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  1. #1
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Electrolysis and electrolytes

    I want to experiment with electrolysis. I have two questions:
    #1. Why does water require the amount of current that it does to undergo electrolysis? What characteristics does water have which makes it require "x" amount of current to produce "x" number of moles of hydrogen gas.

    #2. What is a commonly available electrolyte that would best add to the conductivity of the water? I was thinking just simple simple salt, NaCl. It's cheap, and you can find it anywhere.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    1. activation energy. Calculate concentration of your solute, then determine energy from voltage-difference and coulombs/sec. you need.

    2. Copper sulphate would work better, much cleaner.

  3. #3
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Thanks Danno.

    I just went for a trip to the home depot to buy materials, and I had a thought; could the NaCl form chlorine gas?
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  4. #4
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Oh, does it matter if the electricity supplied is AC or DC?
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  5. #5
    Banned. Ryanf's Avatar
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    use DC.

  6. #6
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Yea, I've got a few DC power supplies kicking around. Just a rough guess, would 12 or 24 volts be enough?
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  7. #7
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Yup. Here's some basic info.

    http://www.nmsea.org/Curriculum/7_12...ectrolysis.htm

    There's thousands of pages with tidbits and simple setups for doing electrolysis out there if you take a quick look around. There wikipedia article is fairly useful, too, but heavy reading.

    You want DC because you need a constant negative charge on one electrode and constant positive charge on the other. With AC it will be constantly flip flopping and you will either get nothing, or a stoichiometric and potentially explosive mixture of hydrogren and oxygen in the reservoirs.
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  8. #8
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    I gave it 24v and 2A, and I all got was a little bubbling
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  9. #9
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Ooookay . So, this time I gave it 28v @ 15A. Now I'm seeing what I want!
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  10. #10
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Didya work out the chemical reactions beforehand to see what you're getting?

  11. #11
    Senior Member Snicklefritz's Avatar
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    ummm, what exactly are you doing this for.

    A much more exciting thing would be to take some powdered Fe and powdered Mg then mix it with some Sr(NO3)2 and expose it to an open flame.

  12. #12
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    No I didn't do the chemical reactions. RIght now I'm just playing around to see what I can do. I'll do the math sometime this week, when I'm already in the school frame of mind.

    Snicklefritz, I'm doing this to gather knowledge. Specifically, in my quest for better fuel economy. Some creative minds on the internet are getting an electrolysis setup where they use current from the alternator to generate hydrogen gas from electrolysis. This gas mixes with the air intake and seems to give decent results. A guy on youtube got 60mpg with a '94 Focus, and something like 80mpg with a tiny Saturn.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Where are they getting the free energy from? It takes more power (more drag from alternator) to run electrolysis than what you get out of it when you re-burn the hydrogen. So drag on alternator is greater than the extra power you get from the engine.

    Now you can do it with a lower-energy state at the end, such as starting with a fully-charged battery that's completely run-down by the end of the MPG test-run, but you end up having to extract energy from somewhere to restore the battery back up to its original state.

  14. #14
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Well, somehow these people are getting fantastic fuel economy. They don't have to charge the battery or anything, it's all alternator driven.
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  15. #15
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    I should mention,
    I don't think the purpose of these hydrogen booster setups is to replace the gasoline with hydrogen. But instead, to supplement or enrich the gasoline. I think it allows for a more complete combustion, and fewer unburnt fuel molecules coming out. It's then worth the more complete combustion for extra alternator drag.
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  16. #16
    Killing Rabbits
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    It's BS what you are trying to do, 28V is not the voltage you want, and I am almost certain you are not using a suitable electrode.

  17. #17
    Senior Member StrangeWill's Avatar
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    The best you can do is use this to produce more hydrogen at a processing plant, having electrolysis working in a car is nothing but a perpetual motion machine (and hence, impossible to make, also known as: people lie).

    Maybe turn any positive net energy in a battery to more power for the car, but not x2 mpg. More like %0.1 if even that.

  18. #18
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    We shall see
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  19. #19
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    And again, the purpose is not to replace the gasoline with generated hydrogen. I understand electrolysis is a losing battle in terms of efficiency. What I'm seeking to do is reduce the amount of waste that we have in the existing standard setup, and there is much room for improvement.
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  20. #20
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    I should mention,
    I don't think the purpose of these hydrogen booster setups is to replace the gasoline with hydrogen. But instead, to supplement or enrich the gasoline. I think it allows for a more complete combustion, and fewer unburnt fuel molecules coming out. It's then worth the more complete combustion for extra alternator drag.
    That's correct. At best you can get a little bit extra energy from cleaner combustion and a little better efficiency from higher combustion temperature (greater temperature differences increase the theoretical maximum efficiency). I should mention that higher combustion temperatures result in higher NoX production. I don't know how much of that makes it past the catalytic converter, but I suspect such mods won't pass emissions tests if you're required to take them.

    A Canadian company makes commercial truck mods that do this, but even on big, relatively dirty diesel engines they're only getting something 5% improvement.

