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Thread: Electrolysis, Hydrogen and Oxygen.

  1. #1 Electrolysis, Hydrogen and Oxygen. 
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    Jul 2012
    Just to let you know (potential experimenter), that having conducted some experiments over the past year, we have a lot of results we are willing to share with your research.

    Our original idea was to have enough hydrogen to be burnt as it was produced so that the "heater" could be used to heat the greenhouse.

    July 2011-
    We started researching Electrolysis on the internet and local library and came up with some results, we bought a 9 volt battery for 1 and some copper wire which we had beforehand. The set up was having one piece of copper wire on the positive and another piece on the negative and dipping them both in a cup of water, there was some hydrogen but nowhere near enough for our original idea.
    The next step was to change the anode to gold leaf and the cathode to graphite because of the copper wire deteriorating, this set up gave us a lot more hydrogen and oxygen than before.

    August-December 2011-
    The next step was introducing salt into the water (we didn't know what we know now then, regarding chlorine) and using mains- DC 9 volt transformers. We used stainless steel as the cathode and the graphite rod as the anode. This result gave us modest amounts of gas. On one of the experiments, the graphite rod started to get VERY hot.

    April-May 2012-
    We started to think about using a 12 volt car battery instead of the transformer, so we bought one of them for 30 and started using the same set up as before but without salt. We had expected this to work better than before, but for some reason which we still don't QUITE understand, the results were very poor. After this we abandoned the project until about a week ago so we could research. I asked my high school chemistry teacher and he said...

    "I think your problem isn't the voltage of the battery, but the amount of amps being used, I would expect something with higher amps like a car battery to work better than a small 9 volt battery, maybe its to do with the wires you are using, the wires can only carry as much electricity as they are designed to. If I think of anything else though, I will let you know."

    July 2012-
    We came back to the project and tried a different approach, the used the 12 volt car battery, a lead plate as the cathode, a stainless steel plate as the anode and 1 kilo of salt and 1 kilo of sugar dissolved into the water. Sucrose is a poor conductor of electricity so we used salt to stimulate the conductivity. This gave us our best results yet and we started to use a candle floating in the water to see if the flame got brighter, which it did and it was at this point that we realized the potential danger of chlorine gas being produced as well as copious amounts of hydrogen & oxygen.. After all of our experiments we have concluded that not sufficient hydrogen could be made to heat a greenhouse and the health risk of chlorine was too great to continue with the experiments. we advise that if you get to this stage you find a way of controlling chlorine production or abandon the project like we have. Enough said.

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  3. #2  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
    It would be much more efficient (but perhaps not as much fun!) to just use the electricity to heat the greenhouse.

    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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  4. #3  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    It would be much more efficient (but perhaps not as much fun!) to just use the electricity to heat the greenhouse.
    I most definitely agree, plus electricity doesn't have any potential to explode or poison people, as hydrogen and chlorine gas do.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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