Discussion in 'General Questions' started by graucho, Feb 27, 2008.

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  1. graucho

    graucho Active Member

    Is it too soon in the dawn of motorbiking to take it to the next level?

    I am not a rocket scientist. Only a motivated, curious guy. Well, for the last 3 1/2 years I have been intensely working on an "on board hydrogen fuel cell" that will run on H2O and a pinch of potassium hydroxide. (NO GAS) I've perfected it to run my Honda GXH50 49.3cc 2.10 hp engine. When running, there is zero emissions. The exhaust is cleaner than the air we breath. My hydrogen fuel cell is constructed through a process of electrolysis. This theory/process is nothing new. Its been around for a hundred years.

    My dream for years has been to perfect a fuel cell that could power a single cylinder 49cc without carrying a fuel tank, but only a small water fuel cell, a lawnmower battery, that starts producing "hydrogen on demand" and install it on my bike/car. I cannot get into the exact details of my design, but I will give you a few links to stimulate your minds on what I am doing, and what we all could be doing. Im guessing i'm still a good 2years away from from incorporating this into a bike design. It took me 3 1/2 years to build a small-safe fuel cell that could fuel a 49cc engine on water. (making hydrogen vapor gas). These techniques can revolutionize the future of the auto and motorbiking world. I guess i'm looking for a "thread" of ideas after you watch the videos. Take a peek into my part time world. graucho

    Last edited: Feb 28, 2008

  2. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    I've been reading about using electrolysis to provide hydrogen on demand to augment the fuel in a car. It's an interesting concept. I won't pretend to understand the circuits behind the process, but it seems theoretically doable.
  3. That's so rocket scientist it has to work!

    Do you have a tower at your house with a chain hoist and an open roof to allow lightning?
  4. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    So whats your current bottleneck? Just size or are you not able to pull enough amps for a long enough time from the battery to produce enough hydrogen? Or maybe rate of production is a problem?
    Cool stuff anyway, neat to hear you got an ICE to run off hydrogen without major modification.
  5. Wow. I just watched all the video's. Even if you can just make the Hydrogen at home and bottle it up for your bike engine,that's still an epic win.
    I wonder if that should work for a 2 stroke (Happy Time).
    Hydrogen being a gas I see why we would need pressure valves but in Caterpillar diesel engines and Detroit 2 strokes with blowers like what they have in a lot of buses their fuel injection pumps with their helixes on the injectors so sensitive touching them with your finger can throw them off,they are pretty air tight enough I would think to run the hydrogen right to it.
    This is pretty amazing stuff.
    I'd like to see how our oil barons would counteract. Currently they are okay with this as long as were buying their hydrogen. They are okay with hybrids as long as we are still buying their fuel.
    Will they be okay when they discover we are making our own hydrogen?
    I see illegal signs,mock explosions and terrorists accusations ahead in this game.
  6. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    I'd love to watch those guys shoot that tank like they were talking about.
  7. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    Um...guys- it takes massive amounts of electricity to make hydrogen from water.

    Where does that power come from? If not from fossil fueled electric plants, where? How would water be hydrolized while riding? There has to be an energy source. You could not make enough power from the hydrogen to drive the bicycle and make electricity through a generator to make the hydrogen. Shades of perpetual motion.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2008
  8. sparky

    sparky Active Member

  9. graucho

    graucho Active Member

    Hee Hee happy to say yes, you can. Small 12v deep cycle battery powers my onboard fuel cell for 3 hrs @ 8 amps producing 2.5 liter of hydro per minute. Watch the first video. I wait til I get 4 lbs. of pressure and start her up. Running my 35cc robin 4 stroke idling up and down for 1 hr 47 min of almost free fuel. I have the pay for a little electricity to trickle charge my battery 16hr overnight. Figure out a onboard charging system and they will never stop.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2008
  10. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    he's using a chemical catalyst to help things along. I'm a bit skeptical as well but i'd love to see it work.
  11. graucho you teh man. Can you adopt me when your ship comes? :grin:
  12. RedGreen