    I'd take the claims from Youtube with a grain of salt. It's likely their measurement methodology is flawed, and possible their claims are downright fabricated.
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  21. #21
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    I actually purchased something similar to what the guy has here:
    http://www.livevideo.com/video/1008E...-escort-w.aspx

    It ships this week from FLorida. Details on that when it gets here. This company offers a money back guarantee, and the % gain is quite a bit more than 5%. It does employ a few other goodies as well though, such as fuel heater. I've put a lot of research into this, and am quite confident in it's effectiveness.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member StrangeWill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    I should mention,
    I don't think the purpose of these hydrogen booster setups is to replace the gasoline with hydrogen. But instead, to supplement or enrich the gasoline. I think it allows for a more complete combustion, and fewer unburnt fuel molecules coming out. It's then worth the more complete combustion for extra alternator drag.
    People claim the same with 100% PURE Acetone (some people claim regular water will do it), someone on a car forum I visit was suppose to give us official results, I've been impatient and want to put it to rest right away, but need to seafoam my car, and give it a full oil change so that it can't just be a high end engine cleaner.

    Much cheaper than trying to build and maintain an electrolysis machine under the hood of your car too.

    Also, I know with turbo systems, they use extra fuel as a coolant, burning more fuel than your car is designed for could potentially cause your engine to run hotter. That was something else I wanted to test out if the Acetone returned as truth.

    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    I actually purchased something similar to what the guy has here:
    http://www.livevideo.com/video/1008E...-escort-w.aspx

    It ships this week from FLorida. Details on that when it gets here. This company offers a money back guarantee, and the % gain is quite a bit more than 5%. It does employ a few other goodies as well though, such as fuel heater. I've put a lot of research into this, and am quite confident in it's effectiveness.
    He needs to buy a computer-synced MPG tracker. At least the Acetone guy was willing to do that to "prove" his thing.

    Getting a %100+ is REALLY fishy, I'd like to see duplicated results.


    I've heard so many takes on this magical fuel additive that I've come to the point of being skeptical about them all, especially when hydrogen is involved, being as people have claimed the magical perpetual motion car worked great... you know, except showing it to a trained scientist.


    BTW:
    http://peswiki.com/index.php/Directo..._Fuel_Additive
    Similar, greater, no and loss results from Acetone, logged by car and owner. I want to get official results so we can point out how entire communities of people can be full of crap either way.
    Last edited by StrangeWill; 09-16-07 at 01:41 AM.

  23. #23
    riding once again jschen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    And again, the purpose is not to replace the gasoline with generated hydrogen. I understand electrolysis is a losing battle in terms of efficiency. What I'm seeking to do is reduce the amount of waste that we have in the existing standard setup, and there is much room for improvement.
    How can something that clearly is a losing battle help you reduce waste? If it actually improves engine efficiency, doesn't that just mean that the engine wasn't properly tuned for the original conditions and was better tuned for the final conditions? If your engine is properly tuned for the original conditions, I don't see how you're going to take power from the engine (to power the alternator) and possibly get more power back without consuming more fuel. Feel free to prove me wrong, though...
    If you notice this notice then you will notice that this notice is not worth noticing.

  24. #24
    Senior Member StrangeWill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jschen View Post
    How can something that clearly is a losing battle help you reduce waste? If it actually improves engine efficiency, doesn't that just mean that the engine wasn't properly tuned for the original conditions and was better tuned for the final conditions? If your engine is properly tuned for the original conditions, I don't see how you're going to take power from the engine (to power the alternator) and possibly get more power back without consuming more fuel. Feel free to prove me wrong, though...
    As I understand it, it improves fuel vaporization and therefore allows all the fuel to be burned, as opposed to part of it being left unburned and dumped. Which you figure will make your car run a little rich until the computer picked it up when you put in this additive, whether it's acetone, water, or hydrogen...


    It's not about burning the additive, like with acetone, they claim a 0.02% concentration is enough to get optimal gas mileage through this...


    Again, people claim it works, others claim it doesn't, no one submits this stuff to a scientific community for confirming it, so I'm feeling it's some kind of myth. Otherwise someone would open their "uber gas" station that sells really effective gas pre-mixed, or someone would be selling these machines by the million.

  25. #25
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrangeWill View Post
    Also, I know with turbo systems, they use extra fuel as a coolant, burning more fuel than your car is designed for could potentially cause your engine to run hotter. That was something else I wanted to test out if the Acetone returned as truth.
    Actually, hottest combustion occurs at the 14.7:1 stoichiometric ratio where there's sufficient oxygen to burn all the hydrocarbons (around 1600-1700F). Injecting more or less fuel than this ratio will result in cooler combustion. However, this is still typically too hot and lean to be safe with NA or turbo-engines. About 1400F is the highest you want to run.

    There's another richer ratio of 12.5:1 under full-throttle where you get highest BMEP (cylinder-pressure) for highest power-output. This is a safer mixture as it's further away from the edge of detonation/knock and it runs cooler to prevent blown headgaskets and burnt valves.

    Now, one of the holy-grails with engines is to make them run as hot as is safe for the materials. That's because the hotter the gases, the more energy is extracted in pushing down the piston. Ceramic coatings on top of the piston and on the head/valves can keep the metal & coolant from sucking away valuable heat energy. Ceramic coating the headers and exhaust helps to keep the exhaust hot and fast-flowing to prevent backpressure. New engine developments shows ceramic engines without any coolant at all to have significant increases in efficiency and mileage.

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