Igniting the HHO mixture will release energy (a proper mix can reach temperatures of 2800 degrees C, steel melts at 1500 degrees C) and cause the two gases to re-combine producing water vapor (remember doing this in science class?). It's an exothermic reaction. If properly harnessed, that heat energy will do work for you the same way a gasoline/air mixture does when ignited in your car's engine. Same method of technical application, just different fuels. So through electrolysis, water acts as an energy storage medium. From where is the energy stored and when? The energy is stored during the electrolysis process at the instant the H2O molecule is split and the HHO gases form. In your engine cylinder, on ignition, the energy is released to do work, resulting in increased combustion efficiency. Note, at no point can water (H2O) "burn" for fuel. It's just not chemically possible. Why? Simple. When, by whatever means, hydrogen and oxygen have formed an H2O molecule, it's useful exothermic energy is depleted and the molecule becomes relatively (chemically) stable. In such case, there's no way for it (the water molecule) to form an additional exothermic reaction using more oxygen because it's hydrogen is already oxygen-bonded. Since the hydrogen is trapped and not available for additional exothermic reaction, water is simply useless as a fuel energy source to your car engine. Water can be further oxidized (i.e. hydrogen peroxide, H2O2) but the reaction required is a net consumer of energy (endothermic reaction) as opposed to one that releases energy (exothermic reaction).
Advocates of HHO fuel point out that your car can run on a mixture of gasoline and HHO gas as a hybrid fuel. It supplements and improves combustion in your engine producing much cleaner vehicle exhaust emissions (very good for the environment). The higher the percentage of HHO used by your car's engine to generate power, the less gasoline fuel it needs to burn. The less gasoline it burns, the more money you save. However, in a hybrid fuel application the HHO itself only adds an insignificant amount of kinetic energy toward piston movement. HHO combustion helps your engine in a different way.
How does it help? What does HHO actually do?
HHO primarily functions as a very effective and cheap fuel combustion enhancement additive. It has the effect of increasing your engine's ability to draw more power from each gallon of gasoline (combustion efficiency). To understand this, we need to look closely at engine fuel combustion, air/fuel ratios and fuel configuration.
Combustion and air/fuel ratio
Gasoline from your fuel tank is broken into tiny droplets, mixed with atmospheric oxygen (air) and drawn by vacuum into your engine cylinders (for fuel injection systems, fuel injectors break-up and spray gasoline directly into the cylinders). The piston compresses this mixture and when ignited by your sparkplug, the explosion (combustion) supplies power to your car. One of the variables that determines how much energy (power) is extracted from the combustion reaction is the air/fuel ratio (ratio of gasoline to air). Too much air (or too little fuel) produces a "lean" fuel mixture. Power output may suffer in this condition because the engine isn't getting enough fuel to burn. Too much fuel (or too little air) produces a "rich" fuel mixture. In extreme conditions, this can also cause power loss because there's not sufficient oxygen in the cylinder to burn enough of the droplets to sustain a useful (power generating) reaction. A rich condition also wastes fuel because unburned droplets are thrown away with the exhaust. Car manufacturers historically have tuned the air/fuel ratio for optimum power but also tune it heavily to the rich side to accomodate fluctuations in atmosphreric oxygen quality/quantity conditions (i.e. altitude, temperature, moisture content, etc..). This has helped engines maintain a smooth and consistent power curve over a wide range of operating conditions. However, the droplets that aren't burned as a result of the rich ratio setting (read as, gasoline not converted into engine power) to this day, are still thrown away as exhaust (in the 1970's the EPA, horrified by this practice and it's environmental impact, mandated tailpipe emission controls = catalytic converters to finish burning the unburned throw-away fuel). This means, today, your car engine throws away a huge amount of fuel as a hedge against losing power due to changing environmental conditions as you travel. You pay for that hedge every time you turn the key. Manufacturers have allowed the car driving public to drive their cars for decades with this fairly expensive trade-off in place, completely unaware of the money being throwing away.
