

- Painter's Tape


- Drill Press

- Drill Bits

- Hammer

- Table Saw

- Rubber Band

- Clamps

- Chop Saw

- Rubber Bands

- File

- Sandpaper

The first thing that I did was to cut down my cedar boards into 16 pieces that were each 8 inches long. I cut 45 degree angles into 16 of them being very precise with this step. I took these pieces and glued them together to form squares. I didn't have a band clamp, and so I made do with rubber bands. These worked super well for me and after the squares had dried, I took them over to the drill press to pre-drill two holes at each of the joints. After pre-drilling, I knocked some nails into these joints and sanded, filed, and planed them all to something of the same size. Next I used the table saw to rip one board to half of its width and I made another mini square with this one. This was to get the box to an acceptable height for the generator. Using my table saw I then ripped down a couple more boards in half for the bottom of my box. I glued all around the bottom of one frame and using a lot of clamps and weights, left the glue to dry. Once the glue was dry, I put nails thorough these strips.

Next, I trimmed the bottom of the box and glued all of the square frames together, using clamps to hold them in place. Once they were dry, I heavily sanded the whole box. Next I scrounged around and found a nice pine board which I cut to make a square lid. It doesn't match the cedar, but I like the nice color contrast and it doesn't bother me. I sanded it down and clamped it in place while I attached hinges to the box. Clamping it while I did this allowed for near perfect hinge movement. Next I fastened the receiving part of the latch to a scrap piece of wood and I mounted the locking part on the lid of my box. I glued and clamped this scrap piece of wood in the right place by locking the lock while the glue dried. Then I went back and put some nails into this scrap piece.

After this, I thought that the box needed some pizazz, so I printed off a raindrop picture from Google Images, and after carefully cutting it out, I used painters tape to secure it to the lid of my box. I then painted the outline with royal blue oil-based paint, and I let it dry.

And then, the box was done.

Step 2: Build the Generator

Now it's time to get down to business and make the generator itself. My design is a negative electrode made from a modified stainless steel water bottle and a positive electrode made from the bolt, some nuts, washers and three shot glasses. The electrodes are held in place with square pieces of cutting board with circular ridges cut into them. The upper square has a hole for a cork that is for easy filling and emptying of water. The system for collecting the gas consists of a robust connector screwed into the top square, a small check valve to prevent siphoning and a bubble counter that I found online. Here is the list of supplies and tools that I used for this step.


- Stainless Steel Carriage Bolt

- Stainless Steel Nuts

- Stainless Steel Locking Nuts

- Stainless Steel Washers

- Stainless Steel Water Bottle

- Stainless Steel Shot Glasses

- Clear Plastic Water Bottle

- Cutting Board

- Tubing Connector

- Check Valve

- Tubing

- Bubble Counter

- Thread Tape

- Rubber Stopper

- Silicone


- Drill Press

- Chop Saw

- Circle Cutter

- Hacksaw

- Ruler

- Fine Point Sharpie

- Masking Tape

- File

- Clamps

- Crescent Wrench

- Pinpoint Torch

- Pliers

- Sandpaper

- Drill Bits

- Crescent Wrench

The first step in building the generator is cutting out the squares of cutting board. The size of the squares is determined by the diameter of water bottle that you are using for your outer casing. I used a hacksaw and I cleaned up the edges of the squares with a file and my pocket knife.

Next I cut my clear plastic water bottle. The length of this water bottle is determined by the length of your carriage bolt and the thickness of your two cutting board squares, as well as the length of the bolt that will go on the bottom of the generator and hold it all together. I used a chop saw to slice cleanly and evenly thorough the bottle.

Next I made the negative electrode. This was one of the most difficult parts of the whole project. I have attached a diagram that I drew to help you get an idea of the angles and measurements of the cuts. I used a sharpie to make marks and masking tape to help me make the cuts straight. Once the bottle was cut to size, and the strange tab on top was cut correctly, my neighbor loaned me his propane torch and I used a pair of pliers to bend this tab into a quarter inch tube. I went thorough all of this trouble to make the final product more air tight. After this I used a scrap block of wood cut to precisely fit inside my bottle, to support the bottle while I made indentions and drilled a set of nine holes in my tube. These allow gas made on the outside of the tube flow to the inside, they allow electric current to reach the outside of the tube, and they look cool.

