How to Build a Electrolyzer
“My Hydrogen Experiments Part “
Next I began looking for a way to put my hydrogen to use, blowing up balloons while fun and all can only go so far, and the field of hydrogen fuel has much more to offer. I came across a product called hydrogen-boost which uses the principle of creating hydrogen from a car’s battery, and ejecting the hydrogen into the engine (through a vacuum line). So I set out to build it, and this is what I came up with. It basically works the same as my earlier electrolyzer described in only it’s a more compact version with a larger capacity to produce hydrogen, and uses a car battery rather, than a battery charger for its electrical input, and it’s small enough to fit under the hood of my Volvo.
The outer casing is four inch ABS pipe, I used ABS because the black looks like it belongs under the hood of my car, but anything would work, PVC is fine. Inside is a 3 by 4 foot sheet of stainless steal mesh, (I cut down the middle into two 3 by 2’s, then folded in half giving me 2, 1 by 3’s) the mesh was hard to find I used grade 316, (more acid resistant) with a 1/16″ weave, Argus Steal is the only company I could find that will cut you off a piece from their role, they don’t have a minim fee like all the other suppliers who want to sell you the whole role. Then I wrapped the two sheets of mesh around the pipe. One inside the 2″ pipe (hydrogen side) and the other around the 2″ pipe inside the 4″ pipe. The mesh is connected to stainless steal wire which then goes to my electrodes (remember hydrogen is negative and oxygen is positive). Basically what I’m doing here here is to combine both the hydrogen and oxygen pipe’s that my other unit had into one pipe, by making a four inch pipe and a two inch pipe inside one another, rather then like before with two three inch pipe’s. It allows me to squeeze it all into one pipe, creating a more compact version, the third (center) pipe, was a refill pipe so I just taped into the cap with a brass cap to eliminate this need.
The bottom view to left is what it looks like inside the ABS you are seeing is the 2″ and the two little CPVC pipe’s you are seeing are just to keep the mesh from sinking down. So as too insure no mixing of hydrogen and oxygen bubbles. If your wondering why this mesh looks a lot like window screening its because it is. I wrapped the mesh on either side with regular plastic screening. This was an idea that I read about, it didn’t end up boosting output like the guy said it would.
Here is a top view, the lower brass cap you see is where I fill it up with sodium hydroxide mixture . The two round looking things (stainless steal bolts) to the center left are the DC power input, in from the car battery. The center one is the negative (hydrogen) electrode and the one to the left is the positive (oxygen) electrode. The two black tubes you see connecting together to a large brass air pressure connector (right) are where the gases come out. Note: mixing the hydrogen and oxygen output isn’t considered safe. For this particular unit given the low output and the fact that it goes directly into a vacuum leading to the combustion chamber of the engine I think I’m ok (no storage, build up is taking place), but in the future if you don’t know already know a “premixed” solution of 2 parts hydrogen 1 part oxygen like what is produced during electrolysis is very explosive
Here is the final product in my car. It is mounted under the hood. And there is a switch in the dashboard where I can turn it on and off, I also hooked up a amp gauge so I can monitor the usage level. It ends up drawing 2 – 3 amps at 12 volts. And produces around 1 gallon of hydrogen oxygen mixture an hour. A very small amount compared to the commercial unit, but it was fun to build and I plan on expanding.
To recap, the idea was to utilize extra energy produced by the alternator during regular driving. Turning it into hydrogen for a hybrid affect. Ultimately improving gas mileage, and even though it didn’t end up producing a real usable amount, it’s sill fun to make hydrogen balloons with this new mobile compact version of a basic electrolyzer.