Another variable that affects combustion efficiency is fuel configuration. This is difficult to control and is a way of understanding how much fuel is actually available for combustion due to fuel unit size. For instance, the smaller the unit of fuel, the faster and more completely the combustion reaction. In the cylinder at ignition time, the exothermic reaction fans out from the sparkplug as a flame front or wave. Each gasoline droplet ignites in turn from the heat generated by a neighboring droplet. This sustains the reaction as long as oxygen is present. However, it is only the surface of the droplet that burns because it's the surface that is in contact with the cylinder's oxygen. The gasoline in the droplet's interior must wait for the reaction to reach it (like a charcoal briquet that burns from the outside in). Meanwhile, traveling around the sides of the droplet (where there's oxygen), the reaction is heating and igniting neighboring droplets, propagating the flame front. A droplet may or may not burn completely, depending on it's size. Larger droplets take longer to burn. In addition, this reduces the velocity of the flame front because it takes longer for the reaction to heat neighboring droplets to their point of ignition (ignition propagation delay). Here's a somewhat familiar example to illustrate. Throw a small piece of coal on a campfire and note how long it takes to ignite and burn. Then, take another piece, the same size and weight, but first crush it into fine powder, then toss the powder into the fire (be careful). Of course, it burns literally, in a flash because the fuel that was previously unavailable (on the interior) is now exposed to oxygen and ready for combustion. That flash was the movement of the flame front through the powder as each particle ignited and burned. This illustrates how fuel configuration affects combustion. Smaller pieces burn faster, collectively hotter and speed flame propagation. The gasoline droplet in your cylinder is a different type of fuel, but it's governed by the same laws of matter. Big units of fuel take longer to burn completely. Smaller units burn faster, more completely. Fuel configuration.
HHO is extremely efficient in terms of fuel configuration. As a nascent gas mixture, it's hydrogen (and oxygen) exist as tiny independent clusters of no more than two atoms per combustible unit (diatomic molecules of H2, O2). Comparatively, a gasoline droplet is monstrously large (many thousands of very large hydrocarbon molecules). This diatomic configuration of HHO results in extremely efficient combustion because the H2 and O2 molecules interact directly without any ignition propagation delays due to surface travel time of the reaction. Unlike a gasoline/air fuel mix, there are no mammoth globs (droplets) that burn from one side to the other, slowing the ignition flame front. HHO's ignition propagation is immediate and direct (atom to atom). When HHO is mixed with your gasoline/air fuel it's hydrogen surrounds the gasoline droplets. On ignition, it's flame front flashes through the cylinder at a much higher velocity than in ordinary gasoline/air combustion. The heat and pressure wave HHO generates crushes and fragments the gasoline droplets, exposing fuel from their interior to oxygen and the combustion reaction. This effectively enriches the air/fuel ratio since more fuel is now available to burn. Simultaneously, the HHO flame front ignites the crushed fragments thereby releasing more of their energy, more quickly -- the same way crushed coal powder liberates its energy more quickly than that same coal as a single large piece (see "Fuel Configuration" above). In addition, since HHO is dispersed throughout the cylinder, the gasoline/air mixture no longer waits for it's own slow, sequential droplet to droplet ignition process. HHO, because of it's very high combustion velocity, detonates all the "crushed" fuel virtually at once (behaving as an explosive primer). The additionally exposed and burning fuel applies more pressure on the piston in a shorter time interval. Most importantly, the reaction burns and extracts power from fuel that previously would have been thrown away with the exhaust. More precisely, droplet fragmentation makes more gasoline fuel (or diesel fuel) available for combustion to convert into power, without drawing more fuel from your gas tank. Therefore HHO increases gas mileage by forcing your engine to burn gasoline more efficiently and completely, thus delivering more work from each gallon you purchase. Increasing the amount of cylinder HHO means an increase in droplet fragmentation = higher combustion efficiency. In other words, HHO delivers it's primary benefit by modifying the engine's fuel, not by acting as an engine fuel. A very important distinction.
This will save you $$ money $$!
Lots of it!!
