Hydrogen is the third most abundant element on earth’s surface but not everybody knows how to get it very easy. Today I will show you how to make hydrogen gas from water using just tap water and a small peace of aluminum foil. This method of making hydrogen gas from water does not involve wires, electrical energy or any other chemical. This method is safe for kids, and fun.
How to make hydrogen gas from water
Kids can have fun running this small experiment making hydrogen gas from water without the need of connecting wires or handle dangerous chemicals.
Hydrogen gas is very rare in out atmosphere, most of it could be found in the upper layers. In turn 3/4 of Earth’s surface is occupied by water – the most abundant hydrogen resource.
For this experiment we will need some common ingredients found in every house:
- A Tray
- Tap water
- Aluminum foil
- Bottle – preferably made of plastic
You will ask where is the rest of the ingredients. There is no other needed ingredient so let’s see how to make hydrogen gas from water. The method is totally safe for kids.
First you will need to crumple the aluminum foil into a small ball, just small enough to go inside the bottle.
After you made the aluminum foil ball insert in inside the bottle. Pour tap water on top of it till you fill up the bottle completely.
Pour tap water in the tray till you have 2 inch deep water. it doesn’t really matter how much water you have in the tray as long it is enough for our next step.
Tap the bottle with your finger and place it upside down with the tray with water without allowing any air to get inside.
Place the tray, with the bottle sitting inside upside-down somewhere and let it sit for 24 hours (more or less, depending on how big is the bottle or how much hydrogen gas you want). From time to time observe the bottle.
The explanation of how to make hydrogen gas from water for kids
Aluminum is a highly reactive element but does not react with water easily. This is because it has an aluminum oxide layer of protection which keeps water from getting to the pure aluminum.
Keeping the aluminum in water long enough, some water molecules will find small fusures in the aluminum oxide layer and aluminum will react with those molecules of water making hydrogen water in turn.
This is a very slow process so keeping an eye on the experiment from time to time you will observe small hydrogen gas bubbles form on the ball of aluminum, then slowly hydrogen gas would accumulate inside the bottle.
If you want to know how to make hydrogen gas on a larger scale please check my article on how to separate hydrogen from water without electrolysis.
Kids fun in how to make hydrogen gas from water
After accumulating one bottle of hydrogen gas it’s time to make use of it. If you don’t have any purpose for it I have one in mind and kids will love it.
For the next step of our experiment please wear at least safety glasses. If the bottle is made of glass it could shatter because of the shock.
Ok, done with all the warning signs. Take the bottle full of hydrogen gas out of the tray, taping it again with your finger and place it somewhere in upright position. If you want to remove the finger taping it please substitute with a real tap because otherwise the hydrogen gas will escape, being lighter than air.
Under adult supervision light a lighter, remove the tap of the bottle and light the gas inside the bottle. You will get a small explosion, sign that you has hydrogen inside. Kids will love both the spark and sound.
Final thoughts on this how to make hydrogen gas from water for kids
The amount of hydrogen gas made through this experiment is incredibly small and wouldn’t be enough even for one stroke of a normal combustion engine. This article is intended only to educate the kids on how to make hydrogen gas from water. Making hydrogen gas this way makes the kids get in touch with science and have a little bit of fun along with it.