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Thread: best material for breaking hydrogen oxygen bond

  1. #1 best material for breaking hydrogen oxygen bond 
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    I am working on an experiment and I know that to create hydrogen you apply electricity to an electrolyte to break the bond and get seperate elements of hydrogen and oxygen. What I am wondering is what is the very best material to achieve this goal. I have seen graphite used and on the internet have seen various metals used I do not know what the metals were.So if anyone knows a very good material or combonation of materials that they can pass along to me I would really appreciate the help.

    Thanks Alot Freeenergyguy


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  3. #2  
    Forum Sophomore Matt Lacey's Avatar
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    Modern processes for doing this sort of thing usually involve expensive catalysts containing metals like platinum, not particularly cheap. Have a look for papers on water electrolysis if you're that interested.


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  4. #3  
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    Carbon rods work fine. I've broken open some pencils and used the graphite rods for electrochemistry before - it worked great.
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    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Carbon rods work fine. I've broken open some pencils and used the graphite rods for electrochemistry before - it worked great.
    Presumable 4B or higher to get the maximum carbon and the least clay?
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  6. #5  
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    Whoa! You have a major misconception here. In the electrolysis of water you are not breaking any hydrogen-oxygen bonds, and no catalyst is need.

    Assume you have pure water with a trace of H2SO4 added for conductivity. The acid ionizes to H+ and SO4-- ions. When you turn on the juice the H+ ions migrate to the negative electrode, receive electrons, and eventually become hydrogen gas which is collected.

    The sulfate ions migrate to the positive electrode. They try to give up electrons but after some reactions the product is oxygen gas.

    The problem is that ordinary metallic electrodes would get eaten up. You need something non-reactive. Industry uses non-reactive metals such as platinum, but the home experimenter gets by with graphite rods.

    I used to do this as a kid in my bedroom. I used this same set-up for electroplating, and could also use my carbon rods in a home-made carbon arc lamp. But that's a story for another thread.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF
    Whoa! You have a major misconception here. In the electrolysis of water you are not breaking any hydrogen-oxygen bonds, and no catalyst is need.

    Assume you have pure water with a trace of H2SO4 added for conductivity. The acid ionizes to H+ and SO4-- ions. When you turn on the juice the H+ ions migrate to the negative electrode, receive electrons, and eventually become hydrogen gas which is collected.
    If you really want to get that pedantic about it, there isn't any H+. It all exists as H3O+, hydronium. So yeah, you are breaking an hydrogen-oxygen bond when you reduce the hydrogen.
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