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Author Topic: Closed-Loop Electrolyser  (Read 39752 times)
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After having trouble acquiring neos for my intended Flynn motor experiments, I have since decided to focus all of my attention on my favourite area of science, that being Electrolysis and Electrolysers.

I've actually started a thread and discussion over on Energetic Forum due to there seemingly being little interest in electrolysis and WFCs on this forum.  However, as I intend to remain fully open source, I think it makes good sense for me to document my experiments and results in more than one place. 

CLOSED-LOOP ELECTROLYSER

Though there appear to be numerous interpretations of how the process of electrolysis occurs - some thoughtful and considered, others being clearly due to a lack of basic education and general ignorance - there seems to be no clear consensus as to exactly what is occurring. Dig a little and there is a wealth of questions yet to be answered. Of course, if you don’t dig deep enough (or at all) and are willing to simply accept that electrolysis happens, then these questions are never likely to trouble you.

I have based my new concept Closed-Loop Electrolyser design on my theories of the process. If my theories are somewhere in the ball park then I should see results… emphasis on ‘If’.

The idea behind my Closed-Loop Electrolyser is very simple, but of course as I have designed it around my perception of the electrolysis process, it will only work if my ideas are to a greater extent correct.

A little history:

I was always intrigued by floating plates. They work as hard as the electrodes connected directly to the power supply, but these floating plates simply sit within the electrolyte at a point whereby they see a potential difference of around 2 volts (or above) from any adjacent electrodes. We get oxygen from one side of these plates and hydrogen from the other. They simply offer a place for ions within the fluid to exchange charges, so they are simply a charge exchange medium.

So this got me thinking: How can I exploit floating plates.

I then took inspiration from Lord Kelvin’s Water Dropper Experiment, which opened my eyes to just how potent the charge separation in water can be, and how easy it is to create a relatively large charge differential.

I see the dissociation of the water molecules into its constituent parts of oxygen and hydrogen as bascially a three-step process:

Step 1: ionisation

Step 2: separation of the ionic species

Step 3: the reaction of the ionic species at the electrodes to evolve gases

I always felt sure that these three processes could be made to happen independently of each other and possibly by doing this the process as a whole could be made far more efficient.

Conventional electrolysers apply a voltage to electrodes, which initiates a current flow through the liquid medium due to the ionic species therein. This current would appear not only to promote further ionisation, but also delivers the appropriate ions to the electrodes for charge exchanging.

So, when we add an electrolyte to water we provide a vast supply of ions that will be pulled to the electrodes once a voltage is applied across them. This is two-way traffic, as cations will make their way toward the cathode and anions will head off to the anode. This inevitably causes collisions and near misses with each other and intervening water molecules. But what exactly is happening when ions and molecules collide or near miss? How do these ionic currents induce the water molecule to ionise? Well, these collisions and near misses generate energy in the form of an electric field, and it is this electric field that causes the water molecule to ionise. It does this by altering the energy state of the covalent bonding electrons within the molecule. And this was one of my Eureka moments. That is, discovering that fluctuating electric fields are what initiates ionisation.

Given that water continually self-ionises without any current being drawn through it, research has led me to believe that we don’t need a heavy current to induce water to ionise further. To my mind, any increase in molecular movement should increase ionisation, and as the water molecule is a bipolar molecule, this should not be that hard to achieve.

By using a pulsing electric field to induce the water molecule to ionise, there is no longer any requirement for heavy current for this process.

If now we apply another voltage source independent of the pulsing electric field to initiate and encourage separation of the generated ionic species, then we could in theory create a fluid environment that is relatively negative in one area and relatively positive in another area. We achieve ion charge separation within the liquid medium.

What I propose, is to influence this ion separation by applying a voltage to metal plates placed either side of the vessel containing the water, so these plates are not in contact with the water itself, but they still influence the ionic species within the water.

As it stands, this is of no use to us, as there is no ion exchange medium by which ions can give up or take on charges. Lots of ionic species, but no gas production.

This is where Lord Kelvin’s Water Dropper Experiment inspired me.

Now, if I introduce conductive metal strips, grids, wires or plates into the fluid where there are high proportions of opposite ionic species and form a closed loop, I provide a pathway for these different charges to exchange and hence evolve gas. But it all happens within the closed loop. No external current is being drawn through the liquid.

I said closed loop, well almost a closed loop, we actually leave a spark gap, a break in this circuit, between which sits an additional centre terminal.

