How to Convert Water Into Fuel by Building a DIY Oxyhydrogen Generator

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About: Random Weekend Projects

Here's how to build a sexy looking generator that uses electricity to convert water into an extremely powerful fuel!  In this project, you'll learn how to build an OxyHydrogen generator from scratch.

Supplies:

Step 1: What Is an OxyHydrogen Generator?

An oxyhydrogen generator, like this one, uses electricity from your car battery to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gasses.  (Electricity + 2H20 --> 2H2 + O2)  Together, these make a fuel that is much more powerful than gasoline, and the only emission released is—water!

Of course, to be a completely clean fuel, the electricity used to generate the gas needs to be from a clean source.  Solar, wind, or water power could be a few examples.  

This video shows step-by-step how to make one.  

NOTE: The amount of electrical energy required to make the gas is more than the energy you can obtain from it.  This is NOT an energy generator so much as it is an energy converter.  

Step 2: Getting Metal for the Generator Plates

For this project, you're going to need some stainless steel and some ABS pipe fittings. I visited a local fabrication company, and not only did they have plenty of scrap metal to choose from, they were even willing to help me cut it to custom sizes. A job that would have taken me hours with a pair of tin snips and a hacksaw took only a matter of minutes with their equipment.

I used 20 gauge stainless steel, and with the help of their hydraulic punch, cut precise holes in the tops and bottoms of the plates. When finished, I had 12 plates measuring 3" x 6", 4 plates at 1-1/2" x 6", and three 1" connector bands that were 6", 4-1/2", and 3 1/4". A belt sander was used for smoothing down the jagged edges around the hole.

Step 3: Increasing the Plates Surface Area

Next I used 100 grit sandpaper to sand each of the plates diagonally. You can see the "X" pattern I sanded into both sides of the plates. This increases the surface area of the plate, and will assist in producing more gas.

Step 4: Configuring the Plate Assembly

The plates are joined in a configuration so that the 2 inner plates are connected to one electrical terminal, and the 2 outer plates connected to the other terminal.  Plastic rods, plastic washers, and stainless steel nuts help to form the proper electrical connections.

The generator plates are assembled in the order of plate, plastic washers, plate, stainless steel jam nuts until 8 plates have been connected.

To see a step-by-step of the generator plate assembly, watch that specific portion of the video here.

When the plates are assembled, a 4" ABS clean out plug is attached at the top with some stainless steel bolts.

Step 5: Making the Generator Body

The body is made from two 4" ABS clean out adapters, with a 4" plug inverted and cemented into the bottom. A 4" tube of acrylic or ABS makes the body, and the generator plates and cap screw down into the top.

A water bubbler is made in a similar fashion out of 2" clear acrylic tubing, but needs a way to clip onto the side.

Step 6: Making Clips for the Bubbler

Clips can be made from scrap acrylic or ABS tubing, and glued to the side of the body.

To make these clips, I cut 3/4" off the 2" tubing I used to make the bubbler, then cut the top 1/3" off to form a claw.  These were then cemented to acrylic rods, and attached to the side of the generator body.  

Step 7: Adding a Check Valve

Some poly tube, and a one-way check valve is added to the top elbow, making sure the valve will let gas out, but nothing back in.

Step 8: Making the Electrolyte

The electrolyte is distilled water and about 2-4 teaspoons of KOH (potassium hydroxide). Salt or baking soda could also be used, but may dirty and corrode the plates over time.

I stirred the KOH flakes into the water, then used a coffee filter to strain the solution into the generator casing (after it had been cleaned thoroughly).  

Note: Potassium Hydroxide is caustic and can burn the skin.  Avoid direct contact!  

Step 9: Finishing Touches

Water is added to the bubbler, then the cap is put back on, and the poly tubes are hooked up.

I tested it out with a 12 volt car battery and some jumper cables. The gas formed is collected it in a small water bottle, and ignited with a flame.

On 12 volts, this produces about 1.5 LPM.  I also hooked it to 2 car batteries in series, and on this higher 24 voltage, the system produced over 5 LPM and filled up a gallon milk jug in 38 seconds!  

Note:  Higher voltages allow more current to flow through the system, and it heats up quickly over time.  If allowed to continue, there is a risk the plastic casing will melt from prolonged exposure to high temperatures.  

