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What Is a Hydrogen Generator?

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  • Written By: Herb Marlow
  • Edited By: Jay Garcia
  • Last Modified Date: 08 September 2016
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    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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Basically, a hydrogen generator is a device that separates hydrogen from oxygen in water, H2O, so the hydrogen gas can be used in various applications. For commercial use, hydrogen is most commonly released by a petroleum cracking process from natural gas, as generating large amounts of hydrogen from water is more expensive than generating it from carbon. However, for domestic use, the small generator is the easiest and most effective means of separation.

Building an inexpensive hydrogen generator for ones own use is not difficult, and there are several companies now online that offer these generators as complete, ready to install units, or in kit form. Other companies have developed plans and specifications with simple instructions on how to create a workable generator using very common, easily obtainable materials. The separation process is accomplished by charging distilled water by means of an electrode, and then harvesting the hydrogen as it rises above the oxygen in the hydrogen generator.

Hydrogen is the lightest element known, atomic weight 1.00794; much lighter than oxygen, atomic weight 15.9994, and it is the most abundant element on earth. It is also highly combustible and great care must be taken when generating and using hydrogen.

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Hydrogen, when mixed with fuel vapor, creates a combustible material that can efficiently power gasoline and diesel engines. The hydrogen, when separated by the hydrogen generator, mixes with or replaces the oxygen needed for combustion in combustible engines. Once the hydrogen has replaced the oxygen in high enough quantities, fuel mileage will usually increase, and the engine will run cleaner and more smoothly.

The basic requirements for a hydrogen generator are: a bottle of distilled water, a long vacuum hose, a quart size canning jar with a solid lid, an electrode made of a Plexiglas tower with stainless steel wire wound around it, and two long electrical wires. The two electrode terminals, positive and negative, are simple bolts with the stainless steel wire wound around them at the top end of the electrode and fixed through holes in the jar lid. Once a positive direct current (DC) is tapped from the auto electrical system, a wire connects to the positive post of the electrode. The other electrode is the ground and should be attached to the frame of the automobile.

When DC electricity from the auto electrical system is introduced to the electrode inside the jar three fourths full of water, the newly created generator begins the separation of hydrogen from oxygen. The hydrogen, being a much lighter gas than oxygen, rises to the top of the jar where it is siphoned off through a vacuum hose connected to the fuel intake of the automobile engine. Hydrogen then replaces oxygen in the intake and mixes with fuel to become the combustible agent.

Due to the more complex computerized oxygen/fuel mixing computer on most late model cars, this means of replacing oxygen with hydrogen from the hydrogen generator is most effective on vehicles manufactured before 1995.

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