Next I made small markings on my shot glasses with a sharpie in the exact middle and using my drill press, not turned on, and a nail in its jaws, I made indentions in the shot glasses. Next I drilled thorough the indentions with a small drill bit in my drill press, and then a bigger bit, and then finally the 9/16 bit.

Next I drilled holes in my plastic squares. The top square got four holes and two ridges. A hole in the center for the square part of the carriage bolt to fit snugly into. A hole for the circular part of the negative electrode to slide into. A hole for the cork. And finally a hole for the gas output tubing connecter to screw into. The two ridges were made using a circle cutter and a drill press. The two ridges are for the positive electrode and the outer casing to slide into for a solid overall build.

Step 3: Assemble the Generator

The next thing I did was to sand the electrodes in a + pattern with 100 grit sandpaper. I sanded the inside and outside of my negative electrode water bottle and my positive electrode shot glasses. I also sanded the outside of my bolts. They will not contribute much surface area, but they are still part of the positive electrode.

Next I filled the small tube on the negative electrode with silicone and I screwed in and sealed the gas connector with silicone.

After these had dried, I put on some gloves and using oil defeating soap, I washed all of the metal electrodes very thoroughly and then I rinsed them off thoroughly with distilled water. For the most part I did not touch the electrodes past this point with my bare hands.

Next I assembled the whole thing. I began by putting on gloves and sliding the cutting board square onto the bolt and then using the square part of the carriage bolt and two crescent wrenches to screw on the first locking nut on tightly. I generously applied silicone inside of and around this joint. If I had been thinking, I would have screwed the other locking nut on at this point as well. But alas, I was not and I was later forced to thread two normal bolts onto the bolt ahead of the locking nut so that I could thread it on without breaking the silicone seal of the top locking nut. Locking nuts are hard to screw on.

The purpose of the second locking nut is to hold the shot glasses in place with a very small gap that allows for gas to escape. This will require some tinkering to screw it on just far enough. After this, I slid a shot glass on, followed by four washers and a regular nut. I repeated this until I had a third shot glass without any washers or nuts behind it. Then I put the negative electrode into place and heavily siliconed around where the tube pokes thorough the top square. Finally, I put a bead of silicone into the outer groves of both squares I pushed the outer casing firmly into the grove of the top square. Then I added the bottom plate and after a heavy coat of silicone around the hole in it, I added some epoxy as a makeshift thread locker and I screwed on the final bolt. After some finishing touches of silicone around the union of the outer casing and the squares, I set it down and let it dry for a solid 24 hours.

Step 4: Conditioning

Once the generator dried, I filled it up with distilled water and rinsed it out. If I did it again, I would have measured the water that came out so as to provide a precise measurement for the water that I would pour in with electrolyte. I put thread tape on the threads of the bubbler and filled it up with distilled water. I then cut pieces of tubing and attached the bubbler and a length of tubing off of the bubbler to the generator. I used 20 ml of Sodium Hydroxide (lye) to 3 cups of distilled water. I added the lye to the water slowly, stirring continuously. This solution was poured into the generator and once the power was hooked up, with the negative to the water bottle, and the positive to the carriage bolt, and the first bubbles of hydroxy gas churned thorough the system.

I ran the system for 30+ hours and changed out the fluid four times and the batteries five times. I changed out the fluid of my generator when I could see that it had a rusty color to it, as seen in the above photo, or when it had a significant amount of rust flakes in it. The conditioning made an obvious impact on the speed of my generator, that is, it got faster each time that I changed out the fluid. I knew that I had finished conditioning and could install the generator when the water remained clean for the duration of the batteries' life.

Step 5: Electrical

Electrical is my weak side, and so please take this advice with a grain of salt and a fire extinguisher. During the early stages of conditioning, you may need to use a higher voltage setup in order to obtain decent gas rates. Once I had conditioned my cell for awhile, however, I was able to use an ideal setup of 4 D batteries. The hydroxy community says that 2 volts is the target for your generator, but I am fine running 3 volts in mine. In order to achieve this setup, I used 4 D batteries. Two are wired in series with each other. The other two are also wired in series with each other. These two sets are wired in parallel with each other. This setup gives 3 volts while doubling the amperage output of power. I used a solid switch which I bought from for authoritative control of my system.