I use a steady voltage (or pulsing, as long as the dc level is set above that of the voltage required to initiate electrolysis) on metal plates outside of the vessel containing water.

There are metal conductors sitting in the water in close proximity to (but obviously insulated from) the external plates. Conducting wire or tubes lead up from these conductors to a spark gap with a centre electrode.

I also have a coil of copper wire or tubing winding around the vessel. This copper coil is open-ended, with one end being the centre terminal between the spark gap.

So theory behind my Closed-Loop Electrolyser goes like this:

A pulsed or steady dc voltage on external plates encourages any ions in the water to separate and congregate in opposite areas of the vessel close to metal conductors within the solution. At some point enough charges will have congregated to jump the spark gap. When this happens the charges are exchanged on the internal conductors and gas is evolved. Also, when the spark gap is activated, the centre electrode sees a high voltage that creates an electric field whereby it actually induces more water molecules to ionise.

This way the process is self-sustaining as long as the voltage on the external plates is maintained. The beauty of this Closed-Loop Electrolyser is that heavy current can flow within the closed circuit, but hardly any external power is used to achieve this.

Faraday’s Laws are still obeyed in full in that the current flowing through the closed circuit is proportional to the amount of gases evolved, but the beauty of my set up is that current is not being taken from the voltage supply source.

Power = voltage x current.

By using voltage alone to induce the water molecule to ionise we require next to no power.

By using voltage alone to encourage separation of the induced ionic species, we require next to no power.

To evolve the gases we use a spark gap, which allows the voltage to build, but as it is an open circuit no current flows. Once a predetermined voltage is reached the air between the spark gap will ionise allowing current to flow and charges from the residing cations and anions to be exchanged at the electrodes. We get gas evolved.

This then constitutes a new concept in electrolyser design, whereby much greater efficiencies can be obtained when compared to conventional electrolysers.

A depiction of the proof of concept model is attached.

I should add that at this stage, this is unproven theory. My proof of concept model is under development, though I envisage things will not be straight-forward nor initial experiments go as planned. I'm not being intentionally over-pessimistic here, rather just preparing myself for the almost inevitable initial set-backs.

Farrah

   
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Photo of my Closed-Loop Electrolyser, proof of concept model, P1.

P1 being the designation of this first prototype.
   

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It's not as complicated as it may seem...
Very interesting idea Farrah.

Should I conclude that you are planning to use quite a high external ionizing voltage? By inclusion of an ignition coil, I assume so. I was going to suggest that you should use 10kV or higher, so I think you've already covered that.

Good stuff. Looking forward to your tests, and nice job on the construction.

.99
   
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Good job Farrah - I like the way you built that...
   

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Buy me some coffee
I wish my wife could build like that  ;D

Great job.
   

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Hi Farrah,
   I have been following your thread at the other site, and I would like to say I agree with you on the operation of the ignition coil, I think you are right on.
Being that you are one of the more knowledgeable people on electrolysis I would like to ask you a question, it may have been covered somewhere but as much as I try I can't read all there is to read.  The question is, does ionizing the oxygen seperately from the hydrogen and then recombining them before burning give us more power from the same amount of gas?  I have read that stripping electrons from the oxygen atom increases the explosive power of the gasses.  Similar to a gas processor but only operating on the oxygen and not all the gasses at once.  Would it mean that less gas would provide more energy? I ask because one of the projects I'm working on is a dry cell that seperates hydrogen and oxygen and feeds them out seperate tubes.  It would be easy to strip the oxygen atoms by themselves and safe too, then recombine and feed to engine.


---------------------------
"Whatever our resources of primary energy may be in the future, we must, to be rational, obtain it without consumption of any material"  Nicola Tesla

"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."  Edmund Burke
   
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I wish my wife could build like that  ;D

Great job.

Yeh, but I'm crap at cooking and cleaning!!  ;D

Quote
The question is, does ionizing the oxygen seperately from the hydrogen and then recombining them before burning give us more power from the same amount of gas?  I have read that stripping electrons from the oxygen atom increases the explosive power of the gasses.  Similar to a gas processor but only operating on the oxygen and not all the gasses at once.  Would it mean that less gas would provide more energy? I ask because one of the projects I'm working on is a dry cell that seperates hydrogen and oxygen and feeds them out seperate tubes.  It would be easy to strip the oxygen atoms by themselves and safe too, then recombine and feed to engine.

