Science


Mark sent in this great video, I think he’s only 15 too, nicely done! – “This movie explains the process of separating water into hydrogen and oxygen gas, among other things. It also provides a brief scientific explanation of how this works, and, of course, combustion of the produced Hydrogen.”

22 thoughts on “Electrolysis of water – Exploding hydrogen (video)

  1. F***ING MORON
    First off, he filters the water, and then nukes it.
    You do not need more then one container or filtered water.
    SECOND!!!! When you microwave water that has been filtered, or just water that hasnt been agitated for a while, and you add anything into it, IT EXPLODES, instead of boiling.

  2. well lets see here… filtered water WOULD help as there isn’t anything getting in the way of the electrolysis. second, you have to have diluted water for an “explosion” and filtered water isn’t necessarily diluted. And that only happens when you super heat (water reaches temperature higher than boiling without boiling, as there is nothing in the water to start nucleation) water. And you doesn’t JUST exploded, when you would put something in the water or agitate it too much, it boiles EXTREMELY rapiding causing an “explosion”.

  3. While both of those comments lack anything approaching understandable English, drk3p takes home the prize for completely lacking any comprehension of the experiment being demonstrated. Thank you for commenting, please be careful not to let the door strike you in the posterior as you egress.

    That said, Tweaq is right. Starting an experiment with known, pure materials is the best way to go. Also, the “EXPLOSION” drk3p is speaking of is nothing even remotely like the one demonstrated here. What drk3p is mistakenly refering to is superheating, and yes it’s quite a nasty thing to have happen. However, it does not produce flames, as are clearly demonstarated numerous times in this video. Disturbing a superheated liquid instead will produce a skin-melting froth of steam and liquid. Additionally, the presenter does make a note during the video that you’re looking for warm or hot water, NOT boiling. All of this is, of course, completely ignoring the detailed explaination of the chemical reaction put forth by the presenter in the middle of the video.

    For another example of this reaction at work, take a look at this page.

  4. While both of those comments lack anything approaching understandable English, drk3p takes home the prize for completely lacking any comprehension of the experiment being demonstrated. Thank you for commenting, please be careful not to let the door strike you in the posterior as you egress.

    That said, Tweaq is right. Starting an experiment with known, pure materials is the best way to go. Also, the “EXPLOSION” drk3p is speaking of is nothing even remotely like the one demonstrated here. What drk3p is mistakenly refering to is superheating, and yes it’s quite a nasty thing to have happen. However, it does not produce flames, as are clearly demonstarated numerous times in this video. Disturbing a superheated liquid instead will produce a skin-melting froth of steam and liquid. Additionally, the presenter does make a note during the video that you’re looking for warm or hot water, NOT boiling. All of this is, of course, completely ignoring the detailed explaination of the chemical reaction put forth by the presenter in the middle of the video.

    For another example of this reaction at work, take a look at this page.

  5. BTW Don’t trust a 15 yr old when it comes to science. He uses salt which would produces Chlorine… which is a very dumb thing to do.

  6. BTW Don’t trust a 15 yr old when it comes to science. He uses salt which would produces Chlorine… which is a very dumb thing to do.

  7. Alright. I’m going to reply to these comments in order.

    drk3p: Don’t call me a moron. I know all about what happens when you heat filtered water past the boiling point and add something. What you didn’t see in the video was me carefully measureing the heating times for the water, so that it was acceptably warm, and not even close to its boiling point. I think that even at the young age of 15 I know what nice warm water feels like.

    Tweaq: I did say in the video that I didn’t want it to boil. When I put the water in the microwave, I was especially thinking about preventing superheating, as one of my favorite TV shows Mythbusters explained on an episode. I don’t know what diluted water is, and I don’t think anyone else does either. And, if you had watched the scientific explanation, you would have seen that it is not the water that explodes, it is the produced Hydrogen gas.

    Dirkus: Thank you very much for your detailed defense on my behalf. I hope you enjoyed the film and am glad you watched it. Also, thank you for explaining the already explained scientific details to those who skipped that part.

    Mikiex: The goal of science is not to see one movie about a certain topic online and take it as fact. No one should trust a 15 year old kid alone! In my opinion, all scientific sources are valid and worth considering as long as the considerer makes their judgements with an open mind. For this experiment, I consulted my previous chemistry knowledge (I’m obsessed!) and my chemistry textbook’s details on electroysis of water. You are correct in that I was producing poisoness chlorine gas. Feel free to visit the YouTube discussion of this subject. At the time, I did not realize the anion of the catylist would separate. After the experiment, I consulted with a Doctor of science who teaches chemistry, and confirmed with him that NaCO3 (Sodium Carbonate) would be much safer in that it produces CO2 (carbon dioxide) which is harmless in this small quantity. In the process of doing the experiment, I would probably breathe out more than the experiment emits. Again, you are right, it was a dumb thing to do, but so was stringing a key on a kite and sending it up in a thunder storm.

    Sincerely, Mark H.
    Creator of “Electrolysis of Water – Exploding Hydrogen” video

  8. Mark,

    I thought your video was pretty good, but the comment about producing chlorine is also correct. When you use salt (NaCl) to allow current flow in the water it becomes an aqueous solution with Cl- and Na+ present. The reaction then becomes 2H2O + 2Na + 2Cl = H2 + Cl2 + 2NaOH. The gaseous products are still explosively reactive with each other, producing 2HCl (hydrochloric acid). The sodium hydroxide remains in solution.

    I became curious about this when I did a sniff test of the produced gasses and smelled the chlorine (I used two wires under an inverted shot glass with a nine-volt battery). My understanding is that you can avoid the production of chlorine by using sulfuric acid, which will then net hydrogen and oxygen, but I have not tried this.

    There is a lot of literature in print and on the internet that makes this same error (of producing oxygen rather than chlorine), so unless you do a lot of research (or know what to google) this is an easy thing to miss.

    My current goal is to build an apparatus that will produce enough hydrogen to float my digital camera on a tethered balloon. For this quantity I think I’ll be safe enough venting the chlorine off if I do the work outdoors. The electrodes can be moved far enough apart to allow the collection of gasses separately (or in my case, the collection of hydrogen and venting of the chlorine).

    It’s good to see young people experimenting with science. Keep up the good work.

  9. What do you use for your electrodes? I found that it works best to use platinum as the anode because the chlorine or oxygen corrode other types of electrodes. I currently am using graphite because copper just gets eaten up and I cannot find my special platinum wire and am thinking about spending around $150 to be a new one.

    With my graphite it breaks up and little pieces of it fall to the bottom of my container full of the salt water. I have to constantly adjust it and replace my graphite worn down electrode with a new one.

    I have been using 30 volts at about 800mA of current for my projects. I found that the higher voltage makes it work faster but I also know that more current does the same thing but I am trying to use less salt and since I have a nice 30 volt 1Amp power supply then that’s been what I used. It’s DC current too of course.

    So I was just wondering what you use for electrodes. I have to have somethign that won’t break down and that I can let run for hours on end. It takes me around 6 hours to fill a 2 liter bottle full of Hydrogen and like I said i have to keep replacing my graphite electrodes since I don’t yet have a platinum one. Platinum as far as I know is the only thing that won’t break down but perhaps the salt in the water and that being why chlorine is produced is part of the problem there.

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