Step 6: Putting It All Together

Now I assembled everything. I began by cutting angled pieces of wood and gluing them to the side of the box to create a solid locking system to hold the generator in place. Then I wrapped the upper two triangular pieces with grip tape. This helped to secure the generator into the box snugly. Next, I used a hacksaw to cut apart the mounting piece that came with my bubbler. I then smoothed out the ridges in the plastic with a file, and drilled a hole thorough the piece. After shortening a nail and mixing up some epoxy, I glued and nailed this mounting piece to the wall of my generator. Next I used a soldering iron and heat shrink tubing to assemble the electrical battery boxes. I cut some wire and wrapped it around one of the switch terminals using heat shrink tubing to secure it and I attached my battery packs to the switch. Next I mixed up some more epoxy and glued the switch into place in the corner of my box. I then used some stainless steel screws to secure my battery boxes to the walls of my box. The wires were kept tidy with the help of a cable tie and a staple.

Next, I connected the negative wire to the water bottle with a piece of heat shrink tubing and a zip tie, and I connected the positive wire to the carriage bolt with a magnet. This setup allows me to easily take the wires off of the generator for filling it with fluid, and for more room in the box while I replace the batteries. I then cut small pieces of tubing and connected the generator and the bubbler with the check valve in between. Finally, I installed fresh batteries and a length of tubing to the bubbler outlet, and I mixed up a fresh batch of electrolyte fluid and poured it into the generator body.

And then it was all done.

Step 7: Conclusion

This instructable, like all instructables, is not free of errors.


- I didn't account for the expansion of the battery packs when batteries are installed. I should have installed each of the battery packs with some space in between.

- The box wasn't quite big enough. I should have made it 6 3/4 inches wide on the inside, and 7 1/2 inch tall on the inside as well. As it is, everything is a bit cramped.

- I should have used a more robust sealant on the generator body. My silicone is holding up fine, however, I anticipate some trouble in the future.

And that's it. You are now ready to blow up milk jugs and demonstrate science to your awestruck friends. Thanks for viewing!



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    52 Discussions

    Setting off homemade explosives can get you prison time, no joke. Otherwise, nicely built.

    panels are 24X36" Home made with 78% 0.7VDC Diastolic Efficient Kull cells ( not good enough for NASA ) 12 will produce Little over 13VDC Look on Ebay for more.

    got one that runs on Led Acid and Solar cells produces 8-10lpm Unit designed for 24VDC Diesl Trucks.

    If ac or high frequency current is used, the gases are mixed. If they are then pressurized in a tank, then the tank can explode at room temperature this led to a tragic loss of life and property a block away. A couple of months later it was repeated in another storage facility with loss of limb. Sadly, these only proved that a conman can do more damage when he believes his own theories and keeps doubling down other peoples blood and money. A car could never have an uncompressed tank large enough to go far.

