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Antique Gas Engine Discussion

electrolysis/heat


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  #1  
Old 01-09-2005, 10:07:41 PM
Brickman Brickman is offline
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Default electrolysis/heat

will electrolysis make enough heat to keep it from freezing the water in tank
it is a 55 gal barrell full to the top, with a open crank wittey in it minus the head and piston . put it in sunday morning it is going to get real cold here by thursday , in the 10 deagre range , when do you think it will be ready to take out of tank . thanks ron brown in central ill
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Old 01-09-2005, 10:43:00 PM
Kevin O. Pulver Kevin O. Pulver is offline
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Default Re: electrolysis/heat

If you insulated the tank real well on sides and top it would help a lot. I doubt you could do it otherwise. If worst comes to worst, you could buy an electric tank heater and put in there, or build an enclosure around it and build a fire next to the barrel. I hope this contraption isn't close to your house! :-)
Kevin
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Old 01-09-2005, 11:11:41 PM
W.P.Klein W.P.Klein is offline
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Default Re: electrolysis/heat

My vat stayed ice free into the teens while working but froze solid shortly after I unplugged it. I wouldn't take any unnecessary chances! Bill Klein
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Old 01-09-2005, 11:34:04 PM
BobRR BobRR is offline
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Default Re: electrolysis/heat

DO NOT PUT ANY TYPE OF FIRE scource near that or you will have a real problem as I believe you are making hydrogen? As long as you have the battery charger on you shouldnt have any problems. You guys that have been using electalisis jump in here before some one gets hurt or blows up their shop!!Were getting some bad input from inexepericed folks that mean well. BobRR
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Old 01-09-2005, 11:52:02 PM
Mac Leod Mac Leod is offline
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Default Re: electrolysis/heat

well let me add some fuel to the fire, (ignorance at work, watch out) I know that electrolisis does produce hydrogen and oxygen but , providing it was out side, would it build to a dangerous amount? Never done it and would never suggest that fire and electrolisis be brought together, just wondering.

Thanks

Mac Leod
  #6  
Old 01-10-2005, 12:35:11 AM
KidDynamo KidDynamo is offline
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Default Re: electrolysis/heat

You can probably figure out an approximation of the heat input of your system: It will not exceed energy put in, so if you are using a battery charger, you won't be adding much heat, unless it is quite a large charger and is outputing high current.

If you're using a 12volt charger and it has an output of , say 13 volts measured in use and it is reading 4 amps on the charge ammeter, you might say you're heating with about 52 watts and that ain't much heat.

If your "vat is left uncovered and is outdoors, you'll likely not have a hydrogen accumulation problem because hydrogen is so light that it wants to rise, but if you cover the vat, say to hold in heat, you'll accumulate some uncertain amount of hydrogen, depending on volume and so forth. Ignition can easily occur from sparking. Get enough hydrogen to ignite and I would guess bad things could result.

A little bang is no big deal, if you're wearing old cloths. I see them every now and then from hydrogen in little foam pockets igniting when I jockey the wires on an electrode and cause a spark. Rarely does anything happen but if it does, it sounds like a little firecracker and blows a little rusty foam around.

I never cover my "vat" so I never accumulate significant volume of hydrogen, thus never will have a dangerous explosion or fire from hydrogen. My "vat" runs almost continuously and I have cleaned more parts than I can count.

Doing an entire engine at 10F ambient using a battery charger, especially as a first time effort will likely not happen in one event. It is likely that repositioning of connections and electrodes will need to happen numerous times. Soaking in the solution won't hurt loosening a stuck piston, but the electrlytic action is usually minimal without clever positioning of annodes.

If what your doing is working good, keep it going. When it doesn't work, reposition and go some more. Consulting the archives by searching: electolysis is where I would start.
  #7  
Old 01-10-2005, 02:21:25 AM
Jim McCracken Jim McCracken is offline
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Smile Re: electrolysis/heat

I know at one time I was using a bigger charger on 12 volts and 40 amps.
It was about 70F but still heated up a plastic barrel full of soup & iron to
maybe 115 degrees overnight.I did have it in a well ventilated area with no flamables near also.I would probably try it overnight one night before it gets too cold to see how it goes.
  #8  
Old 01-10-2005, 12:09:14 PM
Kevin O. Pulver Kevin O. Pulver is offline
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Default Re: electrolysis/heat

BobRR is half right. I do mean well, but I'm not inexperienced. I have used upside down bowls in my vat to catch the combustible mixture and then lit it to demonstrate the process and dangers to my children. It takes hours at high amperage to get a bowlful. It burns quickly with a big whoof, but in order to make it explode, you must have it tightly contained as in a balloon OR a charging battery (ask DJ the iron horse about that).

