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SCAM ALERT – Adding Hydrogen To Your Gas WON’T Save You Money

Listen to this post.

I stumbled across a scam today that I just had to write about. Here’s the hook:

“Increase your gas mileage 20-90% by adding a supplemental hydrogen generator to your car! A supplemental hydrogen generator works simply enough – you put distilled water in a special canister in your car, and electricity from your car’s battery is used to separate that water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is added to your car’s fuel because hydrogen burns very well (hydrogen is a very combustible gas), and it reduces the amount of gas you use! The oxygen is added to the air your car breathes in. Oxygen is needed for combustion, and more of it makes your car more efficient. One gallon of water is enough to provide oxygen and hydrogen for hundreds of miles!”

Supplemental hydrogen generator schematic.

Here’s a nice graphic of the system.

The hook is followed by lines like “the secret the oil companies don’t want you to know” or “automakers and oil companies are working to keep this technology out of your hands”, etc. The websites (which I won’t link to because they’re a complete and total rip-off) even sell parts or entire mechanisms for adding a separator to your car. Unfortunately, there’s a problem with this idea. It doesn’t work! It’s impossible!

Here’s a summary of the system:

Step 1: Using electricity from the battery, the system separates water into oxygen and hydrogen. Keep in mind that the electricity in the battery is simple stored electricity from your engine. The engine creates electricity by turning your alternator, which powers your radio, headlights, turn signals, etc., with any extra charging your car’s battery.

Step 2: The oxygen from the separator is added to your air intake. More oxygen in the air makes for better combustion.

Step 3: The hydrogen from the separator is added to your fuel, reducing the amount of gasoline your car uses.

Step 4: Hydrogen and oxygen re-combine during combustion in your engine, releasing energy and making your car go. Unfortunately, the engine also needs to send electricity to your hydrogen separator in order to continue the process. That brings us back to step one.

At best, this would be a break-even process. While it is true that hydrogen can supplement gasoline, it’s important to remember that whatever energy you added to the water to get it to separate in step 1 doesn’t fall from the sky – it comes from your engine. Whatever power you gain in step 4 goes towards providing energy for step 1.

Here’s the ironic part – adding this equipment will probably reduce your gas mileage. You’re pulling energy out of the engine to break down water, but you’re going to loose some of that energy to electrical resistance in the alternator as it charges the battery, heat loss from the battery and the separator, and probably some combustion efficiency loss because the engine’s computer won’t understand what’s going on (the computer would need to be re-calibrated for the un-naturally high oxygen in the intake air stream, not to mention the hydrogen in the fuel).

There’ s a law called “conservation of energy” – whatever energy we put into something, that’s the most we can get out of it. We add energy to water to make oxygen and hydrogen, but whatever energy we get back can’t be more than we added.

In other words, it’s a scam.

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46 Comments
  1. L.R. PAGE #

    Question:
    When adding hydrogen and oxygen to the burn, does this inprove the efficiency of the burn and the efficiency of the engine?

    June 4, 2008
  2. L.R. – It does not – it’s a zero sum gain when it comes to burn efficiency.

    June 4, 2008
  3. Jim #

    I believe before you condemn something you should do a lot more research than you have. Did you know that by adding Hydrogen into the cylinder you will be essentially steam cleaning your engine? That means there will be less build up to cause less friction to cause…less energy used to maintain combustion. When you spend less energy in the combustion cycle you will get more energy to be used for the other systems.

    Also did you know that by adding hydrogen in at the combustion level you will burn the fuel more efficiently, a larger “Bang” for your buck. This will produce more energy, as well as produce less harmful emissions.

    So in just these two situations we are reducing the amount of energy needed for the combustion cycle, and increasing the amount of energy generated in the combustion cycle.

    I will agree with you that there is more to the story than the websites let on. Newer model cars will have issues surrounding the O2 sensor. It will need to be “tricked” so that it does not make the fuel mixture to rich.

    The fact of the mater is I know people that run hydrogen generators, of one form or another with real world results. As an example I know an owner of a Chevy Avalanche. He went from 12 mpg to 17 mpg. It may not seem like allot but lets do the math. Lets assume the tank is 24 gal. So his before fuel range was 288 miles. His after fuel rang is 408 miles. He increased his fuel range by 120 miles!!!

    You will def have to do your research regarding hydrogen generation to get the right application for your need. One thing I know for sure is this, it works. It will save you money because it DOES extend your fuel range.

    June 25, 2008
  4. It’s actually a much bigger scam than you realize.

    Check out this YouTube video and see what I mean:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSnSxAMjXq8

    Millions of dollars have been bilked from a huge number of people who don’t realize what’s going on.

    June 25, 2008
  5. Jim #

    Sigh….there is a Yahoo user group called water4gas. This user group give out specs for Hydrogen generators FREE. Yes that’s right, not one penny spent to get your hands on the design specs. Sure you will have to pay for the parts…but come on nothing is free.

    Just because some scam artists are out there trying to rob people blind doesn’t mean that the product does not work. In the Yahoo user group you will find many avid proponents that USE the generators. You can ask for pictures, and if you happen to live near one of them they will be happy to show you there installation. Yes they will open the hood, and let you look at it…maybe if you are good they will let you touch it.

