announcement

Share facts or photos of intriguing scientific phenomena.

Hydrogen Generator

Hydrogen Generator

Although generating hydrogen from carbon is much easier than from water, it is also quite dangerous. As far as commercial generation is concerned, we cannot yet find a large-scale use for the gas, mostly because of the problems involved.
Anju Shandilya
Last Updated: Mar 8, 2019
Hydrogen is the most abundant and lightest element in the world. It is a colorless, odorless gas that is completely non-toxic. About 10 million metric tons of this gas is produced in the United States. It has been estimated that in the future, we are going to need about 10 times the current amount used to sustain our industries.
Description
Simply stating, a hydrogen generator is a device that is used to produce hydrogen. It is relatively easy to make. You can possibly make one at home if you require small amounts, or purchase a medium to large-scale generator, for any other purposes.
Electrolysis of Water
The uses of hydrogen generator are too many to count. However, currently the most important use is to power a vehicle. Manufacturers around the world are working on prototypes of vehicles that can run only on this gas.
Hydrogen Generator
It has been predicted that these vehicles will not only be eco-friendly, but also be very efficient. However, these cars are years away from full-fledged production and usage.
While you can fit in a hydrogen generator to your vehicle with relative ease, there are many factors that you will have to consider, especially safety. You will have to store the tanks in the car, along with the generator itself, as the generator cannot produce the gas at the speed with which it is consumed by the vehicle.
Using such generators in new cars is not recommended, as it may void your warranty. However, kits are available in the market that can be installed in your vehicles. These kits do not replace the need for hydrogen; rather they serve as a catalyst to gasoline or diesel fuel.
Depending on the kind of kit you install in your vehicle, you will be able to obtain the relative efficiency (mileage) from your fuel. Do weigh out all the safety risks and also whether using the kit is legal in the state that you are driving your car in.
Here are some of the reasons as to why these generators are used wherever we get an opportunity:
  • Hydrogen burns very easily with oxygen, producing a large amount of energy. And the only residue produced is water. As no carbon is released, its combustion produces no threat to global warming.
  • It is completely non-toxic, while petroleum fuels are poisonous to humans and animals.
  • When the hydrogen gas is ignited, the flames move upward. Also, the gas is quickly consumed and in case of a leak, there will be no pollution of water or land, because the gas dissipates very fast. In contrast to this, vapors produced by gasoline products remain a threat for a long time after the flame is extinguished.
  • Hydrogen gas has a flash point of about -253 °C, while the flash point of petrol is -45 °C. This makes it less susceptible to accidental fires.
Types
  • Electrolysis of Water: These type of generators use high pressure bi-polar or conventional cells to dissociate water. The power that is consumed is as low as 5 KW per cubic meter of the gas produced. The resultant gas is 99.8% pure and can be stored in tanks for later usage.
  • Dissociation of Ammonia: Commercial grade ammonia stored in tanks or cylinders is dissociated (using a catalyst) into nitrogen and hydrogen. The resultant gas contains 75% hydrogen and 25% nitrogen.
The hydrogen produced can be further purified through molecular sieves, to remove traces of ammonia and moisture. These type of generators are very cheap but the rate of production of the gas is very low.
Soon, power generated by this process will replace all the carbon-emitting, pollution-creating, ozone-destroying, and natural resources depleting fossil fuels. Till then, let us do our best to curb pollution and create a better world for our children.