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Splitting water at home


JWalker
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Hey,

Sorry it's been so long but I have been working on my basement and have been really busy (as you can imagine!).

Lol, my camera actually did get destroyed in the blast. I was going to photograph the explosion (didn't think it would be quite that powerful)

but the blast came so large and I was behind a door frame but I saw it coming and panicked. I sheilded my face

with my arm (how it got burnt) that the camera was in and dropped it in the process. Fortunately my friend let me borrow his

camera.

burntbasement13sz.jpg (where the desk used to be) I wasn't thikning very well that day.. I was working on that desk to bring upstairs

and had varnished the day before so it burnt up :-(. God I really wasn't thinking.

burntbasement27pz.jpg

You can see that some of the paint was actually removed from the blast.

burntbasement31vs.jpg

As for where I live (someone asked). I live in rural Ohio and the closest neighbor is between a quarter mile

and an 1/8 mile away. (I live around farms but don't actually own one). And by the way, only the windows in my basement

were destroyed, not the ones upstairs.

 

To give me some credit... I actually knew it would produce fire and thought that the brick basement would be good

and nothing actually caught on fire except for the desk which was a good 10 feet away (I know... still stupid).

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Like the guy who replaced a blown fuse with a bullet to restore power. He had a couple minutes of power... And then was shot when the bullet heated to such a temperature that the primer inside ignited.

 

They did that on mythbusters aswell, although I can't remember the outcome. I think it ended up shooting the dummy in the leg. It was only a .22 though so it wasnt that bad. Plus its not fired from a rifle so it would only have half the power.

 

In reguards to you JWalker all I can do is sigh.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hi, I'm new here. I am planning to split water by using two graphite electrodes taken from ordinary(non-alkaline) AA batteries.....using an AC adaptor (output varies from 0v-12v), a plastic beaker and two copper wires, gathering the products into these ordinary test-tubes. Do you think it can work??

 

And for electrolysis to take place into a copper sulphate solution, what electrodes should I use??.....Graphite or copper electrodes??....What is worrying me is that if I use copper electrodes I might obtain electroplating....which is not what I want. Thanks.

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Hi, I'm new here. I am planning to split water by using two graphite electrodes taken from ordinary(non-alkaline) AA batteries.....using an AC adaptor (output varies from 0v-12v), a plastic beaker and two copper wires, gathering the products into these ordinary test-tubes. Do you think it can work??

 

In order to do electrolysis you need a DC voltage supply. Using an AC-voltage does not work or gives you a mix of hydrogen and oxygen at both electrodes (DANGER!!).

 

Besides that, you need to add some electrolyte to the water, otherwise the reaction will be extremely slow. If you want hydrogen and oxygen, then the best thing you can do is add some dilute sulphuric acid or nitric acid to the water. Probably it also works with sodium sulfate. It also works with sodium hydroxide as electrolyte, but this is very bad for the skin, much worse than dilute sulphuric acid or nitric acid. So, if you use sodium hydroxide as a electrolyte, then be even more careful than with the dilute acids.

A nice thing of using sodium hydroxide, however, is that you can use a simple copper wire electrode, also at the anode. It still gives oxygen at large quantities and hardly corrodes. This is quite remarkable and I have no real explanation for this.

 

 

And for electrolysis to take place into a copper sulphate solution, what electrodes should I use??.....Graphite or copper electrodes??....What is worrying me is that if I use copper electrodes I might obtain electroplating....which is not what I want. Thanks.

If you perform electrolysis in a copper sulfate solution, then metallic copper will be formed at the cathode, regardless of the cathode material used. At the anode you will get oxygen (and acid) with graphite anode and copper will dissolve when you use a copper anode.

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hardly any however

I do not agree. If you use NaCl, you will get quite a lot of chlorine if the conditions are chosen right. If you use a carbon anode, then the amount of chlorine you get is only a little less (on a volume by volume basis) than the amount of hydrogen you get at the cathode. You loose some chlorine, because it dissolves in water somewhat and you'll also get some oxygen.

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I do not agree. If you use NaCl, you will get quite a lot of chlorine if the conditions are chosen right. If you use a carbon anode, then the amount of chlorine you get is only a little less (on a volume by volume basis) than the amount of hydrogen you get at the cathode. You loose some chlorine, because it dissolves in water somewhat and you'll also get some oxygen.

 

 

I'll add some sulphuric acid then. Chlorine is quite dangerous......

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Any idea of how to estimate some rate of production, like how much hydrogen and oxygen is being produced per minute?? I know that this all depends on the DC voltage and on the size of the electrode, as well as on the type of water being used. Is there an easy way to do this at home, or should I use some lab reader or something of that sort??

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Any idea of how to estimate some rate of production, like how much hydrogen and oxygen is being produced per minute?? I know that this all depends on the DC voltage and on the size of the electrode, as well as on the type of water being used. Is there an easy way to do this at home, or should I use some lab reader or something of that sort??

Practically speaking, you can make in the order of magnitude of 100 ml of H2 gas within an hour or so if you use 10% H2SO4 and a voltage of 5 to 10 volts. At the same time you'll make 50 ml of oxygen. The reaction is not that fast, but fast enough to do some nice experiments.

