While 73% of the visible universe is made up of hydrogen, we barely have any down here in our atmosphere. Hydrogen molecules are so light that the earth’s gravitational pull can’t keep it down.
However, hydrogen has several uses for us here on earth from refining petroleum to producing the sweeteners that go into chewing gum. To create pure hydrogen gas, we need to use a hydrogen generator.
If you’ve been wondering exactly how today’s hydrogen generators work, then look no further. Let’s take a closer look at how hydrogen generators produce hydrogen gas.
How a Hydrogen Generator Works
If you’re familiar with the periodic table of the elements, then you’ll know that water (H2O) is made of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. The hydrogen generator’s task is to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen.
To do this, hydrogen generators use a process known as electrolysis to break the atoms apart. During electrolysis, an electrical current is used to produce hydrogen.
A hydrogen generator consists of an anode (positively charged electrode) that causes the molecules of water to lose two electrons which creates four hydrogen ions and one oxygen molecule
The hydrogen generator then vents the oxygen that is produced into the atmosphere from the back of the generator.
From here, the four hydrogen ions travel through what is called the ‘ion exchange membrane’. They are drawn towards the negatively charged cathode where they collect four electrons, which collects four electrons leaving two hydrogen molecules.
The ion exchange membrane keeps the hydrogen gas and the oxygen separate as oxygen can’t pass through it.
Why Are Hydrogen Generators Used?
Hydrogen cylinders are readily available, but they run out and they’re not particularly environmentally friendly. Hydrogen generators can provide a steady supply of hydrogen on-demand without the worry of running out.
This makes them a much more reliable source of hydrogen for projects requiring a larger amount.
Hydrogen generators are also safer alternative cylinders because they store much less compressed gas at any one time. Take a moment to find out more about hydrogen generators you can purchase.
Common Uses of Hydrogen Generators
As mentioned, hydrogen generators tend to be used where a constant supply of hydrogen is required. Some of the most common places you’ll find hydrogen generators are:
- Pharmaceuticals (Gas chromatography)
- Electric vehicles (Fuel cells)
- Producing fertilizer
- Refining petrol
- Treating Metals
- Processing Foods
The use of hydrogen generators can dramatically reduce the use of fossil fuels as well as reducing toxic emissions. They essentially use clean water as a fuel source.
That’s How a Hydrogen Generator Works
Hydrogen generators offer a more environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative to hydrogen cylinders and fossil fuels. They’re reliable and can produce consistently better quality hydrogen.
More and more industries are moving towards using hydrogen as supposed to non-renewable alternatives. One day, they might even power our houses!
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