# Hydrogen as a deisel engine additive

Discussion in 'Architecture & Engineering' started by kingcarrot, Feb 25, 2012.

1. ### Aqueous Idflat Earth skepticValued Senior Member

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Wow no kidding. This is why I think the mfr's are not pushing the envelope, presumably due to safety and reliability.

As for high load, that what I was just beginning to understand, after seeing a chart that shows no appreciable performance change, until right at peak, and then an additional 15% hydrogen adds a boost, for about 8% improvement in efficiency. I've always thought it was a scam, but now I'm seeing a small window for some kind of claim. And yes, large volume gas production costs way too much electricity, so you would want to build it up and store it. That would seem to contradict the mileage claims though, because you'd be robbing Peter to pay Paul.

3. ### GrumpyCurmudgeon of LucidityValued Senior Member

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kingcarrot

As to the HHO systems, I would pass, there are better, more reliable and safer ways of doing this, your stored HHO is a time bomb that could be set off by static electricity, it takes a large amount of unrecoverable energy to produce and seems it would have limited utility. Propane gives you the same types of benefits and you can carry a quite large supply. You'll need a common rail electronic injection motor and a Bully Dog(or similar)reprogrammer to take full advantage, plus you may want to up the springs in the turbo waste gate for more boost. With a stock turbo you'll probably be limited to about 300-350 hp, but torque will be close to 600 ft/lbs, great for towing. Going even further and be prepared to pull out your wallet and empty it on the parts counter as you will need a bigger turbo and a stronger drivetrain(the Allison can be built to handle more torque but it's not cheap), but at those levels you WILL twist your driveshafts into pretzels if you don't blow the chunk out of the rear axle first. Even if they live, the axle shafts are on borrowed time. There are heavier duty parts available but you would think they were made of some sort of gold alloy for what they cost. But you would end up with a snorting monster of a truck that would still get decent milage as long as you control your right foot.

Grumpy

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numbers yet?

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Numbers?

8. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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Sure.

But have you considered how much H2 that would be?

As has been pointed out, a Semi gets about 6 miles per gallon of Diesel.

So, while tooling along at 60 mph, it's burning 10 gallons per hour.

Do you really think you can produce the equiv of 1/2 gallon of liquid H2 per hour with the energy put out by an alternator?

9. ### TrippyALEA IACTA ESTStaff Member

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^ New best friend.

10. ### wlminexBannedBanned

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1,587
How soluble is hydrogen in hydrocarbon fuels; point being: one might inject pressurized hydrogen into the hydrocarbon fuel just prior to intake and ignition.

11. ### GrumpyCurmudgeon of LucidityValued Senior Member

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Trippy

Are you a Ford man, too? It's a disease that has no cure wherin you KNOW that the Ford is always going to win, despite any so-called evidence to the contrary, as the other cars must be cheating!

Grumpy

12. ### spidergoatValued Senior Member

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grumpy, I hope you relocated the gas tank. I wanna turbo my 2001 Focus!

13. ### TrippyALEA IACTA ESTStaff Member

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Yeah, most days. I don't talk to loudly about it because I'm surrounded by Holden fanatics.

My first car was supposed to be a Ford Anglia, but I pissed away most of the money that I was supposed to use to restore it to a useable condition.

Having said that, the only way I could fit into it was to take the front seat of its rails and have it sitting hard against the back seat.

That and I just really like the idea of what you're doing. I have a number of ideas that I would love to try out, but lack the capital to invest in them, and if I'm being honest with myself, although I thoroughly understand the theoretical aspects, I was never given the opportunity to learn how to apply them.

14. ### GrumpyCurmudgeon of LucidityValued Senior Member

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spidergoat

Fuel cell for sure, one with a bladder and foam. About $180 from Summit, but good insurance. They actually changed the tanks in 1974 and statistics from the time indicate that Pintos had firey accidents at rates no different from Impalas and Chevy Trucks and only slightly elevated from other vehicles. The stink was caused by callous interoffice memos that said it would have only required about$12 each to fix the problems(filler pipe going further into the tank and a shield between the tank and the rear axle)but Ford management nixed it due to the desire for profits. A shame since the Pinto was a decade long success that sold in numbers beat only by the Model T, Citreon 2CV and the Volkswagon. I had a 71(1600, drum brakes)and a 1980 wagon, one of the first and one of the last. This one is my 6th. It is a roomy small car(for two, anyway)that handles very well, and cute and rare in this day(everybody's got Mustangs, no one has a Pinto at all the car shows I go to). Plus it will hold almost every Ford engine made...