I'm not sure about this as it's an avenue I've never felt comfortable going down until I've expended every option of the liquid stage.  A lot of what Meyer said made no sense at all to me, and others that talk about ionising the gases seem to be just as much in the dark about how to do this and what the likely results are as me - if not more so.

Meyer always talked about ionising oxygen by stripping multiple electrons away, but I personally think this is an over-simplistic idea and nothing more. We know that if you add energy to oxygen you're going to initially get ozone, but that isn't strictly ionisation as no electrons are gained or lost, but as for ionising oxygen, I'm really in the dark about what would happen during combustion.

I see only one obvious possibilty, and that is adding enough energy to the O2 molecule to dissociate it into atoms.  The problem would be maintaining the atoms at their higher energy levels until you need them to recombine, because they're far more unstable in the atomic state. Of course the dissociation process is endothermic and so requires energy, but you will get this energy back when they either recombine as O2 or in the presence of H2 form the water molecule. Whether there is actually anything to be gained by this, and whether or not it is worth all the extra effort, well... scientists will tell you that this is a totally pointless exercise.

The thing with getting the gases from an electrolyser would seem to be that if not all of the gases recombine into molecules, then there would be a greater exothermic energy on combustion than expected. But so much of this is still only theories that nothing can be taken as a given.

All the best
Farrah
   

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Hi Farrah,
   Thanks for the reply, I guess bottom line is just keep experimenting, but I really don't like reinventing the wheel so I thought I'd ask.


---------------------------
"Whatever our resources of primary energy may be in the future, we must, to be rational, obtain it without consumption of any material"  Nicola Tesla

"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."  Edmund Burke
   
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I don't really know much about electrolysis systems building and all that but on a molecular level pulling apart two atoms of water to make hydrogen and oxygen gas is sort of like pulling two magnets apart.  Later when the gasses recombine into water you get that energy back, like the magnets recombining.  There is net zero energy gain with magnets.  And I will assume that in the splitting and recombining you generate a lot of heat, after all the molecules are all like billiard balls, and heat is just the billiard balls bouncing off of each other.  Normally of course you consider heat as an energy loss.  You could look up all the numbers in a chemistry book.  If your electrolyzer gets hot when it is producing hydrogen and oxygen, that heat takes away from your gas production.

I know that there is also talk about making the water molecules resonate when you are doing the splitting and the thought is that helps.  Personally I am a big downer when it comes to resonance.  Resonance in the dozens of forms it is covered on the forums is just a system's normal response to an excitation.  It doesn't produce energy or open up a mysterious channel to some unknown form of energy.

I can venture some thoughts about "ionizing the oxygen gas."  I haven't read up on Stanley Meyer and don't know if that is important for his claim.  Again on a very basic level there is no such thing as "ionized oxygen gas."  You can't have a tank of ionized oxygen.  When an oxygen molecule becomes positively or negatively ionized in a fraction of a second is gains/loses its electron and becomes neutral again.  It's a totally unstable state of matter in an ocean of electrons in the earth and the air ready to neutralize the ionized state.  The air around us has both types of ionized molecules at an extremely low level that have fleeting existences, kind of like an ion soup.

Nonetheless I encourage the experimentation and fun and can't forget measurements!

MileHigh
« Last Edit: 2010-06-07, 04:17:34 by MileHigh »
   
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Hi Room
Hi Farrah,
   Thanks for the reply, I guess bottom line is just keep experimenting, but I really don't like reinventing the wheel so I thought I'd ask.

I totally know what you mean. Knowledge and information about certain reactions and processes can seem very lacking on these forums, and I'm continually having to ask myself, is it because of a general forum ignorance on these matters, or is it in fact because the science of interest is not well-documented... if at all?

Like you say, we don't want to waste time reinventing the wheel, but certainly some of the answers are very hard to come by.


I can venture some thoughts about "ionizing the oxygen gas."  I haven't read up on Stanley Meyer and don't know if that is important for his claim.  Again on a very basic level there is no such thing as "ionized oxygen gas."  You can't have a tank of ionized oxygen.  When an oxygen molecule becomes positively or negatively ionized in a fraction of a second is gains/loses its electron and becomes neutral again.  It's a totally unstable state of matter in an ocean of electrons in the earth and the air ready to neutralize the ionized state.  The air around us has both types of ionized molecules at an extremely low level that have fleeting existences, kind of like an ion soup.

Nonetheless I encourage the experimentation and fun and can't forget measurements!

