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Hydrogen torch - anyone made or used one? Answered

I am working on my own "hydrogen batteries" to create a lot of hydrogen when I need it as a replacement for those propane/butane canisters when camping or fishing.
Got some simple prototypes working for the gas creation but do struggle a bit with converting some orifices (is that eve a word?) and a torch to work with hydrogen.
Not to mention the pressure regulation LOL
Biggest problem so far seems to be the flame temperature.
The gas is produce at up to 50°C and my current burners all start to glow red hot after just a short amount of time.
Where they struggle to braze copper with propane the hydrogen is almost overkill ROFL
Must be really close to these yellow acetylen bottles the plumber use.

So big questions:
Do I really need a different orifice hole and if so bigger or smaller than used for propane/butane?
Do I really need a acetylene rated torch or can I just ignore the orange red color of mine when using hydrogen?
I don't think it will melt but after a while the heat travels down into the handpiece too...



Best Answer 1 year ago

Change where air gets mixed in, to account for the two H2 protons, which cannot drag the much more massive O2 away from the nozzle like map gas can...

I saw the H2 flame used to polish Plexiglass cut and sanded edges to a clear through see lens like edge.. -.-. . --. -.

Low velocity H2 invisible flame melts micro scratches in the Plex to make a like glass surface without the combustion lamp-black dirt deposits of hydrocarbon fuels .. -.-. . --. -.

that's a nice tip to know. thanks iceng!


1 year ago

Do NOT use any torch other than made for hydrogen explicitely - unless you plan moving to the hospital. In Germany we call it Knallgas (bang-gas) for a good reason. Any concentration between 4 and 77% hydrogen in air is explosive. (At ambient pressure. The range becomes wider the more the mixture was compressed.) You need a proper flashback-arrestor directly at the nozzle. You should have been already warned enough if you assume the flame burns on the way to the nozzle.

The one I misused for my tests has two screens added where the active gas comes into the handpiece.
So there is little to no chance for a flashback especially considering the hydrogen going in is at 100% without any oxygen.
The only thing that happens once the pressure goes down slightly is that the flame starts to burn inside the torch rod already before actually making it out.
Seems I will have to construct something simple to make it work as it should.


1 year ago

BTW 50°C is only halfway to water boiling and most people can touch 45°C surface indefinitely ?

Hydrogen burns very fast, so I suspect you'll need a tight orifice to eject the gas fast enough.

I am getting this feeling too, which means I also need to find a suitable thingy to regulate the pressure.
After a very close look I noticed that only half of the flame burns outside the torch, the rest seems to burn already on the way to nozzle.
Explains the extreme overheating of the whole thing LOL
Might have to build something to fit the pressure and gas volume so I can avoid pressure regulation and get the flame to burn where it should :(

Don't forget a flashback arrestor as suggested by another poster.

I didn't make or use one, but I did think of making one!

I then realised it was to dangerous, and with the amount that I was going to use it, I'd be better off using a refillable lighter.



1 year ago

With a small brass adapter you can refill the small canisters from a larger 5 gallon tank. Propane is around $2.00 a gallon and those little ones are about a quart to 1/2 gallon of propane. Or in other words less than a dollars worth. What you pay for is the can not the gas in it. If your interested I can give you a link.

It is not really about the gas canisters ;)
More about making a lot of hydrogen on demand without electricity.