    3 replies

    I take it, from your comments, that you are not familiar with Stanley Meyers' patent, which uses a "hydrolyzer-cell" to break down H2O into "HHO", also known as "Brown's Gas", and his unit DID run his VW-based 1.6L air-cooled engine "dune-buggy", without ANY pressurized storage tanks of hydrogen or oxygen, as far as he wanted to go, & as long as there was water in the tank, with just a pinch of salt to allow electrical conduction. (The salt stays in the water when the water is broken down into H-H-O.) It's also normally safer to vent the oxygen to the atmosphere than to try to put it into an engine; that was tried during WW-II on aircraft engines, and the engines usually melted. That resulted in Nitrous Oxide being found to work much better for a "brief but significant burst of extra power", (as long as a LOT of extra fuel is also added to preserve the fuel-air mixture ratio.) The point being, is that this system, if it produces enough H-H-O gas, can & will provide all the fuel one needs to power a small reciprocating-piston internal-combustion engine. If this design doesn't produce enough gas, then the "hydrolyzer" cell isn't being resonated properly, or more than one needs to be used. Since it doesn't appear to be designed to produce enough gas to run a 1.3L to 7.5L engine, but only to provide enough gas for a medium-temperature torch, it seems to have been well thought-out & implemented. The most important thing to always emphasize is: SAFETY FIRST! Always experiment outside, in a place where other people or property can't be harmed, (remember that only a small latex-balloon full of acetylene can shatter windows quite a distance away if it ignites & there's air or oxygen inside with it, which is why any "acetylene device" is normally illegal to even possess, without the necessary paperwork, such as a Chemistry Teacher would have, to demonstrate various ways to generate powerful & potentially dangerous gases to a class), and to do all "due diligence" & studying ALL of the available existing "prior work" first; use safety glasses or face-shields, a good thick leather "wrap-around" apron, & make only tiny amounts of something until you're quite certain you know how much is "enough", and should a small amount of the combined gases (H+O) find a spark, also be wearing hearing protection, & have a flash-arrestor in the gas-generator line, to avoid a "bang!" from becoming a "KA-BOOM!" For a small, moderate-temperature torch, this basic method was also patented, and it works quite well. It will not replace an oxy-acetylene gas torch, but for the "in-between" torch temperatures, there's the simple propane torch, the oxy-propane torch, or a MAPP-gas torch, for higher temperatures, depending on what maximum temperature is desired, and how much range-of-temperature is desired. This model is a nicely thought-out example of a small device; it doesn't appear to be intended to run a car, or replace other gas mixtures for higher-temperature uses. Thumbs-up for the use of nice wood & good woodworking, and being careful about not allowing any sparks to get to the gas-generating areas! (The other comments about not using stainless-steel are valid; just put a pinch of salt or other safe material in the water to make it conduct; the chromium in the stainless is going a bit "overboard", and CAN be hazardous, as far as waste-products go.) All-in-all, this one gets a "Well-Done!" from this "Old-Timer"...

    Stanely Meyer was a fraud. He never built a vehicle that ran solely on the electrolysis of Water being created from the vehicle while driving. Yes I seen the Patents, but a Patent is easy to get if it is proven unique. Meyer did not have to prove the Patent office that is ran a vehicle. All it showed was his electrolyser. It is impossible to run a vehicle on the electrolysis of water while at the same time producing the Gas from the Engine driving the Electrical system and Wheels.

    No sensate person will compress HHO in a cylinder, for security and economics reasons. Besides it's totally useless as the interest of a HHO generator is to produce HHO on demand, and to get rid of the annoyance of tanks, refilling and maintenance.

    This is impressive, but what do you use it for? I'm no engineer, but this is cool :D

    5 replies

    This can be used as a Torch. This cannot be used to run a car by having the car produce the gas as it is driving. If you read that on the internet, it is false.

    As of yet, I have strictly used it for explosive demonstrations. There is a huge adrenaline rush associated with the explosion of a milk jug of hydroxy gas. In the future, however, I would love to add a torch head to my generator for soldering and melting.

    Unfortunately, h2 gas has low caloric content and may just leave water condensed on the work piece. So people use TIG welding, propane or butane instead of h2 or acetylene. and butane or prop

    Hydrogen gas has been industrially used in the USA for welding and brazing during WW2 when there was a shortage of acetylene which was kept in priority for cutting steel in the naval industry. Hundreds of thousands of aluminum fabrications were weld with hydrogen torches (2800° Celsius with pure oxygen). There is no condensation it's simply too hot and dry water vapor is not a problem when welding.

    Acetylene is widely used in the world as a good 2900-3200° Celsius torch is a very versatile tool in any good shop, it's also used for cutting very thick steel and forming plates in shipyards. In third world countries small acetylene generators with calcium carbide are used for jewelry brazing.

    Nowadays there are small brown gas ( called also HHO) generators for polishing acrylics and jewelry welding-brazing. Pretty convenient as you do not need any more cylinders with revisions, refills and tutti quanti just electricity and water. A correct one is around 400-600 USD.

    Propane, Butane and LPG are very "dirty" and not very useful in some applications like platinum or delicates alloys welding/brazing. And many times TIG with the expensive argon tanks is not practical; try to weld a 0.6 mm platinum wire on a ring with a TIG...