    You guys really need to do more research. The only reason that I haven’t posted my fuel mileage savings is because my truck needs a fuel pump…not going anywhere without that. Once the fuel pump is changed the generator will be installed. Unfortunately for me that will not be for 3 weeks or so.

    but because I know that you will not research…instead you will take the word of other people who will not research….the link to the freely obtained plans for the SMACKS BOOSTER

    http://www.smacksboosters.110mb.com/

    It’s all there in its naked glory.

    You can even see videos.

    I have shown you the math, now I have shown you the specs…what else do you need? Why not d/l the smacks booster specs, go to Home Depot and spend $80 and run the thing.

    June 26, 2008
  6. Jim, I’ve done the research.

    I’ve already got tests here that show measured reductions in fuel efficiency after fitting well engineered “HHO” systems to gasoline engines.

    I’ve also spoken with professor Harry Watson of Melbourne University who has reviewed the content of the website at http://aardvark.co.nz/hho_scam.shtml and said “I can only concur with what you say”.

    This guy obtained degrees and diplomas at Imperial College London where his doctoral thesis was on the combustion of hydrogen in engines. I think he knows what he’s talking about.

    I’ll be filming a scientifically conducted test of “HHO” injection this weekend and posting the results for all to see on the internet.

    As for the math — there’s plenty of reference on the Aardvark site with links to other sites like this:

    http://community.discovery.com.....2321969559

    which back it up and further disprove the claims of the HHO scammers.

    Who are people going to believe?

    Someone like me who has done the math and done the tests and a highly respected professor who has majored in hydrogen combustion — or a bunch of guys with jamjars and baking soda who have no conventional science or independent peer-reviewed research to back up their claims?

    June 26, 2008
  7. Bruce – I really appreciate your comments. It’s great to see someone taking the time to discredit this ridiculous idea that adding “HHO” will actually result in fuel savings.

    Jim – you accuse me of not understanding, of not “doing the research”, but you have yet to disprove one of my points. Incidentally, I have an engineering degree. I studied thermodynamics. I can tell you with 100% certainty this “HHO” system is a net loser. As long as you’re taking energy from the engine to split the water molecules, you’re losing. If you filled up your truck with hydrogen every morning, then you might have a fuel savings device. Just be careful – Hydrogen is highly explosive.

    June 26, 2008
  8. James Spencer #

    Jason:
    You want to talk about a scam? OK. Your car is currently 20% efficient – meaning – out of 1000 gallons of gasoline you put into that car, it throws away 800 gallons! Out of $4000 worth of money you poured into your fuel tank $3200 went into making heat and poison gasses and $800 was available to make you go down the road. Out of that $800, as much as $400 was burned at a stoplight or on your driveway with a mileage of ZERO.

    Add to that the fanatic preoccupation we are forced to participate in putting oil, antifreeze, brake and power steering fluid, freon, battery acid, water and bearing grease into this 20%-(maximum)-efficiency poison-gas-belching, heat-wasting pile of bolts we call a “car.”

    You arrogant defenders of the status quo need to be a little less pompous – considering the above.

    You want some engineering?

    As the piston is going upward, the gasoline explosion begins (early) at -usually- 6 degrees before Top Dead Center. At this point, the piston is being driven up by the flywheel momentum and (simultaneously) down by the beginning expansion of the air. As the engine – literally – tries to tear itself apart, a tremendous amount of the gasoline is being converted to wasted heat that is transferred to the block and the heads. The addition of a small amount of hydrogen “characterizes” the explosion at 40,000 feet/second. Your engine timing has to be retarded to almost TDC. The O2 sensor will see a leaner burn, so the brain will try to defeat the improvement by adding more gas. So that has to be corrected. The improvement in efficiency by the reduction of heat conversion can more than offset the alternator drag. And there are a multitude of other factors that go to improving the efficiency of the burn. Example: The addition of water vapor was used in WW II in bombers to increase efficiency. Point being this part is not a new concept. I could give you more hints, but just try to think a tiny bit more outside the box and you will get there yourself.

    Heaven knows, the current crap technology we are forced to use with these engines designed by lawyers could be improved by any 5 year old and a hammer if he isn’t saddled with various pre-conceived notions.

    I am also an engineer. But I am an OLD engineer who has seen enough changes in the so-called “immutable” laws to know that the less experience someone has …. the more dogmatic they are about the status quo.

    Gasoline and atom bombs are 2 different types of latent energy. Nobody has to put the energy into them before they can get it back out. It’s already there and all you have to do is “release” it. Gasoline is one hell of a powerful substance. If you had taken 1 gallon of it and told someone in 1820 that “this gallon of clear liquid can take you 30 miles down the road in 30 minutes,” they would have called YOU a scam artist.

    Using cavity quantum electrodynamics, it may be possible to fracture the HH-O bonds rather than “separating” them. Using pure water as the dielectric and a simple 555 pulse generator, one could build a high voltage on the plates with zero current flow. At that point you can kiss all the “energy-in = energy-out BS goodbye. Cause then you are dealing with more of the same kind of latent energy that you already have with gasoline.

