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Old 08-02-2011, 19:22   #1
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Hydrogen Generator

I have been considering constructing a hyrogen generator as a replacement for propane systems on my boat. Refer, stove/oven, hot water as well as augmenting the fuel in my Yanmar. I have some friends that have produced prototypes for their vehicles.

My concern is the burn heat of hydrogen as opposed to propane. I understand it is hotter. Will this melt the manifolds in typical burners?

I am familiar with the downside. Checkvalves and an outside generator with redundant safeguards are the beginnnings of my plan.

Anybody familiar with this? Or any scientists aboard?
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Old 08-02-2011, 19:28   #2
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Generating hydrogen requires harnessing a non-trivial amount of energy. If you used diesel to run an engine to run an alternator to run a fuel cell to create hydrogen, you probably would not be making it more efficient, heck it doesn't even sound efficient.

If you can make hydrogen with a solar cell (a technique recently figured out) then you may be onto something, stored sunlight!
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Old 08-02-2011, 19:29   #3
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first try filling a ballon with ether or quick start and use a lighter to ignite it, dont do this inside your boat.

if you continue with the hydrogen idea,sugest reading" THE DARWIN AWARDS" first
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Old 08-02-2011, 19:29   #4
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are you talking about a hydrogen fuel cell? That's different than a hydrogen generator.
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Old 08-02-2011, 19:44   #5
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Reply to Bash

I'm talking about a generator. My friend locally uses the plate method with 12v input to produce gas that he is able to capture and store at pressure.

Assuming solar panels and wind generation are above my requirements, couldnt I utilize the excess to generate hydrogen gas for referigeration and or cooking? Possibly for fuel extension?
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Old 08-02-2011, 19:52   #6
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this could be your boat
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Old 08-02-2011, 19:58   #7
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Beautiful Video Atoll!

Perchance, were the same fears voiced in the early sixties about propane on a boat?

I am really interested in the differences between propane and hydrogen. Is hydrogen significantly more volatile than propane?
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Old 08-02-2011, 20:03   #8
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Atoll,

You can get the same results with propane, gasoline or any number of fuels. Properly handled, hydrogen is no more dangerous than either, in fact, since it is lighter than air it will not acumulate in the bilge but disipate so probably less dangerous than propane.
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Old 08-02-2011, 20:18   #9
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as a one time registered gas engineer yes it does rise,but it is extremly imflammable,and explosive in confined spaces,many more times so than butane and propane.

i sugest filling 3 ballons one with propane,one with butane and one with hydrogen.

ignite them then we can continue this discussion
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Old 08-02-2011, 20:19   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWatchman View Post
I'm talking about a generator. My friend locally uses the plate method with 12v input to produce gas that he is able to capture and store at pressure.
Okay. The flame temperature for hydrogen using air as an oxidizer would be 2210 degrees Celsius or 4010 degrees Fahrenheit. For propane using air as an oxidizer, the flame temperature would be 1980 C or 3596 F.
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Old 08-02-2011, 20:28   #11
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Quote:
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as a one time registered gas engineer yes it does rise,but it is extremly imflammable,and explosive in confined spaces,many more times so than butane and propane.

i sugest filling 3 ballons one with propane,one with butane and one with hydrogen.

ignite them then we can continue this discussion
Gasoline vapors and propane are just as "inflammable" as hydrogen and will ignite just as readily. The point is, if you do something stupid and blow yourself up it doesn't matter if you are blown into a thousand pieces or a million pieces, the end result is the same.
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Old 08-02-2011, 20:36   #12
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What happend with the Hindenberg is sort of like what happened when the wrong guys got on some planes on Sept 11. It changed everybodys thinking. Hard to know when all the safety measures have gone beyond justifiable.

Since propane burns with less heat than hydrogen, and if it was lighter than air, do you think for 2 seconds that it would be considered for an airship after the Hindenberg disaster?

But it is "safe enough" to use for cooking and other uses all over the world. That's despite all the explosions that occur. Now the "accidents" happen because somebody didn't follow the rules. At te time of the Hindenberg, there simply weren't proper rules in place. So one big rule kicked in.

The lighter than air quality of hydrogen makes it more attractive than propane in my book.

When you talk about balloons, you're talking about uncontrolled ignition as opposed to controlled ignition of a gas thru a jet.
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Old 08-02-2011, 20:38   #13
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Ali, electrolysis is a very simple process, unfortunately, I do not know if there are any books that will tell you how to convert this process into a cooker--hydrogen gas, one of the compositions created through the process, is incredibly volitile. A homemade hydrogen cooker may leave, if made amateurly, only water behind =)
You are not merely producing a gas that creates "fire", you are producing something that is INCREDIBLY explosive, as such, it needs to be precisely regulated. Hydrogen does not exactly burn, it combusts. I'm not extremely positive about this, but I believe it can be classified as a high-explosive (remember why the Hindenburg went down? Thats right... hydrogen..) meaning that other molecules of H2 will ignite quickly enough to create some sort of sisemic effect. Although I may be wrong on the exact definition, the truth still stands that a homemade hydrogen cooker WILL BE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS!
WW2 jetfuels were mainly composed of hydrogen, and, as to my knowledge, current jet fuels are as well. The thing just does not burn, it must be regulated.
I highly do not encourage creating a machine that uses hydrogen to cook food. There are many other alternative sources (after all, electrolysis, the process in breaking down H2O to form H2 and O2 gasses, DOES take electricy, theres no such thing as a free lunch =)
My best suggestion is that if you wish to create something (and by posting this you inherit all dangers if you wish to create something off of this! Not me!) that stores salt water (salt will act as a catalyst in one sense, helping speed the reaction) and has two electric exposed points, one positive, one negative. Have something that will put in a large amount of energy (I'd reccomend getting under 5 amps). The gasses coming from this should be stored in some sort of container. A SCUBA type or propane container might work, although I doubt hydrogen really should be stored in them.. After this, get something like a bunsen burner and hook this up to your tank of hydrogen, voila, instant burner (well... kind of). Now I will say this, if you are ever crazy enough to actually make something like this (and NOT end up in the Darwin awards =) I will CAUTION YOU STRONGLY as to how you ingite this gas! This is not as cautiously burning as any other gas you've probably handled (propane, butane etc). This stuff IS DANGEROUS! I know

sorry cut and pasted this but my argument stands
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Old 08-02-2011, 20:42   #14
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Jet fuel is high grade kerosene. K4 I believe in F4s I used to work on.

Not sure what the value is to produce Hydrogen compared to the effort involved.

I know some guys who have built a hydrogen generator in the tool box on their pickup trucks. They don't store it at all. Just plumb it straight into the intake of the engine. The computer compensated, everything runs fine. Fuel consumption improvements are modest at best.

Their alternators last about six months from the effort to produce the gas. They keep experimenting with better alternators. You would believe the whine they make. A lot of effort for little improvement in mileage.
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Old 08-02-2011, 21:59   #15
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TheWatchman:

When you pull into the anchorage, drop your hook and fire up your hydrogen fired stove, how about flying a special burgee flag- one with a bomb symbol, so we can all know to move.

Seriously, hydrogen is 1000 times more likely to leak than propane. And if a leak catches fire (and it is very likely to do so, sometimes just from the static electricity generated) it burns with an almost invisible flame.

Good for rocket fuel however.

David
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