piclist 2001\01\24\104907a >
Thread: Hydrogen - making,storage,burning
face BY : Roman Black email (remove spam text)

Lawrence Lile wrote:
> Roman,
> This is really fascinating.  I suppose if the oxy-hydrogen is held in a big
> cool steel tank, and the tank is bolted to something that won't fall over,
> it would be sorta safe.  Heaven help us if that tank was in a car wreck and
> was ruptured.

He was simply compressing it and storing in a conventional
gas tank with conventional technology. This is a big
difference to tradional (pure) hydrogen storage, where
the hydrogen must be absorbed onto expensive metallic
particles in the pressure tank (similar to acetylene).
Part of the reason for his controversy was his claim
that the gases were safer to store and handle mixed.

I do know that pure oxygen is dangerous, and obviously
pure hydrogen it also. He spent his whole life on his
research so I assume he knew what he was talking about.

> In a welder, it seems like the potential of flashback would cry out for some
> redundant system or other.  I'd feel a lot safer mixing the two gases at the
> nozzle!

Using low gas volumes, flashback arresters and blowoff
valves is all established and very safe technology.
If only a half-cup of gas detonates it is similar
to a firecracker, nothing dangerous. I used to do
this all the time! Good design keeps all gas cavities
to a minimum, and it should be hard to ignite gases
inside a pressure tank. The guy had never experienced
an unwanted explosion.

> The idea of using an old welder transformer and making gas in
> realtime is really intruguing. I suppose in this case you would not need a
> big explosive tank of hydrogen, just a small line running from your
> electrolysis unit to your bubbler, and your tubing.  If you don't want
> anything to explode, don't keep much of it around!

His design was very simple, a pressure regulator switch
controlled the power to the transformer, so it generated
the gas real-time on demand. Minimum gas was kept in the

>  Any way you could dig up any info on this Yul Brown character?

Someone at Electronics Australia may have back archives
of the article, but I am sure if you find some "hydrogen
nerds" on the net they will be aware of his work, and
probably other and better work! This has been one of my
"rainy day" projects for about 10 years now. One day I will
find a suitable transformer cheap and it will start.
Aluminium micro-welding here i come! :o)

> When you made hydrogen, what were you using for electrodes?  Storage?  Just
> blowing up balloons and popping them with a lit punk?  or storing it
> somehow?

As a science keen 12 year old I used what I had, a 10 amp
car battery charger and a cell made from a glass jar
with two carbon electrodes from D cell batteries. Very
low tech, used to bubble the gas into detergent,
then ignite the froth with a match, very nice explosions
and flame fronts. Or bubble store in an inverted jar
underwater then screw the lid on with a 1/2 inch of
water and keep the jar inverted for long term storage.
I didn't have a pressure pump (thank goodness!!)

Many of those jars ended up with spark plugs in them
and were merrily detonated for my (and my friends)
amusement. Ahhh.. simple childish joys come from an
unlimited supply of explosive material! All 12 year
olds should have one.

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