Systm #32: DIY Hydrogen for More MPG: Part 1
Car + Hydrogen = Better Mileage? We're not quite ready to drop the cash on one of those under hood mileage boosters being sold all over the web.. but using water electrolysis to produce Hydrogen sounded like a good first step!
Back in Episode 29 we pointed out that -a lot- of Systm viewers are majorly curious about the under-hood kits that feed Hydrogen and Oxygen into your intake... and claim they can boost your mileage 25-50%.
Typically, they cost close to a grand... so, of course, you want -us- to buy one (or build one) and install it on our car to see what happens.
First off, let's say that the theory is sound on some level: diesel engines are commonly paired with Propane injection to improve overall mileage. (Side note: Hydrogen, per volume, has a -lot- less energy than Propane or LG, or Gasoline, or Diesel.)
We decided to start this one slow... by playing around with water electrolysis and seeing how much Hydrogen we can generate with our car battery and bits and pieces culled from local hardware stores; pretty much what we're seeing in these $600-$1000 kits.
We definitely made a tiny bit of Hydrogen... but not nearly enough, we think, to much impact your mileage.
Part of that might be that our electrode design sucked: it needs a major increase in surface area... we were too concerned with not contaminating things (ala the Platinum electrodes in a Hofman voltameter) and graphite is a good third after Platinum and Gold there. We should have gone with lots of stainless steel.
We also should have captured both the Hydrogen and the Oxygen generated by the electrolysis... depending on where you're looking, it's called OxyHydrogen, or Brown's Gas, or Hydrox, or, Hydrogan and Oxygen.
Still, tho, we're not convinced you can produce enough Oxygen and Hydrogen to impact your mileage... we'll tweak our design, and finish up picking one of the under-hood kits and see if what happens to our test vehicle.
Should be fun!