    June 26, 2008
  9. James, you’ve been visiting too many of those pseudo-science sites.

    Tell me, which of the “so-called “immutable” laws” have you seen change (as you claim)?

    And believe it or not, modern internal combustion engines are already running remarkably close to the theoretical maximum for the Carnot cycle so a 40% improvement would vastly exceed that theoretical maximum – thus violating the laws of thermodynamics (which remains immutable to this day).

    Please explain your claim that hydrogen “characterizes” the explosion at 40,000 feet/second.

    What we want/need in an ICE is a deflagration of the air/fuel mixture, not a detonation.

    Now I have done a lot of research and design work with combustion and a detonation is combustion involving flamefronts traveling at supersonic velocities. These are typically very destructive and most certainly *not* desirable in an ICE.

    The typical flame-front speed for a hydrogen deflagration is subsonic and far short of the 40,000 feet/second you claim.

    If you want to see some of my combustion work, take a look at http://interestingprojects.com

    I have developed a type of pulse-jet engine that uses very high-rate deflagration to improve performance by a factor of three over conventional pulsejets. This has been the result of much research and development during which many things have been learned and relearned about combustion. see: http://aardvark.co.nz/pjet/xjet.shtml

    This engine is about to undergo independent testing at an accredited university.

    I’m not a tinkerer or pure theory academic. I’m working with the science and practice of combustion every day.

    Trust me, if this HHO rubbish had any merit, I’d be using it.

    June 26, 2008
  10. James – So what you’re saying is that gasoline and the ICE are both scams because they’re grossly inefficient?

    OK – everyone’s entitled to an opinion. I expect you’ll be riding your bicycle from now on then? Of course, that process isn’t 100% efficient either (sweat is a form of heat loss). I guess you’ll be calling God a scam artist then for designing an inherently inefficient process?

    On to your “science”. You’re basically saying that adding hydrogen to the gasoline acts as a “chemical intercooler”. Perhaps. However, I would argue that this benefit does not compensate for the heat loss in the electrolysis process.

    Here’s an even simpler explanation – one that I’m quite sure you’ll reject. If this type of system really worked, why aren’t the car companies all over it? GM, Ford, and Chrysler are losing billions of dollars because they can’t sell their gas guzzling trucks and SUVs. Do you really expect me (or anyone else who’s reading this) to believe that the car companies wouldn’t be including this system in all their new vehicles?

    This is the part where you say something about a conspiracy…let me guess. The oil companies and the car companies are in cahoots, right??

    June 26, 2008
  11. James Spencer #

    Check out the address below to see BMW’s first Hydrogen burning car.

    http://www.wired.com/cars/ener.....6/11/72100

    Jason
    So, you think your 80% inefficient machine is just peachy? You’re OK with that? What I told you about the engine is not my opinion. It’s common knowledge. But you’re not the least bit bothered by those numbers? You are just going to breeze past that and attack me and my bicycle? (Whoops, I don’t have a bicycle.) The one thing you said regarding the alternator is an important concern. So let’s talk about that instead of attacking each other’s …. bicycles or whatever.

    Most of the experimenter hydrolyzers are pulling about 15 to 20 amps at 12 volts (assumed – could be 13V). That’s about 240 – 250 watts. Hmmmm. Not a lot on the overall scale of things, but still too much. However, even at this inefficient level, it’s only using about 1 horsepower of the engine capacity. So the bottom line is: can the resulting Hydrogen “give back” more than one horsepower? Wellll, not if you just slap the hydrolyzer on the car and stick a hose into the air intake. You’ll get nothing. The engine is not set to burn Hydrogen. The O2 sensor will sense that there is less O2 in the exhaust (burning lean) and increase the pulse length to the injectors. That will increase the amount of gasoline consumed. Not good. And the timing is all wrong.

    Bruce

    1) “Flourine is an inert gas and will NOT combine with any other element.” All Highschool and College chemistry taught that as an immutable law of chemistry. Then came Carbon Tetraflouride otherwise know as “Teflon.” Ooooops! Oh well….

    2) The burn speed of H2 is much slower than the 40,000 figure. That was a typo.The burning speed of hydrogen at 8.7–10.7 ft/s (2.65–3.25 m/s) is nearly an order of magnitude higher than that of methane or gasoline (at stoichiometric conditions). Hydrogen also burns closer to the cylinder walls than gasoline. So it just gets things going really quickly. It actually lowers the Octane. And if you know the definition of Octane, you know that it is a measure of RESISTANCE to detonation and that water has the highest octane of all. I will describe the characterization more fully below.

    My attitude toward the automobile began to change when I visited with the top mechanic for General Motors, retired due to poor health, which was the result of job pressure. The papers and many photos of his career were on the wall of his repair shop in rural Oklahoma. His current repair accounts included all of the local work for UPS in Oklahoma

    He told me many things in 1989. He had patented a fuel processing system in 1980 which would make all cars operate much more efficiently. He showed me a letter from General Motors which stated “if you can get this device certified by the EPA, we will put it in every car we make.”