My science teacher used to produce and capture hydrogen by putting a piece of zinc jar lid in a beaker of hydrochloric acid with a balloon over the neck. Those balloons would float to the ceiling where we lit the string. They exploded with a nice BANG.
If this contraption is outside (which it would be if you needed to build a fire around it to protect it from freezing) there is no way you are going to contain it and have it build up to the point where you have a nasty explosion. If you hold a lighter near the surface of the water, the tiny bubbles will combust with about the same noise as a bowl of rice krispies.
By far the worst danger would be from the heating fire itself and not the tiny amount of hydrogen produced. Your concern about the many hazards inherent in this are well taken though. Unoffended, Kevin
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Old 01-10-2005, 12:29:23 PM
Brian Henderson Brian Henderson is offline
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Default Re: electrolysis/heat

You guys that use electrolysis regularly, do you get a layer of black crud on your parts? I've tried electrolysis, but I get this black coating of what I presume is another form of metal oxide. I've seen this in pics of electrolysis results too. Is there some technique to avoid this? I remember a discussion of this sometime back, but I don't remember a good answer.
  #10  
Old 01-10-2005, 02:05:15 PM
Jim McCracken Jim McCracken is offline
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Smile Re: electrolysis/heat

I have found the black coating on most items that have been in the
electrolysis bath.I have found if I immediatly wash the parts before they dry,
I have better luck removing it.Water with a little soap and scrub with a wire
brush.Better yet pressure wash or bead blast if appropriate.
Good luck !
  #11  
Old 01-10-2005, 02:45:14 PM
BobRR BobRR is offline
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Default Re: electrolysis/heat

Kevin Glad your not offended but we are getting a lot of new folks on here that dont have any Idea what they are doing If there is a kid reading this with a unheated shop and decided to build a box around the vat in the shop.? Just trying to be safe. BobRR
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Old 01-10-2005, 07:39:13 PM
Kevin O. Pulver Kevin O. Pulver is offline
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Default Re: electrolysis/heat

You're right BobRR

Poor ol' Joe Musser already can't get on this sight from school because the firewall thinks it's about drugs and alcohol or some such thing, and if they read this thread they'll think it's about improvised munitions!
I still say this country has sued itself into a state of stupidity. If anyone hurts themselves one way or another there is a big settlement in it for them. It was someone elses fault. More than one old timer lost part of a hand to a corn picker or other implement; and I doubt if one of them ever sued McCormick Deering or J.I. Case. They were embarassed for their own carelessness or just plain misfortune and wouldn't dream of not only blaming someone else, but expecting a large financial reward besides.
Be careful out there guys. Kevin
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Old 01-10-2005, 09:08:56 PM
Brickman Brickman is offline
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Default Re: electrolysis/heat

the 55gal plastic barrell is outside i have a small thermonator in the tank it is on 50 degres 34 outside air temp , no cover on it or no insulation , out in the wide open ,i unplug battery charger , it is a 12 volt , 6 amp charger, take engine out to look at it and rinse off with water hose , not black at all just a lot of brown scum on it , from top of the water , it is about 75 to 80 % shiney
so i put it back in tank and will take it out after work tuesday evening .
i did take out the the iron pieces 4 of them 2by 1\8 by 36 long spaced evenley inside tank and clean with wire brush
thanks for all comments , it all helps because this is my first time with this
ron brown in central ill and still learning.
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Old 01-10-2005, 10:58:48 PM
GarysToys GarysToys is offline
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Default Re: electrolysis/heat

I have never done this. However, I have read a lot about it here on staks and have an engine that I want to clean up.

One question. Could I use an electric arc welder set for low amps to do this job. Would it be faster?


Another thing for that guy that wants to build a fire next to the plastic barrell.

When my neighbor asked what I was going to do with mine I told him they made good disposeable burn barrels. He tried it.
  #15  
Old 01-10-2005, 11:25:01 PM
Nick Stanley
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Default Re: electrolysis/heat

First of all, you would need D.C. current for electrolysis, and I am assuming that you have an A.C. buzzbox welder. Second, unless you have a VERY large welder, the duty cycle is most likely not anywheres near 100%, meaning it was not designed to run constantly. Also, I would be very leary of the high amperage capability and the ~40 arc volts that the welder probably produces. I would stick to a smaller battery charger. Out here we have have used a forklift battery charger for large items. Good luck!
-Nick
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Old 01-10-2005, 11:32:08 PM
GarysToys GarysToys is offline
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Default Re: electrolysis/heat

Thanks Nick. I hadn't thought about the duty cycle.

This is why I love this site. You guys are great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
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Old 01-11-2005, 02:54:57 AM
Franz Franz is offline
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Default Re: electrolysis/heat

Due to extensive curioscity, I can tell you the electrolytic solution will freeze at 31°f.
Keeping the solution above freezing point while running the process is fairly easy to accomplish by having sufficient electrode surface in the solution and sufficient voltage. I've used a 24 volt forklift charger for some time, along with graphite electrodes, and have found I need to adjust submerged electrode area to minimize unwanted heating.
There might be a problem with freezing when using electrodes other than carbon, when sufficient contamination of the electrode causes the process to stop.
The amount of hydrogen generated in the electrolytic process is similar to the amount created charging a battery of equivilent liquid content.


As to the black coating, blackening of tool steel using Sodium Carbonate and low DC Voltages, it is indeed used to blacken tooling. That process is used by the Electro-Etch Company of Chicago.
  #18  
Old 01-11-2005, 08:45:49 AM
C Pratt
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Default Re: electrolysis/heat

Just run an air hose in it with a regulator , as long as you got bubbles it will never freeze. Dave
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