MileHigh

Agreed, and this is one of the reasons why I find Meyer's claims to be so difficult to believe. I gather from his stuff that after ionising the oxygen by stripping off an electron, that he then somehow held the gas in a chamber whereby no electrons were available to neutralise the ionic species. However, I can't help feeling that it is much easier to come up with such ideas than it is to implement them, and again you have to ask yourself is there ultimately anything to be gained by all this effort?

I've seen depictions of Meyer's gas chambers surrounded by UV LEDs, which if anything, suggests to me that ozone would result - not ionised oxygen. Ozone is a much better oxidiser than O2 as it is more unstable, so in theory would create a greater exothermic reaction upon combustion... but in practice, with the laws of thermodynamics thrown into the mix... I just don't know if there would be any overall gains.

Perhaps someone will yet crack this nut, but it's not the avenue I'm particularly interested in pursiung. 

Farrah
   
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Hi All,
Noted a lack of the monatomic references here. This form of the gasses produced is reportedly increasing the calorific value of combustion by as much as 6 times. Its lifespan is limited and can last but not in high energy fields
The uv and high voltage apparatus seemingly reported to increase the calorific value too, reports are no substitute for personal experimentation though. I will be following this one as Im building a large floating plate unit but slowly at present. The aim is to experiment exceeding the output obtained from the brute force method and Im utilising 200+ amps and not expecting massive heating problems. Hopefully it will be a success but...........
@ Farraday, congratulations on the build hope you get great results.
Steve.
   
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Hi szaxx

Actually I indirectly touched briefly on the atomic species aspect in my very last paragragh a couple of posts ago. 

I see it like this: if an electrolyser produces some monatomic species that remain in this state until combustion, then there is an energy saving in that, unlike molecules of H2 and O2 that first need to be dissociated (an endothermic reaction), the atomic species are already at this higher energy level, ready to recombine as a water molecule (an exothermic reaction). So in the event of some of the resulting gases being atomic at combustion, we have a greater exothermic reaction than would be expected if all the gases were molecular.

It must be understood however, that the reliability of some of the sources quoting various figures is often doubtful to say the least.

200+ amps and you're not expecting overheating problems??  You must be building one hell of a big electrolyser... how many litres of water will it hold?

Farrah

   
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Hi,
My original reply has disappeared.
The unit has around 170 sq inches per cell and the reserve will be electronically maintained from a level sensor and vat. Thats the boring stuff. The fun stuff comes from putting the cells into a high energy resonant tank, impedance matched so the flowing energy crosses the electrolysers plates several times. In an attempt to see if these so called reports of gain have substance at all. Its not being fed via an inductive series coil as this is single ended and basically DC. The idea is to form a resonant tank and wind a coil on this to feed the outer plates directly. Its not grounded apart from the required safety aspects per se. The unit should see AC at the correct impedance for hopeful max efficiency.  The driving frequency at present has not been fully investigated but the electronics for it is no problem, obtaining the parts is more difficult and the time to do it lol.
Your unit is so different from mainstream, its good to see a designer rather than a following sheep with no ideas of their own.
The electrolyte is another one to think on. Its best for a small plate differential when using the force method but in our systems its a challenge for experimentation.
Thanks for sharing.
Steve.
   
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Must say I'm intrigued by what you're proposing as a power supply capable of delivering 200+ amps must itself be quite a monster!

I tend not to use electrolytes if I can help it, as although they serve to increase the current flow through any particular cell, ultimately these added ionic species actually reduce overall efficiency as they tend to polarise the electrodes.  That is something I discovered long ago, but of course it is not immediately obvious due to the much greater gas being evolved. But watt for watt, efficiency in terms of gas vs power is better without any added electrolyte. 

Farrah
   
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Hi,
Thanks for the reply, on the subject of electrolyte, is there anything in natural spring water having a beneficial effect re the NaOH, KOH approach? Im aware of the 'Ormes' present in such natural waters as this is  enigmatic in itself. These being antimagnetic by reports, may have use in the systems. Have you any thoughts on these or other as your electrolyte comment has increased my interest in efficiency of operation?
Appreciative of your reply, Steve.
   
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It's a bit of a two-edged sword as the electrolysis of water without ionic contaminents is the most efficient in terms of power/gas, but of course electrolysis as we currently understand is relies on a current flowing through the water, which won't happen very well without the presence of ionic contaminants.