HHO - Mis-characterized and Misunderstood
So, HHO is a powerful combustion enhancer, very cheaply made through an on-demand electrolyer (you just need water and electric power). Some researchers are even looking for ways to produce a car that runs 100% on it's own HHO, generated from water on-board the vehicle (more on this later). Very very good for the environment, very very bad for oil companies. It would represent a HUGE shift in global economic power, if nearly free and clean (remember, the only by-product of HHO combustion is water vapor) energy became available to anyone/everyone. No wonder some advocates see suppression conspiracies surrounding the technology.
So where is the problem?
Why do some see the application of this old technology as some sort of scam or hustle? There are several misconceptions and a lot of discussion where people are simply misinformed and talking at cross purposes. The chief problem is one of education and terminology. The way in which water can be used to supplement power to your engine (with HHO gas) is simply communicated very very poorly to the public at large. Described by some as a way for cars to "run on water", or "burn water for gas" cause most people to instinctively view such claims with skepticism -- and rightfully so. Such phrases and statements, on their own merit, are non-sensical and/or downright fraudulent. As you've read now to this point, what reaches your engine for combustion is not water (it's HHO gas). The powerful combustion enhancer has been mis-characterized as being equivalent to water or as a new spiffy source of fuel energy that you can somehow use, instead of gasoline, to run your car (both ideas are ridiculous!). Still, such statements make for great sounding marketing and conspiracy sizzle. The type of sizzle that makes people look up and take notice. The truth, on the other hand, is just plain old boring science and not very exciting. At least not until gasoline fuel hit an average price of $3.60/gal nationwide.
Other's are doubtful of HHO as an effective fuel booster/enhancer. For them, entertaining the idea that something derived from water can be used this way is difficult. Why? It may be they suffer from a type of cultural, historical and educational (or lack thereof) hypnosis. For the last century our main source of power (especially for trasportation) has been fosil fuels (oil, coal, etc...). It's comparatively easy to see that gasoline is flammable (as with most fosil fuels). Whether in liquid or air/fuel mixture form, it's violently and readily reactive when exposed to the slightest spark. Not so with water. If you set an acetylene torch to water, the most it will do is boil and convert to steam. It just doesn't seem to make sense (to some) that water, a substance critical to your engine's cooling system, can also have an important role in conveying useful energy to that same engine for power enhancement. In fact, initially, we were rather skeptical of the conversion plans and guidebook claims, as presented (perhaps just like you before reading this far). That was before doing this research and getting the real facts.
To be sure, vehicular application of electrolysis technology is still maturing and may never be ready for use in a distributed storage infrastructure such as gas stations because HHO compression would be involved. In fact, since many of you have been asking, we'll mention that compressing and storing hydrogen gas (especially HHO in any form), is *** EXTREMELY *** DANGEROUS (we strongly recommend against attempting to do so) especially at home. This can't be overstressed because HHO is, by it's very nature, unstable, difficult to store (the H2 molecule is so tiny, it can actually migrate through the walls of metal containers) and is extraordinarily predisposed to explosive combustion because of its oxygen component. When HHO forms, it forms with everything needed for a perfectly balanced (and violent) exothermic reaction. All it needs is a little thermal push. Any thermal energy source that brings it to it's ignition temperature will do it. Remember, gasses heat as they're compressed. This adds thermal energy. Compression also has the effect of lowering the autoignition temperature. In addition, the presence of oxygen further lowers the reaction threshhold. This means compressing HHO is a sure recipe for disaster. Make no mistake. Lethal results are quite possible. Burning at 2800 degrees C, any significant compressed amount, ignited, will rip most pressure vessels apart like tissue paper, resulting in near-molten flying shrapnel. The human body makes a very poor absorber of this kind of punishment (not to mention the fire danger). Compressing HHO is similar to trying to sucessfully make nitro glycerin in your kitchen sink. There are too many variables to control. Any one mistake (wrong temperature or a random spark).....can be your last. Again, we strongly recommend against attempting to compress and/or store HHO gas.