    He showed me the device itself. He had one on his wife’s Ford SUV ( a Bronco, I think). She was getting about 50 miles per gallon. The dynamotor showed 160% power from the engine. He proudly stated: “now you can say you have seen one.”

    He took his request to the EPA. They scoffed at him and presented him with paperwork 24″ tall and printed on both sides. He took that to his attorney. The attorney was astonished. The next day, the attorney told him the following: “it will take 10 years in time and $1,000,000 in money and at the end of that time (and money), there is no guarantee you will be certified.” So he said “to hell with it.” He hoped his kids might be able to benefit from it.

    The experience of meeting with this person happened to me, not you. I don’t expect you to change anything about how you believe or view things.

    The initial high speed ignition of the gasoline by the hydrogen requires that the timing be retarded to “almost top dead center.” This totally changes the efficiency for the better.

    Because the explosion occurs at TDC, the entire process is dedicated to the downward stroke of the piston. The engine operates cooler and there is less wear because you don’t have that “horrible moment” when the piston is upward bound, and ignition occurs before it is all the way up. It’s not rocket science. During that horrible moment, you have the piston trying to go up, but the explosion is trying to push it down. The piston is shoved off to one side or another and ring wear takes place. Also some “blow-by” (gasses that make it past the rings into the oil pan.) The lubricating oil in the upper cylinder is vaporized. The downward vector puts the largest force on the crankshaft bearings at this moment. The head gaskets are being pressed outward, super-hot gasses are temporarily trapped and are being compressed. Enormous heat is squeezed out of the exploding gasses through the thermodynamic law that as the volume decreases the pressure and temperature increase. Then comes TDC and the piston starts moving downward. It has won the battle and now retreats gracefully, but the price has been paid in wear and tear, excessive heat, and poor efficiency.

    Yeah, the H2 also has problems, and there are a lot of scam artists out there trying to make a fast buck. They just make things a whole lot worse.

    But I stand by the original point that the ICE is a rolling disaster. It really strikes home when you start thinking about the 85% efficient electric motor. No oil, antifreeze, gasoline fumes. Just tons and tons of good ol’ battery acid.

    June 26, 2008
  12. James Spencer #

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/f.....A9679C8B63

    Bruce: the Flourine gas example is not correct. So before you jump all over that statement, consider it to be retracted. However, the concept is correct. Many so-called “inert” gases are now combined and the statement had to be amended that they do not combine naturally. The NY Times website at the top of this also describes an ongoing debate about certain “immutable laws” concerning the attraction of electrons.

    I am also not certain about the specific conditions for which the speed at which H2 burns has been presented. I’m getting conflicting information from credible sources on this figure.

    In a pipeline 8 miles long containing – say – 25 percent H2, one source would say the ignition would travel the distance in 1 second and another source would say it takes over an hour.
    My bet is on the shorter time. I think there are typos all over the place on this figure. A lot of the reference material on this simply says it burns “really fast.” Wow, that’s helpful.

    Here is a good explanation for the confusion, by Kevin Cameron:

    “There are two basic forms of combustion, deflagration and detonation. In deflagration, the propagation of combustion is carried out by simple convection; the hot combustion gas heats what is ahead of it, raising its temperature to the ignition point. Because this process of heating what lies ahead takes time, it is relatively slow. The burning of a quiescent gasoline air vapor is in fact slow only a foot or so per second. Combustion in an engine cylinder is much faster than this because of turbulence, which so wrinkles the flame front that its area becomes hugely enlarged. This area, multiplied times the slow quiescent combustion speed, computes out to a very large volume combustion rate.

    Detonation is a different animal, and not all gaseous mixtures will support detonation. It is a form of combustion in which the unburned material is heated to ignition at least partly by shock compression, as the detonation wave moves at the local speed of sound through the medium.

    This has to happen very quickly, so fuels with simple molecules or those with low stability lend themselves to this form of combustion.”

    ==========================================

    My take on this last part is that H2 REALLY “lends itself to this” – being the simplest molecule there is.

    June 27, 2008
  13. James – Sorry for the personal attack. I guess I just don’t get it. Saying that the ICE is an in-efficient disaster is like saying Democracy is a flawed form of government.

    Sure – its’ true that ICE is a fairly wasteful process. It’s also true that Democracy is a wasteful form of government. The problem is that they’re the both the best option we have – at least right now.

    Perhaps when electric battery technology advances to the point that a person can travel 300-400 miles without a re-charge, we’ll have something. The other problem is that batteries need hours to re-charge. Not a huge problem min you, but good luck traveling cross-country with an electric car. Good luck using one to deliver parts or flowers or packages or whatever.

    Electric cars are a good idea, and I’m 100% for them. But this post is about the scam artists that are bilking poor dumb saps out of millions of dollars telling them “I can run your car on water.” That’s what gives me the proverbial “red-ass”.

    Thanks for the comments – this has been fun.