So we either get very little gas at high efficiency, or lots of gas at a lower efficiency. Bugger isn't it.

Whether minerals in water is beneficial or not seems to be a matter of great debate. Minerals certainly play a part in building up a coating on the cathode, but whether this plays an important part in efficiency and if so, why, again is also open to debate.

I'm not too familiar with Ormes.

At present, it's the nature of what the current being drawn through the water is actually doing that interests me most, hence my trying to reproduce the effect without the current draw.

Farrah
   
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Hi,
The efficiency as electrolytes go can be improved on if the voltage drop across the cell dropped to 0.1 volts and the gas is released by the current flow. In principle this would allow more plates for a given voltage and as power = volts times amps there would be gainful production of gas. However theres the typical problems of doing this and dissimilar metals  may be the only way to accomplish this feat. As these are in most cells then we could expect the plates to disintergrate with use, another bugger!
Ormes are worth investigating as they can be super conducting as well as just about anything, strange things ormes. Its my belief that they give the joe cell its perculiar properties as by its size it shouldn't function.
Theres the other reported 'comments' that ultrasonic cavitation gives the water a property that each vacuum formed cavity has the ability to produce gas too. For this the water has to be pure and high voltages need to be utilised, theres no massive plates or current here with this approach. Its worth a mention as your system may have similarities regards the frequency used.
As youve guessed I'm interested in any comments for or against this project, theres too much goop out there saying the same thing......brute force.
Thanks Steve.
   
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Things are progressing nicely, with some real headway being made thanks in part to the Joule Thief and Exciter guys over on the Energetic Forum.

Using a single transistor Tesla Coil set up, it is now shown that we can indeed get the water to ionise without the passage of an external current. The beauty of Tesla coils is that they produce very potent electric fields, which is just what I'm after. Indeed, these single transistor Tesla Coils are capable of a producing a very good electric field for mere milliamps when correctly tuned.

Tests results show that the secondary of a Tesla Coil feeding an Avramenko Plug induces the water to ionise, while the diodes themselves act as a charge exchange medium. This itself is a giant leap forward and, as I see it, goes a good way to supporting, if not validating, my Closed-Loop Electrolyser concept theories.

http://img189.imageshack.us/i/avplug1.jpg/

This then is a drawing of my redesigned Closed-Loop Electrolyser:

http://img337.imageshack.us/i/clele2a.jpg/

This is my newly made secondary for my mini Tesla Coil:

http://img291.imageshack.us/i/dscn1491r.jpg/

Specs are:  15.5 inches in length, 2.75 inches in diameter. 1450 turns of 34SWG enamelled copper wire. 123 ohms dc resistance. 23mH inductance.

Last but not least, it's resonant frequency is 310KHz.
   
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Whoopee! After long months I've finally got my new workshop built and fully equipped, and I'm just making a few finishing touches before I'm fully up and running.

It's 16ft x 8ft, complete with own water supply, a ring main, great lighting and all important heating for the winter. So at last I'll be able to experiment with my new designs and test various theories in comfort - and in all weather.

I've brought this thread back up because, while I've been doing no practical in recent months, I've not been idle and have some new ideas regarding my Closed-Loop Electrolyser. So this is the area where I'll be restarting very shortly.
   

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Shazam!  Sure do wish I had one like that!

Excellent.  We all await reports of your experimental
efforts and progress.


---------------------------
"Truth: the most deadly weapon ever discovered by humanity. Capable of destroying entire perceptual sets, cultures, and realities. Outlawed by all governments everywhere. Possession is normally punishable by death." - John Gilmore (1935- ) Author
   
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Farrah,

...dont neglect the greenhouse.

Mookie
   
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Farrah,

...dont neglect the greenhouse.

Mookie

LOL, the greenhouse will be inhabited just by the tomatoes now... thank heavens!
   
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Dearest Farrah,

As The wife is looking for us at a house in Lurgashall, it would seem we will be neighbors of sort.... Happy to see the heated lab. Congratulations!

We continue to strive froward, and have been working with Birmingham Uni...wonderful facilities, but true lack of out of the box, as it were.

We have several large contracts that on the big, 6 to 15 L engines, we are getting between 20 to 33% increases, with a pretty significant drop in emissions, 30 to 40%. Vosa had approved us, EPA to come. But enough about us.

I thought I would complement you on your lovely dissertation about FF and Sterling....

To may favorite scientist .....

Cheers,

Bob P.
   
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