Electric Separation – Hydrogen and Oxygen Up Close!

December 12, 2013
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Thinking about potassium, we’re sure.

Starting in 1807, Sir Humphry Davy used electrolysis to discover a myriad of elements. He used this process to uncover what we now take for granted as potassium, sodium, barium, calcium, chlorine, and magnesium among others.

The process Davy’s used has largely remained unchanged and can be followed by you and your students using the following Electrolysis Apparatus Unit (N99-B-2637-040) found at NADA Scientific.

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The electrolysis apparatus is used to demonstrate experiments in electrical charge/discharge and energy conversion. It features a main unit made of AS resin with fixed stainless steel electrodes, graduated test tubes (2), and a resin test tube holder. The compact design makes these units stackable for neat and easy storage. 

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If you’re looking for a suitable power source, it can also be purchased with the GENECON12  as a set to create the entire lab experience of separating water into its component gases.

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Producing Hydrogen

August 21, 2009

In discussions about alternative fuels, on of the most mentioned possibilities is Hydrogen power. Hydrogen is combined with oxygen to produce energy, with water and heat as byproducts. As with other alternative fuels, one of the issues at hand is how to produce the hydrogen cleanly and effectively. The ways researchers and engineers are trying to solve this are stated in the article “Renewable Hydrogen Reproduction Technologies,” from the November 2008 issue of Power Engineering.

Hydrogen can be produced from water by electrolysis. While the means to power this cleanly and without emissions is still underway, students can be shown electrolysis at work using one of our electrolysis kits.

According to that article, one of the most promising ways to power electrolysis involves utilizing the hydrogen that is found in anaerobic digester gas (ADG), which is an organic waste product, and methane, in electrolysis. This is already in use in a fuel cell power plant in Yonkers, NY. According to UTC Power, ADG using fuel cells only release 72 pounds of emissions into the environment. This is in contrast to the more than 41,000 pounds from the average oil-fired plant.