    June 27, 2008
  14. Joao c Lucovich #

    The only system to be proof to work is the addition of water in the air intake. Sound’s nuts? During the second world war, England used Spit-Fire airplane against Me-109(German. When Germany increase the horse power of their engines, left English pilots at a peril. Since the high temperatures of combustion changes water spray to steam and steam has a higher expansion ratios than ideal gas. Thia only works for a few minutes until the engine temperature cools down. It was proof to increase the horse power from 900 to near 1800.

    September 15, 2008
  15. SKIP #

    If this hydrogen generator idea works so well why not take it a step further. Reduce the gasoline consumption to zero. Then have the engine make all the hydrogen it needs to run. My personal opinion here is that it will not work. This would be the definition of perpetual motion machine. The law of energy conservation says it is not possible despite the fact that there is an incredible amt. of energy in a tsp of water, (e=mc2). we simply have no efficient way of extracting it. Car alternators do not cut it. Now if we were to build small nuclear power plant under the hoods of our cars it might be do-able(probably not a good idea)!

    October 8, 2008
  16. Right on Skip.

    October 8, 2008
  17. malik #

    sir

    iam want 25hp engine need how much big hydroen
    plnt thanx

    July 19, 2010
  18. Jim #

    While there may be some people that over hype the benefits of hydrogen injection into internal combustion engines, unfortunately your article does the same thing but in the other direction. You exagerate the negatives. But your understanding of the process is simply incorrect. yes, its true that the laws of physics and thermodynamics preclude one from getting more energy out of a system than they put into it. So the hydrogen combustion process itself generates LESS useful energy than it took to create the hydrogen in the first place via electrolysis. In a purely hydrogen fueled system, you would have a net loss of energy by electrolyzing the water and then burning the hydrogen and oxygen to recover energy. But that’s only half of the picture here. The other half of the story involves the energy content of the gasoline or diesel fuel. It turns out that typical internal combustion engines do not convert 100% of the gas/diesel fuel’s energy into horsepower. Only a fraction of the fuel is actually burned. The rest is wasted and goes out the tailpipe. By adding even tiny amounts of hydrogen to the gasoline/diesel vapors in the carburetor or injector, one can significantly improve the combustion process. That’s because hydrogen has a much higher flame temperature and flame propagation rate than gas or diesel fuel vapors. So more of the gasoline vapor is combusted before the piston hits the bottom of the stroke and then starts its upswing pushing the exhaust fumes out the manifold and tail pipe. And because the hydrogen burns at a higher temperature, some of the normal nasty greenhouse gas emissions are reduced as well through more efficient combustion. BOTTOMLINE – these hydrogen injection systems can and do work to some extent, and they have been demonstrated as such in independent national laboratory testing. Your article is incorrect and misleading. It was not fully researched. But you are correct in stating that many people are exagerating the benefits of this technology too and the long term effects on engine life are not fully known. Who cares if you can improve engine fuel efficiency by 1%, if you end up shortening engine life by 10%.

    September 1, 2010
  19. Jim – It’s simple physics my friend. You can *not* get more out than you put in. The combustion efficiency you may gain with free hydrogen comes at the energy loss of the electrolysis…

    There are no free lunches in energy. This concept is pure and total bullshit.

    September 1, 2010
  20. C.J. #

    I enjoy how these posts always turn into an argument of overall efficiency. Calibrating your cars computer can definitely improve gas mileage in any case. “Tricking” your computer to run leaner with the addition of hydrogen would save gasoline usage. Its just a matter of fuel mapping. I understand the laws of physics enough to understand the opposing arguments. But no one can denie the fact that getting more air into your engine will improve performance and gas mileage. Reason being is because your cars computer (from the factory) is meant to read those changes in air and adjust the amount of fuel injected. The same can be done with hydrogen. Sensors could read the hydrogen injected and adjust the gasoline levels. In this idea, less gasoline is used due to hydrogen and oxygen levels.
    Now, the way it seems, the idea that its going to take energy to produce the hydrogen is indeed a fact. But you must look at the fact that the hydrogen is then converted to usable energy in your combustion chamber. I think at best the energy used to create the hydrogen is produced by the combustion of the hydrogen. And going back, even with this cancellation of hydrogen, one is still using less gasoline due to the adjustment of fuel injected. Thus, saving you money at the pump. Which is what its all about, yeah?
    Maybe I’m wrong or right, but just because you cant get more energy out than you put in doesnt mean that you cant get better fuel mileage.

    September 26, 2010
  21. CJ – I want to make sure I understand what you’re saying: adding Hydrogen to fuel will “trick” the engine into running leaner, and therefore improve gas mileage?

    No dice. The engine computer will increase the injector pulse length to compensate using readings from the O2 sensor.

    You say “I love how these posts always turn into an argument about overall efficiency”, but in my mind there’s another issue here too: If hydrogen “really” boosted fuel economy, why don’t the car companies use this system? Obama’s new rules require automakers to build vehicles that get better gas mileage. If this system worked, they would be all over it.

    The answer? It’s BS!

    September 27, 2010
  22. Ryan #

    I have no knowledge of cars, or hydrogen so dont slam me for asking. but how much energy is needed to make the hydrogen, could a seperate battery, or even a solar panel (depending on how much energy is needed) take care of the hydrogen oxygen system?