That is a 526 ci Boss 429

And that is a 427 SOHC with a blower on top. Wish they were mine!

This is what mine will look more like(that's a MGB with an SHO)

Grumpy

15. ### spidergoatValued Senior Member

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Wow, sweet! I hear you can get a V8 engine kit for the focus too, with rear wheel drive. But I'm sure it's easier in a Pinto.

16. ### GrumpyCurmudgeon of LucidityValued Senior Member

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spidergoat

What year Focus? Ztec or Duratec?

Either can be turboed to close to 300 hp, but you really don't want more than that going through the front wheels without a Torsen or Wavetrac limited slip. Wish we had the European focus with four wheel drive in the states.

Grumpy

17. ### spidergoatValued Senior Member

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z-tec, and I would be happy with 180-200! But I don't know enough about it...

18. ### Aqueous Idflat Earth skepticValued Senior Member

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6,152

Sorry.. I wandered off.

Here I will pick up where I left off. The question now is: how to generate enough H[sub]2[/sub] to provide a mix with diesel, the intent being to bump the efficiency, not to gain something from nothing, as I first understood the claim.

Adoucette hit the nail on the head: how to generate 1/2 gal of H[sub]2[/sub]. That may not even be sufficient. One source I found claims you need a 15% mixture to achieve 8% mileage improvement, so I will assume that is the design requirement. This bumps us up to 1.5 gal/hr hydrogen generating capacity. That's not gas, that's how much water must be electrolyzed! It's hefty, as we will see.

6 mpg × 1609 m/mi ÷ 4.54609 L/gal ≈ 2123.6 m/L

60 mph × 1609 m/mi ÷ 3600 sec/hr ≈ 26.8167 m/s

diesel burn rate: 26.8167 m/s ÷ 2123.6 m/L ≈ 0.012628 L/s

rate of electrolysis: 15% of 0.012628 L/s ≈ 0.001894 L/s (liquid water)

hourly water consumption: 0.001894 L/s × 3600 s/hr ÷ 4.54609 L/gal = 1.5 gal

Now for the electrolysis:

0.001894 L/s × 55.6 mol/L = 0.105318 mol/s

2 electrons are needed to liberate a mole of H[sub]2[/sub]:

0.105318 mol∙H[sub]2[/sub]O/s × 2e[sup]-[/sup]/H[sub]2[/sub]O = 0.210636 mol∙e[sup]-[/sup]/s

0.210636 mol∙e[sup]-[/sup]/s × 96,485 C/mol∙e[sup]-[/sup] = 20323 C/s

20323 C/s = 20323 A.

Now the question is: where do we get 20kA of electricity?

20323 A × 1.23 V = 25 kW

The maximum available power from the alternator is

140 A × 13 V = 1820 W.

Obviously this is impossible. I have ignored the problem of sending 20 kA down any conductor without huge ohmic loss, I've assumed perfect efficiency in the wet cell, which is impossible, and I've ignored size of the plates and deterioration by plating out the electrode material.

My next move is to try to rethink what the claim is really saying. Perhaps they were talking about 15% mixture by vol of gas, not liquid. If so, we can divide the result by 22, since a volume of gas has 1/22 the moles of the equivalent liquid volume:

25 kW ÷ 22 = 1136 W

This places us within reasonable operating capacity of the alternator, but efficiency of the wet cell will steal that gain. For example, if we assume 50% efficiency:

1136 W × 2 = 2273 W

but we can only produce at most

1820 W ÷ 2273 W = 80%

Therefore we need to reduce our assumption of 15% mixture down to

15% × 80% = 12%

I don't know what happens when we do that. Now let's see how we're doing with production of current:

20323 A × 2 ÷ 22 = 1848 A

Still huge. But this was assuming a single cell. Now suppose we break them into a series. Ten cells in series gives:

1.23 V × 10 = 12.3 V

1848 A ÷ 10 = 185 A

But we can only produce 140 A, so we must derate our mixture further:

140 A ÷ 185 A = 75.7 %

12% × 75.7% = 9%

so this would seem to be the limit on mixture.

Last but not least is to look at plate design. Here is what happens when you pass electrons through an electrode:

One of the facts missing in the fine print is that you are consuming the electrodes, not just water. That can get expensive, unless you have a cheap supply. I'm going to go off and look at plate design and come back to this later.

I still don't know if I am anywhere close to what the manufacturers are claiming. I would need to see their numbers.

Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
19. ### EmilValued Senior Member

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2,789
Oops ... I did not notice this thread !
How about a new engine design? (not a four-stroke engine)

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