 

I once did the experiment by taking a tub of appr. 1 liter content, I took two small 100 ml glass bottles and put them upside down, completely filled with the liquid and keeping the electrodes completely under the bottles. At the cathode I simply used copper wire. The anode must be constructed, such that absolutely no copper touches the liquid, only non-conductive stuff like wire-isolation and the carbon rod may touch the liquid.

 

Btw, what do you intend to do with the H2 and O2? You can make some detonation gas with that, but if you do so, only make ml quantities and never light more than just a few ml of mixed gas at the same time, if you want to keep your ears operational.

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there`s no "easy way" to do it without some specifics and a whole lot of maths, your best bet is water displacement over time, you`ll need a pipe from one of the sides to collect either the H2 or O2 gas, then a jar with a know quantity of water in it that`s been inverted in a trough (also with water in it) and the pipe just inside the opening.

suppose the jar hold a litre of water and the bubbles from the tube push that water out in one minute, then you may say a litre per minute is being produced :)

 

almost TOO simple isn`t it :)

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Btw, what do you intend to do with the H2 and O2? You can make some detonation gas with that, but if you do so, only make ml quantities and never light more than just a few ml of mixed gas at the same time, if you want to keep your ears operational.

 

 

Actually, I have no specific plans of what to do with the gases. It's a technological project I'm working on. My aim is to explain the extraction of certain elements for industrial purposes (such as hydrogen) via the process of electrolysis(the ionic theory etc..)

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Btw, I like the idea of detonation gas.......it sounds interesting. How do I do it????

 

Woelen, you and your big mouth! LOL :)

 

basicly Don`t make it or do it, it`s foolish beyond words without propper supervision and equipment (and life insurance).

if you`ve actualy read ALL off this thread, you`ll understand why, and he`de only got it HALF right, please don`t join the "Idiot Brigade"!

 

so anyway, you didn`t use acid(s), what DID you use instead?

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Woelen' date=' you and your big mouth! LOL :)

 

basicly Don`t make it or do it, it`s foolish beyond words without propper supervision and equipment (and life insurance).

[/quote']

Well well.... it is not THAT dangerous. In the first part of the thread we are talking about gallons or even hundreds of liters of gas, what I suggested is working with ml's of the gas. Luckily, the gas in the Walker-disaster was not real detonating gas, it probably was just diluted H2, otherwise there would only be a large crater at the place where once stood his house.

 

In fact, I have done a lot of fun experiments with real detonating gas, but I never detonated more than a few ml at once and I never stored the gas, not even for a few minutes, I made it in situ, immediately before use.

 

@YT: I can post safe instructions for making and using detonating gas, but I'll only do so if you as moderator of this site allow it.

 

 

@electrolyzer: What did you collect at the anode? Did you collect any gas at the anode? Could you please explain precisely what you did to make the 100 ml of hydrogen gas? I'm really interested.

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Woelen, Chill, I was joking with you (hence the "LOL")

as for it being dangerous, it will certainly shatter even an open top 100ml pyrex boiling test tube when lit (yeah some dummy tried it when I was at school, we still had to call him the Teacher though as he stood there picking glass out of his hand pretending it was nothing).

if you can post it with utmost safety in mind, I`de rather that than him reading about it in anarchists crapbook! being as you`ve already let the cat out of the bag LOL :P

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Woelen' date=' Chill, I was joking with you (hence the "LOL")

[/quote']

Sometimes the fact that English is not my native tongue bites me, especially with this kind of things....

 

OK, here we go.

 

Prepare some hydrogen gas and store in a bottle. Assure that it is pure and not contaminated with air!!! This is really important if you don't want early detonations.

 

Prepare some oxygen gas. Try to make this as pure as possible for the best effect. A small quantity of air, however, does no harm, it just makes the detonation a little less impressive.

 

Both gases must be stored in small glass bottles, up-side-down in a tub of water. Now you have two little bottles.

 

Now, if you want to play with the detonating gas, do the following:

 

Bubble a few ml of hydrogen gas in a third bottle, also kept upside down under water and full of water. Bubble exactly half the amount of oxygen in the same small bottle. Now the bottle has a 2:1 mixture (by volume) of hydrogen gas and oxygen gas. Never make more than a few ml of this mixture and do not store it.

 

Now cap the little bottle with the gas mixture and transport it to another tub, in which water is placed with dish-washing soap. Bubble the gas mixture completely out of the third little bottle and quickly light the bubbles at the surface of the water. Be sure that ALL detonating gas mixture is out of the bottle. You must not think of what happens when some of the gas remains in the small bottle and it detonates at that place.

 

If you use a total volume of less than 10 ml, then you'll be fairly safe, but even this small amount of gas mix already gives a really impressive BOOM, which may disturb neighbours if the houses are not too well sound-isolated.

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Interesting! we used to use a Y splitter tube off the electrolysis columns to a pipe under a tall cylinder of water (also with the washing liquid) and use an air-stone from a fish tank to make the bubbles :)

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