Happily, the HHO on-demand technique for your car consumes HHO gas as it's produced so no storage is required. A very important safety fact.
The most important problem and limiting observation for a 100% vehicular HHO on-demand application concerns overall efficiency and understanding it's effect. Current electrolysis methods are inefficient (25 - 50% efficiency is typical). In addition, overall system efficiency, defined as the amount of power required to generate HHO compared to the amount of energy it delivers under combustion will always be significantly less than 100% (there are energy losses due to heat energy transfer, electrolytic conductivity/resistance, etc...). There is no way known to counter those losses by extracting more energy from HHO (through combustion) than has been stored electrically by your car's alternator and battery (using on-board water electrolysis). According to the 1st and 2nd law of thermodynamics, it's impossible. If it were possible, your engine could run on 100% HHO by endlessly creating and consuming it's own fuel for propulsion (the very definition of a perpetual motion machine). Not possible by any physics we understand today. However, for a given hybrid fuel application, your objective is to produce just enough HHO to increase and maximize your engine's overall combustion efficiency. Though HHO delivers it's own combustion energy at a loss, you make-up for that loss by increasing the combustion efficiency of your engine's gasoline/air fuel mixture. In fact, as mentioned before, normal engine combustion is so inefficient (20 - 30 percent max) even a relatively small amount of HHO is able to deliver sizeable overall net gains to engine output. That's where the real savings are for any HHO on-demand system that you can build and install today. In other words, again, HHO can boost your car's miles per gallon (MPG) by making it a more efficient gasoline engine.
After you've reached maximum combustion efficiency, you've reached the point of diminishing returns. Generating more HHO than this would actually decrease your MPG as your engine works to produce HHO that costs much more energy to produce than it delivers through combustion.
The bottom line: Will it work in your car?
This question really has two practical parts. The first is: "Can my car be made to produce HHO?". If you currently use gasoline in your car as a fuel, the answer is an absolute, unconditional, "Yes!". All you really need is your battery, some hardware odds and ends and a conversion guidebook. With those pre-requisites in place, you can initiate and sustain water electrolysis to produce HHO. The second question, "Will my car utilize the HHO fuel once it's produced and delivered to my engine?". Actually the better question is how much of a savings will you realize using hybrided gasoline + HHO for fuel?. Someone who has added the technology to your make and model vehicle can best tell you what to expect, based on their experience. That's why we think support is so important for the guidebooks (and why we rated Water4gas as a first choice). However, we spoke with several parties using the techniques on different vehicles. From trucks to compacts each user has realized anywhere from 10 to 40 percent savings, initially. Very respectable performance for a little container of water, some wire, metal fittings and a couple of lengths of rubber tubing. Tuning and scaling (see below) can bring much higher returns.
Keep in mind that a main factor causing the varied levels of initial success among all guidebook/plan customers, seemed to be one of application scaling. Customers applying the technology to smaller engines tended to have better initial results. This stands to reason as a given amount of HHO will have a larger effect on a smaller engine. Although intuitively obvious, this must be taken into proper account for your first system build. We think failure to do so has caused some customers to experience disappointment to where they abandon their HHO gas car crossover project prematurely and chalk their failure up to having been "scammed". They believe the additional required analysis and tuning effort was "not what they paid for" or they're unaware of the need for system scaling and tuning for maximum results.
Realize that what's being offered is not a hardware product or even a kit in the sense of pre-supplied materials. Far from it. The guidebooks offered by Water4gas, Run Your Car On Water!, and Fueltrips represent a solution that helps you (relatively easily) build and install an HHO gas generator to relieve your pain at the pump. The concepts we've presented are covered by the guidebooks in greater (applied) detail. Each offers different levels of completeness, information, know how, resources and support to help you get the most from your initial (and beyond) HHO on-demand implementation. Their roadmap for applying the technology is your main tool for harvesting a big big pay-off for yourself and family. If you tend to be a DIY type of person or know someone who is, this could be a real bonanza and wonderful gift!
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HHO Car Fuel Cell Blog - Tap water electrolysis. Best electrode and electrolyte.