    September 28, 2010
  23. Ryan – I’ve seen some systems that use a separate lead-acid battery to generate Hydrogen and Oxygen via electrolysis, but the fact is that the system still doesn’t improve fuel economy even if the energy required to split the water is added to the system – mostly because the engine computer corrects for the lean condition that the system tries to create.

    Conservation of energy is simply the most obvious proof that this doesn’t work – the complete lack of interest in this technology on behalf of the auto companies is the other obvious proof.

    September 29, 2010
  24. Ryan #

    I guess i understand that this hydrogen kit thing is pretty useless but i still am curious and have a lot of what if’s, like what if you could tune the cars computer to balance the hydrogen added? Has anyone tried this thing first hand, i mean it seems like you all know what your talking about but i guess im looking for a solid “yes i have done it, and it DOES NOTHING”.I guess a part of me had high hopes for it. thank you for the reply.

    September 29, 2010
  25. Ryan – I hear what you’re saying about a lack of testing, but the reason no engineers have ever tested it is that it doesn’t pass the logic test. To answer your question:

    - Tuning the engine computer to account for the hydrogen in the fuel would no longer create the lean condition that this technology supposedly generates.

    I think using solar energy to make your car’s interior cooler when parked will save gas. I think checking tire pressures on a regular basis will save gas. I think using cruise control will save gas. I think removing excess weight from your car will save gas. I even think that driving like a little old lady will save gas.

    However, I don’t think that “tricking” your engine computer while simultaneously attempting to circumvent the laws of thermodynamics will save one ounce of gas. Neither does any major automaker anywhere in the world.

    October 3, 2010
  26. Tom Andrews #

    I think it is important to remember that in any hydrogen injection scheme, retarding the ignition timing, re-programming the oxygen sensors and ideally, changing the valve timing contours will all be necessary to obtain any meaningful improvement in efficiencey. The laws of thermodynamics and conservation of energy will still apply, but these laws do not prevent improvement of efficiency in the combustion of gasoline. The improved efficiency does NOT principally derive from the combustion of the hydrogen, but rather, it results from better utilization of the potential energy in the gasoline consumed.

    October 3, 2010
  27. Tom – I say hogwash. If there was some benefit to “hydrogenated” gasoline we see it being used by an automaker. There are things that can be done to improve combustion, but “cutting” gasoline with hydrogen and adding pure oxygen to the air intake isn’t going to make any bit of difference with or without a re-tuning.

    The fact is, it’s a gimmick. The people who perpetuate this idea are usually selling kits.

    October 3, 2010
  28. C.J. #

    “Jason” I wasn’t saying adding hydrogen would trick your computer. I’m saying that a reflash of your engine computer could potentially do the trick. Or perhaps a piggyback ecu, or even a standalone ecu would give a person the capability to change fuel mapping.

    The fact of the matter is, fuel additives are not a new concept. We’ve been adding nitrogen based additives to fuel for years as well as ethanol recently. Hydrogen is a much cleaner combustible gas. I’m not saying that these “kits” are the answer. What I am saying is that adding hydrogen in the fuel mixture could indeed improve gas mileage given the right supporting modifications to a car.

    October 8, 2010
  29. pete maidment Dip Di #

    Morning Chaps, i have read all the above comments with interest, and i am afraid this scam is coming our way to the uk as well, i had only read about it recently with a chap fitting such a system to his harley davidson motorcycle and claiming his fuel saving had gone from 27mpg to 40mpg and thats riding it hard to, wow i thought his bike looks just like the one i own but mine already does near on 40 mpg, any way i contacted this guy to get some details about it and he then said he could fit one for me for about £700, now theres a suprise lol. any way i did some research on the internet on how they are made etc how they work, how the salt/acid content with draw more amps etc etc and built one and fitted it to my car, i must piont out the car i used had only done 29000 miles from new but was a 1.3ltr carburetted vehicle and not fuel injected and only gets used for work and travels exactly 36miles round trip five days a week and costs me £25 in fuel (1.17p a ltr in uk )also of this 36 mile round trip only 3 miles is of urban driving and the rest is motorway driving for wich i kept my speed at dead on 57mph as this would be the most economicable speed for my vehicle. the first few days i found my self convinced that the fuel gauge had not moved as much then i wasnt sure etc till the fill up at the end of the week and i was gobsmacked at the savings i had made,,,absolutley nothing still £25 to fill up, so i fitted a second generator and i am affraid pretty much the same result. so luckily i only spent about £20 in fittings etc as all the stainless bits and bobs were supplied by my employers, big thanks to BAE systems lol,, so from now on i am only going to half fill my tank to save weight keep my tyres pumped up, keep windows up on motorway, not use air con, and use my gears for going and brakes for slowing and drive like my mother as this seems to give the best results

    October 9, 2010
  30. JFF #

    All,

    About the balance of energy:

    My car seats on the parking lot at my job place 9 hours a day under the sun, my commuting time about 20 minutes.

    What prevent me to install a solar panel on the roof of my car that recharge a secondary battery that is used solely to crack water while driving.

