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How to Build a Hydrogen Generator

Aarti R Feb 6, 2019
A hydrogen generator generates hydrogen from water. It may sound far-fetched, but you can make one at home. This post will tell you how you can build one.
Hydrogen is a light element with an atomic weight of 1.00794, due to which it is not found in its elemental form. It is one of the most abundantly found elements on Earth. It is a by-product of the cracking process carried out on natural gas.
Generating hydrogen from water is preferred because generating it from carbon is an expensive process. It combines with oxygen to form water (H2O) and forms methane (CH4) with carbon.
There are several companies which sell hydrogen generators, but making one at home is fairly easy task. At the same time, it must be kept in mind that hydrogen is a highly combustible gas, and great care must be taken while handling hydrogen gas.
It is preferred over other fuels, as it is a clean fuel found in abundance in the Earth's crust in the form of water. On the other hand, reserves of fossil fuels are very meager and cause a lot of air pollution when burned. Hydrogen also reduces dependence on petroleum and can be used for domestic purposes.
A hydrogen generator can be attached to your existing car engine to improve its mileage, especially these days when the fuel prices are soaring. It can also simply be built for doing simple science experiments. Let us take a look at how you can make one yourself.

Making a Hydrogen Generator

The things that you will require to build a hydrogen generator at home are as follows:
  • 2-liter plastic bottle, 1
  • Small bottles (20 oz. Each), 2
  • A pair of scissors
  • A sharp utility knife
  • A piece of telephone wire (12 inches)
  • Pencils
  • Glue and glue gun
  • Electrodes
  • Tubes (24 inches)
  • Valves
  • Drilling machine


  • Cut the top of the bigger 2-liter bottle and place the smaller bottles in it.
  • Cut the wooden casing of the pencil and use only the carbon graphite. Cut this carbon graphite lead into two equal pieces with a utility knife.
  • Strip off the insulation of the telephone wire 1/4th inch on one side and two inches on the opposite side.
  • Wrap the 2-inch stripped bare copper wire to the carbon graphite piece and keep it away after applying some glue.
  • Drill a hole in the center of the two bottle caps and place the 24-inch tube in that hole using glue. Replace the caps of the smaller bottles.
  • Place the electrodes in the two small bottles from the bottom and fit the valves at the cap side. The valves are used to hold the tube inserted in the cap.
  • Place the two small bottles inside the bigger bottle using glue.
  • Connect the 12 volt battery to the tube coming out from the caps of the two small bottles. One tube acts as anode and the other as cathode.
The basic concept behind the working is that the electricity from the battery breaks down the water molecules. This process generates a gas called brown gas (or oxyhydrogen) that can be used as a fuel. It generates sufficient energy to be mixed in gasoline thereby, increasing the fuel's efficiency.
Gas and oil are expensive, and many experts estimate that these prices will continue to soar even in the future. NASA uses liquid hydrogen and oxygen combustion for launching space shuttles.
Even hydrogen-powered fuel cell cars are now available in the market, but they are quite expensive as the hydrogen economy is building steadily. A day is sure to come when hydrogen fuel will become very common and inexpensive.