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Help! I need Help with building a HHO generator

IcedStorm777

Well-known member
#1
So i was getting board during CoronaBreak and i decided to build a Hydrogen generator. I figured some of ya'll here are engineers and I need some help. I am a kid and only know basic chemistry and physics as I am a freshman so have a few questions. I built a test prototype today and it worked well but i wan't to build a working model that i can actually use. So here we go:

-I used what i think is stainless steel as the "stators". What other metals would work? Would aluminum work or any other material?

- I understand what the main container with the "stators" do but what does the bubbler or secondary container do? Why can't the hydrogen just exit the main container? Why does it have to go through the bubbler?

-Does voltage matter for the result? What is the "formula" for how much hydrogen will be produced per x amount of time? Is it like surface area times voltage or...

-What would you recommend as the electrolyte (Preferably something household as i literally can't leave the house). So far i have used salt (which apparently is bad as it produces a toxic chemical) and citric acid. Any other options or ideas? Thanks!

Sorry for all the questions but i literally have nothing else to do and could use some help, thanks!!

-Gracen
 
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Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#2
Going back to before my time, (that's a long way really), and during the US civil war the hydrogen produced for use in the observation balloons was produced in quantity by pouring water over red hot steel. The steel ripped the oxygen from the water and hydrogen was a result. Unfortunately a considerable amount of steam was also produced ad so the process was not totally clean as the steam in the balloons would condense and reduce lift by adding the weight of an internal coating of water.

Experienced balloonist teams could get a large amount of pure hydrogen into a balloon given sufficient time. Please note that the steel was removed from the heat source entirely and moved to a different spot where the hydrogen was released. It is not wise to have an open fire with sparks flying upwards whilst you are trying to collect hydrogen.

As for the use of electrolysis to separate the hydrogen is can be done safely using salt in the water BUT you must use anode and cathode materials that combine with the unwanted chemicals. The main danger especially at large volumes is the making of hydrogen peroxide which is extremely caustic Sodium hydroxide, oxygen an extreme oxidising agent, and of course Chlorine gas which was used in WWI as a chemical warfare agent. If you use electrodes that can react with the unwanted process by-products especially the chlorine and the hydrogen peroxide then you have a chance at generating meaningful quantities of hydrogen.

The "Bubbler" you mentioned is to remove vapours of the chlorine, the peroxides, and the hydroxides all by dissolving them back into the water. Remember the electrolysis itself can and does generate an amount of heat which can also cause water vapour to be generated in higher quantities than evaporation.

Sorry if I missed anything or my memory fails me but that is how i remember it from my high school chemistry, (I barely passed).

Check my information before acting on it!
Have fun!
 

IcedStorm777

Well-known member
#3
Going back to before my time, (that's a long way really), and during the US civil war the hydrogen produced for use in the observation balloons was produced in quantity by pouring water over red hot steel. The steel ripped the oxygen from the water and hydrogen was a result. Unfortunately a considerable amount of steam was also produced ad so the process was not totally clean as the steam in the balloons would condense and reduce lift by adding the weight of an internal coating of water.

Experienced balloonist teams could get a large amount of pure hydrogen into a balloon given sufficient time. Please note that the steel was removed from the heat source entirely and moved to a different spot where the hydrogen was released. It is not wise to have an open fire with sparks flying upwards whilst you are trying to collect hydrogen.

As for the use of electrolysis to separate the hydrogen is can be done safely using salt in the water BUT you must use anode and cathode materials that combine with the unwanted chemicals. The main danger especially at large volumes is the making of hydrogen peroxide which is extremely caustic Sodium hydroxide, oxygen an extreme oxidising agent, and of course Chlorine gas which was used in WWI as a chemical warfare agent. If you use electrodes that can react with the unwanted process by-products especially the chlorine and the hydrogen peroxide then you have a chance at generating meaningful quantities of hydrogen.

The "Bubbler" you mentioned is to remove vapours of the chlorine, the peroxides, and the hydroxides all by dissolving them back into the water. Remember the electrolysis itself can and does generate an amount of heat which can also cause water vapour to be generated in higher quantities than evaporation.

Sorry if I missed anything or my memory fails me but that is how i remember it from my high school chemistry, (I barely passed).

Check my information before acting on it!
Have fun!

Once again Mr. Hai-Lee you impress me with your huge knowledge of pretty much everything! That helped a lot but i just want to clear up a few things. Sorry if i am being redundant but i would rather know something for sure than make and release an unknown(and possibly harmful) chemical into my house/ the atmosphere.

-So basically if i use the bubbler i don't have to worry about other gasses as the cholrine, sodium hydroxide, and other unwanted gasses will just desolve into the water? If i use a bubbler i wouldn't need an anode and cathode right? If i do still need the anode and cathode what materials that aren't uncommon work as an anode and a cathode. Could you explain a little of how that works? Are the anode and cathodes things you put in the water or are the part of the "stator"?

Edit: So i was thinking of an anode and a cathode as two separate materials but i think i just figured something out (dumb of me to overthink like usual.) The anode is positively charged and the cathode is negatively charged, this creates the "bubble" affect. I was thinking that the anode had to be say steel and the cathode had to be say zink. The anode and cathode are just positively and negatively charged stators and there materials just have to be conductive, right?


-Does voltage matter for the result? What is the "formula" for how much hydrogen will be produced per x amount of time? Is it like surface area times voltage or...

-Would aluminum work as a the "stator"?

Thank you so much for your time. Without your help i would be very bored over break as i can't do this without you. Thanks!
 
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IcedStorm777

Well-known member
#5

Thanks for the post! I Have seen that video and it seemed well done which was what left me with the questions that i just asked. The biggest problem with it seemed to be the salt producing other chemicals. I am going to base my model primarily off of this video but the questions that i asked were just ones that i wanted to be sure of. Thanks!
 

IcedStorm777

Well-known member
#6
So i am planning on using aluminum pieces as the "Stators" And using salt as the electrolyte. I will have the gas exit the chamber and go into a bubbler which will sort out the hydrogen. I am also planning on putting some baking soda in with the salt in the stator chamber to keep the water clean.

Does that sound like it would work?
 
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