    50 (real)W solar panel * 9 hours = 450 Wh
    20 A to make hydrogen on 12V battery during 2 x 0.3 hour = 144Wh

    I understand that the additional weight of the solar panel and the battery will play negatively to the energy balance of my commute, but even assuming that hydrogen injection does not play the role of amplifier to the chemical reaction during the internal combustion, no one can argue that the energy collected from the sun will play positively to the energy balance.

    What do you think?

    October 16, 2010
  31. JFF – You would definitely gain some free energy if you used solar power to split water molecules, but if I were you I’d use that power to cool the interior instead.

    Actual studies conducted by scientists in a controlled manner have never shown that injecting hydrogen into fuel and oxygen into the air intake stream makes a damn bit of difference…however, the same can’t be said of heat-resistant glass: http://www.tundraheadquarters......echnology/

    Hooking your solar array up to a cooling fan would reduce the load on your air conditioner on the way home from work, and you might see a 3% improvement in fuel economy (the article above explains that heat-resistant glass saves gas).

    If it worked for glass, it could definitely work for a little fan.

    October 28, 2010
  32. Disgruntled Republican #

    The theory of adding hydrogen to the engine is a sound theory, period. The hard part is finding the right electrolyte mix, the correct electrodes, and the right housing to maintain an efficient supply of HHO.
    Here’s where the problems come in with the scammer kits. The electrodes will start to corrode fromt he constant exposure to the salt. In addition the water will have to be replenished on a frequent basis, and it MUST be pure water. The housing also has to be a non-reactive housing that can resist the properties of corrosive salt, and must also be air tight. The salt will also have to be replenished due to inevitable contamination issues.
    The bottom line is that this is a POSSIBLE solution to increase efficiency, but it is highly NOT cost effective. Maybe when our chimpanzee of a president passes more ridiculous laws requiring an obscene level of efficiency while taxing the piss out of oil will this become more cost effective.

    October 31, 2010
  33. Disgruntled – How can you argue that adding Hydrogen is a sound theory? Hydrogen has a lower energy capacity than gasoline, and unless sufficient oxygen is added to the air mix to balance the reaction, it has no benefit.

    Of course, in order to get that oxygen, we have to split water…which takes energy…which means that it doesn’t make one damn little bit of sense to use this apparatus as a “fuel saving” device. It is, unequivocally, bullshit.

    October 31, 2010
  34. Disgruntled Republican — the reason that this system is not practical has *nothing* to do with corrosion, the purity of the water, etc, etc.

    The reason this system is not practical is simply because no vehicle’s electrical system has the capacity to produce the amount of hydrogen required to create the benefits that have been observed in the laboratory.

    The amount of electrical energy needed to create sufficient quantities of gas is an order of magnitude greater than any stock alternator set-up can deliver and even if you were to fit a sufficiently large alternator, the amount of gas used to drive that alternator would exceed the benefits gained by its introduction into the combustion process.

    It’s simple physics and chemistry — something that these scammers have absolutely no understanding of.

    They work on the basis that they can find studies which show “hydrogen improves combustion efficiency” and another bit of science that shows “hydrogen can be created by the electrolysis of water” — ergo, creating hydrogen from water and injecting it into the engine’s intake *must* improve fuel efficiency.

    They fail to factor in the myriad of other science that ankle-taps such naive assumptions.

    A little knowledge (as they say) is a dangerous thing.

    October 31, 2010
  35. disgruntled republican #

    Bruce, I must say that your logic there is complete BS. You are forgetting that the electricity in this type of reaction is not the main source of the hydrogen, it merely catalyzes the reaction that ends up splitting the atoms. In a smaller scale using a silver nitrate salt solution, a 2004 Honda Odyssey on a regular basis of 2 years was able to go from 28mpg highway to 35mpg highway. The biggest problems with this setup were #1, the purity of the water being used, #2 maintaining the proper molarity of the silver nitrate salt, #3 the reduced performance of the salt as it got older over time, and #4 the frequency that the electrodes needed to be replaced to optimize the reaction.
    The individual was not at all concerned with engine life or the amount of money being spent on replenishing the salt, the water, and the electrodes. He was one of those ‘green’ nuts that kept throwing money to reduce the fuel consumed.
    Fact is, the science IS extremely solid, the technology IS already available, it IS maintainable even by a pretty boy manager, and it DOES work. However, it is HIGHLY cost ineffective, requires a lot of upkeep, and like everything else in life, becomes LESS effective over time.

    October 31, 2010
  36. There is no catalytic reaction going on here — if so, please show me the formula and energy states involved in it — I bet you can’t, because it’s not happening.

    All the anecdotal “evidence” in the world won’t change the fact that this does not work.

    If it did work then there would be cars using this technology rolling off dealers floors right now and we’d all be saving a heap.

    What? The oil companies are in a conspiracy to block the auto-makers from doing that?

    Then why are all the automakers working right now to bypass gasoline completely without interference from the oil companies?

    What about Tesla? How did they get their completely electric vehicle to market if it’s true that the oil companies are conspiring to bury this technology? The HHO stuff just saves (but is still reliant on gas) yet the Tesla is 100% gasoline-free. Surely pure EVs would be a bigger threat to the gas companies than HHO?

