Does hydrogen and oxygen fed to a petrol engine improve performance?

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Offline homebrewer

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Hi CycleGuy,

I would be very grateful if you could post a reference about the Brown's gas accident, perhaps with the publishing source.

For your information many people have experimented with liquified Brown's gas, many years ago I was one of these guys.
Yes, it is possible to store liquid Brown's gas, but is it safe to do so ? Not in traction applications, like motor cars etc.

I use the name Browns Gas, in respect for Prof. Yull Brown, the inventor which had been granted US Brown's gas
patent #4,014,777. 


Offline CycleGuy

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I have a theory about why some people experience an increase in fuel efficiency when feeding HHO into the intake of their engines... the HHO isn't... at least, it's not all HHO. It's actually a mix of HHO and vapor carrying hydroxide (OH-) radicals into the engine.

The two main processes during combustion are below. You'll note that water (and specifically the hydroxide radical derived from water) is essential for combustion to even take place:

This process occurs at higher temperatures:
OH- + H ==> H2O
H2O + O ==> H2O2
H2O2 ==> OH- + OH-

This process dominates at lower temperatures, and competes with the above process at higher temperatures:
OO + H ==> HOO
HOO + H ==> H2O2
H2O2 ==> OH- + OH-

The above two mechanisms are very active at stripping hydrogen from the hydrocarbon fuel.

Now consider that we're not just burning hydrogen in the engine... if the hydrogen combustion process finishes fast enough (ie: before the exhaust valve opens), we get to burn CO to CO2:

The above two processes strip the hydrogen from the hydrocarbon fuel, leaving behind the carbon, which combines with oxygen to form carbon monoxide:
C + O ==> CO

Because the two processes above are competing with the C => CO => CO2 process for oxygen, and they're faster, the only method really left to convert CO to CO2 is via hydroxides.

CO + OH- ==> CO2 + H
H + OH- ==> H20
H2O + O ==> H2O2
H2O2 ==> OH- + OH-
Go to top and repeat.

As you can see, the hydroxide radical plays an important role in converting carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide, as well. And that process adds additional heat which can be converted to additional work.

So, my theory is that the HHO fed into the engine aids rapid completion of hydrocarbon combustion such that the CO => CO2 process can take place before the exhaust valve opens, adding additional heat to the cylinder, which is extracted as work.

Of course, there's no need to expend all the electricity to generate the HHO... putting a voltage across a container of water such that the voltage doesn't exceed the water's ionization constant merely divides the water into OH- (hydroxide) and H3O (hydronium) (ie: the low pH and high pH constituents of water).

So putting just enough voltage across the water to cause that separation of the water into its high and low pH components (but not so high a voltage that you exceed the ionization constant of the water by much, thus keeping current to negligible levels, and not splitting the water into hydrogen and oxygen), then pumping from the OH- side of your water tank and injecting that hydroxide rich water into your engine will jump-start the combustion process (because the hydroxide already exists, it doesn't need to be split from water in-cylinder, thereby skipping two steps as outlined above and immediately commencing with stripping hydrogen from the hydrocarbon fuel and burning it), thus allowing the hydrocarbon burn to complete faster, thus allowing the CO => CO2 burn to initiate faster, thus adding to cylinder heat, thus increasing efficiency.
« Last Edit: 14/10/2015 19:16:21 by CycleGuy »


Offline diethyl

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Upstairs positive solution !

Maybe more danger in the use of this technology in actual life


Offline wolfekeeper

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One thing that hasn't been mentioned; I believe that adding some hydrogen/oxygen gas into the combustion chamber allows you to run the petrol unusually lean. Normally the mixture can't go below 1%. Hydrogen has a ~4% flammability level (by volume) but the mass of hydrogen to get that is much less. So if you lean out the petrol, and squirt some hydrogen in as well, it may burn when otherwise it doesn't, when the majority of the fuel is still the petrol.

So on low throttle, the advantages may outweigh the disadvantages (obviously producing the hydrogen is a net loss, but if it improves flammability it could still be worth it, perhaps.)

Conversely, looking at this cynically, if nobody is using these techniques by now, they're probably not very good. It's not like manufacturers haven't had a big incentive to do this for oh- about a hundred years now.