    RedGreen Member

    YOu could always go with wood smoke. Pick up dry limbs and feed em into the hopper as you go.
  13. monster

    monster New Member

    wait! does cow dung really burn? :grin:
  14. RedGreen

    RedGreen Member

    You bet! But, I would try the dryer ones first:)
  15. fastboy9

    fastboy9 Member


    yep, pretty good fuel actually, many african villages use it.
    google biomass generator.
    thats what they are. A more efficient way would be to ferment the poo and collect the methane. lol that would smell great!
  16. fastboy9

    fastboy9 Member

    This is really interesting and looks very promising. I think this is going to be next years college project!
  17. RedGreen

    RedGreen Member

    Look up "wood smoke generator" I did it for a briggs and stratton engine. A trike would be great for this use.
  18. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    The advantage is that it is clean. (you are pushing the pollution issue to the power generating plants, where they can use stack scrubbers, precipitators, and other pollution control equipment to reduce pollution to MUCH lower levels that can be achieved with small engines, or auto engines, for that matter.)

    However, any on-board charging device, except for solar, will be pollution generating. And inefficient.

    And, I hate to burst your bubble, but, the amount of energy you put in to the system is the maximum amount of energy you can get out, minus system inefficiencies. The energy you put into splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen is the same amount of energy released by the recombination of hydrogen and oxygen. Again, subtracting the inefficiencies. An internal combustion engine is less efficient than a decent electric motor at converting energy (electrical or chemical) into kinetic energy. This means that the system, as a whole is less efficient than an electric motor setup - i.e. - you would go further using the battery to power an electric motor setup than you would in splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen, and then recombining the hydrogen and oxygen in an internal combustion engine.

    You say your generator is producing apx. 2.5 liters of gas per minute. This equals 0.11 mole of gas per minute. (2.5l/22.4l per mole @ stp.) This is equivalent to 5.7 kcal of work. (.11 * 52.1 kcal/Mole.) In KWH, this is equal to 5.7 Kcal * 1000 Cal /Kcal * 0.00000116 KWH/Cal = .0066 kwh (Note - IF you are producing 2.5L at 4 psi, then this number should be increased apx. 27.6%, as the gas is more compressed, and you have more mass per unit volume)

    However, you put 0.171 KWH of electrical work into the system. (12V * 8A * 1.78 hours * 1 KWH/1000 WH)

    This means that your system of producing hydrogen is operating at about 3.9 percent efficiency, not counting the motor, which at best is operating at about 50% effeciency. (Again, if gas produced at 4 psi, this value would be slightly less than 5%)

    IF you get a source of "free" energy, i.e. large solar panel or wind electric generation facilities, splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen, and then storing the hydrogen in tanks, will hydrogen as a fuel take off. However, the development of truly high density batteries, produced at commercial quantities, coupled with the inherently low efficiency levels in producing hydrogen gas, may lead to hydrogen, as a motor vehicle fuel, being bypassed entirely.

    (Note - the conversion factors and chemical constants come from the 63rd edition of the handbook of chemistry and physics, with the exception of the molar volume of any gas at STP. Ref http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/chem99/chem99360.htm)
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2008
  19. But if you had a home based hydrogen maker you can pretty much keep it running at home at the price of electricity which has to be cheaper than the price of gas.
    I mean when you see how much a gallon of hydrogen costs to make compared to a gallon of gas,wouldn't you be way ahead?
    That's stored energy acquired at home.
    Even if you run into stumbling blocks with the portable hydrogen maker,that in itself is an OPEC buster.
  20. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    I love loquin's post on inefficiencies. It just proves we need to hurry along to non-renewable energy sources right away, using coal as the interim energy source.

    The problem with making hydrogen at home is that it's still inefficient compared to purely electric bikes, for example, because of the conversion processes (plus you still need oil for hydrogen engines, something we won't have forever). If you have your own solar panels or wind turbines, then of course you can use that energy any way you like, but if you sold excess energy to your local electric company, you'd get more money if you used a regular E-bike due to the efficiency of not having to convert. With hydrogen, you might be able to get a greater range compared to existent batteries, but you can't refill easily on longer trips -- yet.

    Efficiency will become very important for us in the future, until we all have solar panels & wind turbines out the wazoo.
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