Step 10: How Powerful Is the Gas?

This system was not designed for use in a vehicle, but more as a device to demonstrate the electrolysis of water and what the gas can do.

To see some experiments where the gas was ignited, and some useful features of the generator, check out the video.

If you liked this project, perhaps you'll like some of my others.  Check them out at www.thekingofrandom.com

SciStarter Citizen Science Contest

Grand Prize in the
SciStarter Citizen Science Contest

2 People Made This Project!

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892 Discussions

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Badnas548

3 months ago

This looks very cool. The hydrogen could be viable energy source for Heating or power generation in remote locations. If it was stored properly. Like the project notes suggest use solar/wind/hydro electric system to power the converter. On cold winter day use the bottled(like love tank) gas to heat your house. And your solar/wind/hydro electric system for lite Duty jobs like lights, computer. Just a thought. Probably more trouble than it's worth.

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fxreiter

4 months ago

Great project! Word of caution though: Never! use ordinary salt (NaCl) for electrolysis. It will produce chlorine gas (very corrosive and toxic), that could cause a chlorine-hydrogen explosion if the gases were to somehow combine. UV-light is enough to light it up.
KOH is really the way to go, not too dangerous and cheap.

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MarcK51

Question 4 months ago on Step 1

Way is possible for Zack west to build a fuel working 250 cc motor cycle engine iff to create gas takes more battery power tahn the power of h2 o brings

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GrumpyOldGoat

2 years ago

The best way to stop global warming is to shut down the politicians and their friends that are making billions off a non- human caused phenomena.

There is ZERO data to show man has any influence.

There dose seem to be a lot of politically generated hot air, but nothing of value in thatisthere

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tomo2015GrumpyOldGoat

Reply 2 years ago

Are you after coming out from under a rock. Burning fossil fuels like oil are rereleasing the c02 that took the planet billions of years to trap. And were putting it all back up there very very fast. Ive a question for you when they remove all the oil from an area under the earth.what do yoi think happens in that empty void. Take your time to think about that....clearly you will need it

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RaduR6tomo2015

Reply 6 months ago

It's not like a cave full of oil. It's more like a sponge

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ElvisM7tomo2015

Reply 2 years ago

We might be able to pump those voids full of Co2 to keep them inflated .

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PaulA23GrumpyOldGoat

Reply 1 year ago

...not to mention that said politicians are making BILLIONS off the oil industry, and therefore alternate energy technologies are squashed or made EXCESSIVELY expensive (like solar panels). Technology for 40+mpg cars has been around for quite a while, but yet... (See 1985 Honda Civic CRX HF, yes, that's 1985...)

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cleanworldengryGrumpyOldGoat

Reply 2 years ago

True but what I am trying to say is carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide aren't doing us any favours with global warming are they so if we can create a fuel that does not produce either of them we could stop carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide poisoning.

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GrumpyOldGoatcleanworldengry

Reply 2 years ago

"Carbon Dioxide" a naturally occurring gas in the atmosphere that is necessary for all forms of life on the Planet.

Fauna exhales CO2 after breathing in the oxygen NEEDED to sustain their life.
Flora absorbs the CO2 for it's life sustenance and emits OXYGEN.

Shall I continue?

This "INSTRUCTABLES" and a place of learning.

But probably not a place to hold verbal battles over politically contrived 'disasters' that are not happening.

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cleanworldengryGrumpyOldGoat

Reply 2 years ago

And one other thing their is too much carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide in the air more than we or the plants and trees need I may be a kid but I know what I am talking about because I am studying this right now so either help me create a clean fuel source or stop replying to me.

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ElvisM7cleanworldengry

Reply 2 years ago

Aren't the trees and plants growing faster and greener as a result ?

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Mr. Bulbasaur'sCElvisM7

Reply 2 years ago

actually some studies say that too much makes plants grow slower
http://news.stanford.edu/pr/02/jasperplots124.html

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John CarloT3anirban.datta.1806

Reply 8 months ago

Might as well use the electricity used here in electrolysis directly for cooking instead.

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ShonaO1anirban.datta.1806

Reply 1 year ago

No, the flame is super hot, far to hot to cook with.

I use it for hard silver solder, it heats it to flowing much quicker than mapp gas etc