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Shouldn't hydrogen burn ? Answered

Hello, I generated hydrogen simply by applying a DC current to 2 tubes filled with water , the ( - ) tube started bubling and filled up with a gas, i suppose that it should be hydrogen, i sucked the gas with a syringe and tried to burn this gas with a lighter by squeezing the syringe directly over the lighter's flame but the gas wouldn't burn, instead i heard micro pop's , like micro explosions.. Isn't hydrogen flamable ??


Hydrogen does burn...in the presence of oxygen. If the hydrogen generated wasn't very pure, it will struggle generating that sweet jet like combustion. I would set the tubes all the way under water to remove any air. Pull the tube, closed end up, out of the water until the pressure is such that the vacuum tries to pull it down. With the electrode inside the tube, the split hydrogen gas will displace the water in the tube. Because hydrogen is lighter than air, when you lift the tube out of the water, the hydrogen will stay in the tube until you tip it up. You can light a match and move it under the tube and have a guaranteed flame every time. We used to do this in high school chemistry class all the time. To get a sustained flame, you must be able to pressurize the hydrogen which is a much more complicated process.

Thanks for the info, i will make a much larger quantity to see if the damn thing will burn or not. Do you have any idea why is it that the (+) electrode and tube NOT bubling at all "this should be the oxygen side i suppose". This is really confusing, some say that the (+) side generates the hydrogen and some others say the (-) side , what do u think ??

Oxygen has a natural charge of -2 whereas hydrogen has a +1 charge. This is why 2 hydrogen atoms couple with 1 oxygen atom per molecule of water. When electrical current breaks the bond, hydrogren is drawn to the negative (-)electrode whereas oxygen is drawn to the positive (+) electrode. Remember, opposites attract. The easiest way to prove this to yourself is to trap the gas produced at each electrode and then light each one and see what happens. You will get some oxygen mixed in the hydrogen and vice versa. If I have it mixed up, it's because it's been 10 years since I've done these experiments. One thing to consider is the surface area of your electrode. The larger the surface area, the more contact you have with water and thus more electrolysis can occur. A single wire will not generate much gas, and the contaminants in the water will precipitate as electroplating, reducing your conductivity. In order to increase the volume, some people use a mesh of sorts or an array of metal. Graphite works well as an electrode as well as tungsten. Steel and aluminum electroplate rapidly or corrode. Copper works well but also corrodes. Real graphite is difficult to come by in a form easy to use...A thought: if you can get your hand on a sample of conductive carbin fiber composite, you may be able to use the strands and simply unravel the weave, and you would have a much higher surface area. I may try this and get back to you. Email me if this helps. brianjherr@yahoo.com

hey nickk be careful you can damage your hearing hydrogen burns very fast and can explode .
do these experiments out side .
hydrogen is a + atom and is attracted to the - pole 316 stainless steel is the best cost effective anode to use for electrolasis as it corrods the slowest and this prosses will flatten your battery very fast as it takes a lot of power to pull atoms apart a pulsed power supply works better ie p,w,m using a 555 chip .works ok to get more production. but please be careful you could build yourself a hydrogen bomb.  


9 years ago

Maybe you could put a valve in, and open it slightly when you have enough hydrogen, and it will still burn greatly but it will last longer...

  • Direct both gases into the same plastic beaker of water.
  • Add liquid soap to the water, and collect the froth under an upside-down funnel.
  • When the froth reaches the end of the funnel, touch a flame to the froth.
  • Smile manically, repeat.

instead of a syringe, fill a test tube, or similar non-impeded opening container with your hydrogen, and aimed away from you, set it alight. It will 'pop' - the pop test. In your syringe, you had no oxygen, so the hydrogen in the syringe wouldnt burn until it was out in the air - where it repeatedly popped. Lastly, hydrogen burns so cleanly that you dont see the flame usually. Do it in a dark room and you'll see the flash better.


9 years ago

depending on how much hydrogen u generated it might just " pop" . I think you would need quite a bit of hydrogen moving constantly to get a flame to appear

It did. Each of those pops was combustion (a micro explosion). Hydrogen burns extremely fast.


9 years ago

it probbably didn't release enough at one time to "burn" noticiabley...it could also be oxygen....