Hydrogen gas has long been used as a fuel. The space shuttle uses hydrogen fuel and there are car companies experimenting with hydrogen powered engines.
In the country of Iceland city buses are powered by hydrogen. Many backyard scientist have experimented with a device known simply as an HHO converter.
It is not difficult to produce hydrogen gas. Through a process known as electrolysis it is really very simple. This technology has been around since the 1800’s.
I have been experimenting with the HHO converter for a long while. I keep tweaking it and trying different set up techniques to see if I can’t improve on the design and get more hydrogen gas. The converter can be adapted to your car engine and you can increase your mpg’s by using one. There are quite a few of my models used in cars here on Amelia Island.
I always tell people to employ the services of a trained mechanic before assembling and installing a converter. And the reason is simple: The hydrogen they produce is highly flammable and will explode if not handled properly.
I had a hands-on lesson of this simple fact last month while experimenting with a converter in my garage. I had the lid off the unit and was working on adjusting stainless steel plates while the unit was running and the hydrogen gas was escaping in my work area. As I hooked up cables from a battery charger, a spark set off the hydrogen gas that had already accumulated in my work area.
People let’s be honest: I had a wake up call and couldn’t help but think of all the advice I have given to hundreds of people as to the safety that should be given to working with hydrogen. I wasn’t hurt and nothing was destroyed but I got some bang for the buck, I can tell you.
It did teach me two lessons though. Always put safety first and take nothing for granted. I should have stopped before getting started on my experiments and given thought to where the hydrogen gas would go and what the consequences could be if a spark or open flame should set the hydrogen gas off. From now on you can bet your last dime I will always do a safety review of my experiment prior to working with hydrogen gas. In the future I will always have safety glasses on and a fan running to disperse the gas. The things we learn in life do not always come from a pleasant teacher with an apple on the corner of the desk.