In this video I'm looking at the results of using copper and stainless steel electrodes in a cell to breakdown ordinary tap water into hydrogen and oxygen. I know the wisdom is to use nonmagnetic stainless steel but I think that it may help people to know that you can use other materials for the negative electrode. In the test I'm only using plain tap water with no additives. I know I can add salt etc to increase gas production but that is not what I'm setting out to do here. If you don't want to listen to me rambling on cut to ~5 minutes 30 seconds to see the copper/stainless cell in operation (copper negative, stainless steel positive)
If you're not familiar with the idea, by passing a DC current through tap water you can breakdown water into its component parts namely Hydrogen and Oxygen (H₂O) with a suitably designed setup it is possible to collect the gas that comes off each electrode separately, in which case you can have a source of hydrogen and a source of oxygen. I'm only interested in collecting the two gasses as one, this is referred to as HHO (Hydrogen, Hydrogen, Oxygen) Unlike the two separated gases, Hydrogen and Oxygen, HHO cannot be stored as a mixed gas for long periods as, I understand, they will simply recombine and turn back into water. HHO has some very interesting characteristics that I'm interested in. It's an obvious fuel source but we haven't quite worked out how to obtain it economically yet, it burns in a particular way that is influenced by what it is applied to, it looks to be very useful for hot glass work. See other YouTube HHO videos for details. By the way, conventional 'current flow' is taken to be from positive to negative but the 'electron flow' is from negative to positive.
In these tests the stainless steel is 316 which is an austenitic (nonmagnetic) material. The stainless steel 100 X 100 X 1 mm the copper is 100 X 80 X 3 mm. In both cases the space between the plates is set by a 1 mm thick nylon washer and the plates are held together with nylon nuts and bolts. The liquid is plain tap water with no additives.
In the first test the electron flow is from the negative stainless steel plate to the positive copper plate. This very quickly becomes contaminated, first it develops a high resistance that reduces the current flow then it results in a very low resistance that causes an excessive current flow for no gas production. I know this is reasonably predictable but I often find that by trying things that I know are wrong helps me to understand what's happening and to recognise other fault conditions when I meet them for the first time. So, this is not a surprise to me but I wanted to record this condition so as to help anyone else who is interested in this. In the second test the electron flow is from the negative copper plate the positive stainless steel plate and in this case the cell behaves like one with two stainless steel plates. This seems to demonstrate quite convincingly that having the electron flow running from the copper to the stainless steel is quite satisfactory, i.e. use the copper plate for the negative connection and the stainless for the positive connection.
All that I'm interested in at this stage is to produce a test cell that I can use as a comparison for gas production when excited in different ways.
I want to look at using an electric field rather than conventional current to see what opportunities that brings ... if any.
Hopefully I'll be developing this topic and possibly building a small system to produce a bit of gas for a small welding torch.
Remember, I do appreciate your feedback. I know there are a lot of clever people out there and I welcome their opinion.
Thanks for watching.
Kind Regards ... Andy
Links to ...
HHO. 1 Successful test using a copper & stainless steel cell http://youtu.be/4yeIEHmOA_I
HHO. 2 Construction of a test cell. http://youtu.be/qTna1BtHlcA
HHO. 3 Some mods to the cell and higher than anticipated capacitance reading. http://youtu.be/J8bxSeXzeAc
HHO. 4 building a resettable gas flow monitor. http://youtu.be/2NsHTVKB5eQ
HHO. 5 Test set up for results for dehumidifier water. http://youtu.be/YHumeBYx5jQ
HHO. 6 Results for the test setup in HHO. 5 http://youtu.be/AUgTwsWl2_M
HHO. 7 Graphs, same data as in HHO.6 but presented differently
HHO. 8 Test cell efficiency graph 5 to 30 volts DC http://youtu.be/EqyMck4pxNo
HHO. 9 3 to 5 volts graphs plus 3 to 30 Volts http://youtu.be/RyQwz7WfbXw
HHO. 10 No data, just me waffling on about matters arising http://youtu.be/jVn2uyS2wrk
HHO. 11 Cell resistance vs temperature ~ 0.49 Ω per °C http://youtu.be/pecLgJcbQjk
HHO. 12 Cell resistance vs DC Voltage (2.5 to 30 Volts) http://youtu.be/Uty5EazmZLM
HHO. 13 Cell resistance vs DC voltage (1.5 to 6 volts) http://youtu.be/OP8SZN1O700
HHO. 14 Comparing the cell to a capacitor and a battery http://youtu.be/94RTvonQFgI