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How to make a hydrogen engine? Answered

so i have seen forklifts use propane as a form of fuel i would like to make an engine that can take hydrogen that was made from a hydrogen generator and compressed into a propane tank and use that as the engines form of fuel but honestly i have no idea how to even start this...this is a science class project between me and my friend and as the engine we wanna use would be something around this probably something small and nice not like a car engine but it will still do something if put to use like connected to a bike or something http://www.bmw-powertrain.com/powertrain/en/motorc... so does anyone have any ideas? to make an engine like this run off of hydrogen within a compressed tank? would love your guys help as we would love to do this but do not know where to start



6 months ago

Something you need to keep in mind using any super compressed gas is the fact that it super cools when it expands. I drove a propane forklift and we had problems with the carburetor freezing up. It gets caked in frost to the point that it locks the mechanical parts. We also had to use gloves to change tanks to prevent frostbite. If the connector leaked a little before we got it sealed it would freeze the skin that it came in contact with. One time it froze the connector so we couldn't get it sealed. We had to let it vent to empty the tank, and evacuate the building until we could get the gas to clear. It is dangerous stuff. Also propane has half the energy value of gasoline. The only reason to use it for an internal combustion engine is that it burns relatively clean and doesn't produce lots of carbon monoxide so it is safe to run an engine in an enclosed building. Otherwise it's a big pain, not to mention explosive if it leaks.

Good point re: the cooling of expanding gas.

Although, in addition to the emission improvement, there are other good reasons for use of a compressed gas (LP, hydrogen, nat gas). One biggie is less engine maintenance. Our backup generator (22 HP V twin engine) can only work with LP or natural gas, no liquid fuel. No need to worry about stale fuel or gelled gasoline in the carb or a clogged fuel filter.

During WWII Hydrogen or coal gas was used to power road vehicles, sometimes with big rubber bags tied to the roof of your car ! So its been done. a regulator of the right type is needed and a way to introduce the gas on demand into your engine.

well we wanna hook up the hydrogen from our hydrogen generator to go into some medic oxygen bottles we will buy off of craigslist and then purge them of anything inside... so the engine would be getting the hydrogen from that...but i read that gasoline burns with 14.7 parts air and 1 part gasoline and it looks like hydrogen is gonna be 34 parts air 1 part hydrogen im guessing... does that mean i will have to feed the engine a supply of air aswell?

Yous you will need a source of Oxygen.
You will also need a LOT of Hydrogen. Do the maths.
a 1 ltr engine doing 4000 RPM will need approx 16 ltr of fuel air mix every second assuming 4 stroke.


To achieve this with propane they liquify the gas so your going to need to find an efficient way to store a lot of Hydrogen, Commercially this has been done in various ways, in foam, as a liquid under great pressure.
"Hydrogen has a very low volumetric energy density at ambient conditions, equal to about one-third that of methane. Even when the fuel is stored as liquid hydrogen in a cryogenic tank or in a compressed hydrogen storage tank, the volumetric energy density (megajoules per liter) is small relative to that of gasoline.[16][17][18][53] Hydrogen has three times higher specific energy by mass compared to gasoline (143 MJ/kg versus 46.9 MJ/kg). In 2011, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and University of Alabama, working with the U.S. Department of Energy, found a single-stage method for recharging ammonia borane, a hydrogen storage compound.[82][83]

The DOE has studied hydrogen storage methods, focusing on on-board vehicular hydrogen storage systems that will allow for a driving range of 300+ miles.[84] Compressed hydrogen in hydrogen tanks at 350 bar (5,000 psi) and 700 bar (10,000 psi) is used for hydrogen tank systems in vehicles, based on type IV carbon-composite technology"


6 months ago

Look up gasoline-to-propane engine conversion. It's not real difficult (the process); usually requires regulator (or two) to drop the LP gas pressure, and a modification of the carburetor.

I'm sure it's similar with hydrogen, and you'll likely find info on that online, too.