    If you want to keep the hydrogen and oxygen gas separate tor try to use if for a torch and mix it at the torch, you can separate the anode and cathode horizontally. Oxygen will form at one and hydrogen at the other (it has been over 30 years since I got my BS in Chem and I have never been employed as a chemist or I could tell you which would form at which electrode.) Just collect the separate gases at each electrode, and mix them where you want them.

    2 replies

    If I remember right oxygen forms on the positive and hydrogen on the negative.

    There is more gas forming on the negative, so the negative got to be hydrogen since water contains 2 parts of the hydrogen.

    Any idea on what that collection tank/ system would look like? My torch however only has one valve for the Oxyhydrogen. I think (since I have not used it yet) that it needs both gases to flow through he torch for it to burn correctly. I'm unsure if it pulls any O2 from the ambient air to help with the burning or only relys on the two gases flowing together through the torch?!? Any thoughts on this? Anyone?

    I really want to try this torch out but I have limited time right now. I am getting the items together for the build, and hope to find a little time at the end of this month to build the generator. Any info on this torch and how it works the best will be greatly appreciated!

    There have not been any papers published "on this process" other than published on the internet. Try to find one reputable scientific journal, where any confirmation of brown's gas has been postulated. Not a "scientific website" a written journal. You can use the internet to find it, but there must also be a connected scientific journal. Can hardly believe you would point me to a link on the internet to prove brown's gas exists. Wiki's don't count.

    2 replies

    By the way, Yull Brown who coined the name Brown Gas was born in 1922 and On May 22, 1998, Yull Brown died at Westmead Hospital in Auburn, Australia. The HHO gas is still called Brown's gas in memorandum to Yull Brown. He was never convicted for fraud of any type!

    The fraud you are talking about had nothing to do with Brown, it was others who tried to sell and defraud the public on free water file for their cars and trucks, years after Yull Brown died!

    I know I said I wouldn't sat anything more, but I had to clear this mis-conception!

    For your reference

    .. Articles you may be interested in Oxyhydrogen burner for low‐temperature flame fusion Rev 07. JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS ... JOSEPH A. ADAMSKI American Science and Engineering,

    Inc., Cam&ridge, J.fassachusetts (Received 5 October 1964; in final form 7 December 1964 ...

    You can also find more info at OMICS International website which has a large collection of scientific journals. This link will take you to that site and some info on the subject as well.

    As for the chemical suture of this process:

    electrolysis: 2 H2O → 2 H2 + O2

    combustion: 2 H2 + O2 → 2 H2O

    Please get past the names used, once you read the name “brown gas” you assume we are talking and stating it creates some “special” gas. That is far from what we are stating! Re-read my posts, you missed what I stated once you read the name “brown gas”!

    My link was only to show you that the name is still used, that's all!

    This is the last I will offer on this, this guy did a great job making this is instructable!

    I for one hope he will make more and especially if he improves on his generator! He has my support!


    Thanks for this instructable, You have made a very nice box and the parts inside are well put together and clearly achieved your goal.

    I am surprised by the amount of argument about the name and structure of the gas prioduced.

    I think the main point is that the gas produced is explosive.

    This is not the same as simply flamable.

    Propane and butane are flamable gases that can be stored and shipped safely by preventing them coming into contact with oxygen until they are to be burned.

    Hydrogen is the same.

    If the hydrogen was collected seperately and stored is a container without any other gas (Say, by filling it with water and inverting it is a container of water and bubbling the hydrogen in , thus displacing the water in the container.) the hydrogen would be relativly safe. It only burns when in contact with oxygen.

    This generator produces a mixture of Hydrogen and oxygen in the same volume of space.

    (Whatever name you give this , we are all agreed that the elements are present and in the correct proportions to combust. :-) )

    I know from personal experience that even 2 liters of this mixture in a soda bottle can cause a powerful expolosion.

    The flame arrestor mentioned in the comments is a fine metal mesh that stops combustion from travelling from the torch into the tubing and generator by cooling the burning gas belowcombustion point.

    If this fails or is not present , there is a real danger that the tubing and genertator could explode.

    As with many Instructables, the information contained in yours is valuable and should be treated cautiously. :-)