    And before you say that the EV companies are in bed with the gasoline companies — it’s not true. The bulk of the world’s lithium battery manufacturing is done in China — far beyond the grasp of the oil companies.

    And, if this HHO stuff worked, why wouldn’t the Chinese be using it in all their vehicles, given they have no alliances with the oil companies and would love to reduce their reliance on expensive imported fuel?

    See… it doesn’t add up at all.

    The HHO scammers have no science, no independent credible scientific tests to back up their claims and no clue.

    Every single fact proves that HHO is a scam which is at worst, designed to fleece dupes of their hard-earned cash and at best, the result of some self-deluded individuals with no scientific understanding of what’s going on chasing a dream.

    Either way — it’s all rubbish.

    October 31, 2010
  37. Dawn #

    hey boys I know you guys are into all the arguments about physics law and stuff but here is a question for you, What about cars and trucks that are from 1969-1980 that are not fuel injected. No O2 sensor or computer there. That is what I want to know about. My husband has a 1979 chevy pickup, is it possible to increase fuel efficancy with an HHO generator or not?
    I know that you guys will probably argue about this too but i’m haveing fun watching you tear each other’s proverbial throats out.

    November 1, 2010
  38. Dawn – Adding hydrogen to gas *might* work to fool the engine into burning less fuel (emphasize might), but if for sake of argument it did work, it would cause a lean condition. Since carburetor’s can’t self correct a lean condition like fuel injected vehicles, that would cause detonation, pinging, and eventually engine failure.

    November 1, 2010
  39. Terrance #

    You people are a crack up.

    I am no engineer and there are a lot of things I don’t understand and I have learned things the hard way. i.e. jumping off our two story roof with our patio umbrella. (It didn’t work.) When I got older I tried a new and improved bicycle handle bar. I had to ware a cast for 6 weeks after that experiment.
    I don’t think I will tell you about running over a snowman early one morning on my way to school. (Tried to impress my new girl friend I was taking to school)She was really impressed when her mother had to come pick us up and take us the rest of the way.

    Now I’m older and I made a HHO system. Actually I have made several and from different components. The first one I put into an old Toyota truck. Within minutes the truck ran smother. My gas mileage went from 15 mpg to 16 mpg. within three weeks the wire’s corroded and I blew the fuse. I took it out and I still get 16 mpg. I put another on my Yamaha motorcycle. I increased mileage from a consistent 36 mpg to 39mpg. I started saving lots of $ I was unsure of what to spend it all on. Then something happened to my engine. Now 400 dollars later, I no longer have an HHO hookup on my Bike. Now I must tell you that I didn’t jump off the roof twice, I only had to do that once. What I did do is build another fuel saver. I threw the Mason jar away and got some 6″ pvc pipe and some large pieces of stainless steel tubing. I installed it on diesel pickup truck. I have gone from 14mpg to 20 mpg. ummm Maybe I should take another look at jumping off the roof.

    November 5, 2010
  40. Noizy #

    It works.. Ive been messing with this for a couple years now. The mason jar design is absolute crap, but i think everyone started out with that. It does produce, but it overheats- quickly. I am currently using dry cells in all my vehicles. The trick wasnt in the production, the trick was to lean your engine out. As you add HHO into your engine, the mixture becomes rich and most newer vehicles would throw a check engine light because it didnt know where it was coming from. Engines would immediately start running smoother too due to the rich mixture- -but no overall improvement in fuel economy. Lean the motor out and add HHO- now you have a smooth running engine and fuel savings.
    My v8 pickup truck was originally getting 18mpg hwy. Now it gets 22-25 depending on weather conditions (humid, dry, cold, etc). So the bottom line is – It Works, just not with a jar and there is some fine tuning to do with the motor. If you know about electronics and how to tune an old school carburetor, this knowledge will be very helpful when fine tuning a modern ECU controlled vehicle.

    March 1, 2011
  41. chris columby #

    Ifound that even if I forget to ad power( 12v) from the battery, the hho generators continue to operate by absorbing the Ambiant energy that is built up around the Engine compartment.
    Inthis case it is not putting an extra load on my alternator. It is utilizing Ambiant Energy thatis is normally wasted in to the atmosphere.
    How about that?
    hey?

    March 12, 2011
  42. chris columby #

    I don’t need to use my battery to power my HHo generators . They run from picking up the ambiant energy flying around in the Engine compartment , produced by the elecrical system and the elecrical field surrounding the engine instead of wasted into the atmosphere , it is picked up by the gens and used to power and produce Hho with no extra load on anything!
    What say you?

    March 12, 2011
  43. Chris, Noizy, Terrance, et. al. – I’ll NEVER, EVER, EVER believe any HHO system could work – EVER – because it breaks the laws of physics.

    Besides, if all of you were right and this system really did work, why isn’t someone selling it as standard equipment on a new vehicle? Some gas conspiracy? Right. That’s why Ford, GM, Toyota, etc. all work so hard to improve gas mileage every year to meet federal standards.

    This is junk science and a waste of breath.

    March 13, 2011

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