How to make a hydrogen generator with your own hands

Identifying alternative energy sources becomes more crucial as we work to live more sustainably. Hydrogen, an abundant and clean element that can be used as fuel, is one promising option. Although hydrogen generators may sound like something from a science fiction book, DIY enthusiasts can actually easily obtain them. We’ll look at how to build your own hydrogen generator at home in this article.

Let’s start by going over the fundamentals of how a hydrogen generator operates. In essence, it uses a process known as electrolysis to split water molecules (H2O) into hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2). Simple supplies like electrodes, a power source, and a water container can be used to accomplish this. Using this process, you can create hydrogen gas, which has a number of uses such as powering cars or even producing electricity.

It may be asking you now, why use hydrogen when there are other renewable energy sources out there. The versatility of hydrogen is one of its main benefits. Because of its ease of storage and transportation, it is a good choice for places where conventional energy sources are hard to come by or unstable. Furthermore, hydrogen is a genuinely clean energy source since the only byproduct of burning hydrogen or using it in fuel cells is water.

At first, building your own hydrogen generator might seem overwhelming, but with the correct help, it’s a doable do-it-yourself project. You can find lots of online resources to assist you with the process, such as instructional videos and step-by-step tutorials. You’ll have lots of help along the way, from choosing the right supplies to putting the parts together.

As we continue to explore the realm of hydrogen generation, safety must always come first. It is important to exercise caution and follow safety procedures when handling electricity and potentially combustible gases. To reduce risks, make sure you take the required safety measures and educate yourself on appropriate handling techniques.


The device can be tested after it is assembled. In order to accomplish this, a medical needle burner is fitted at the tube’s end and water is poured in. The water needs to have KOH or NaOH added to it. As a last resort, water should be melted or distilled. 10% alkaline solution concentration is sufficient for the device to function. Water should not leak when being poured. Before pouring, it is best to use air to blow out the construction, up to 1 atm of pressure. You can pour water if the hydrogen generator can sustain this pressure; if not, you must repair the leaks.

The electrodes are then connected to a LATR using a diode bridge in accordance with the plan. Install a voltmeter and an ammeter in the circuit to regulate the operation. Beginning at the lowest voltage, gradually increase it while keeping an eye out for outgassing.

It is preferable to complete preliminary work outside the house in the open air.

All work on the unit should be done very carefully because it is an explosive device.

During testing, the performance of the apparatus is observed. If there is a small burner flame, there may be either a low gas emission in the generator, or somewhere there is a gas leakage. If the solution is cloudy and dirty, it should be replaced. It is also necessary to ensure that the device does not overheat, and water does not boil over. To do this, adjust the voltage at the power source. One more thing – the plates are slightly deformed when heated and can stick one to one. To exclude this, it is necessary to make gaskets from rubber. There may also be water spitting – reduce the water level to eliminate this.

Manufacturer"s overview

When it comes to heating, there are no essential differences between hydrogen generators. The power indicator of devices made of different materials is the only feature that allows them to be distinguished from one another.

Boiler with hydrogen STAR-3.0

Take into consideration, for illustration, the features of two comparable American boilers, "HHO" and "Star 1000":

  1. In one hour such a generator consumes 1.5-3 KW.
  2. Water consumption – 5.5 liters per 24 hours.
  3. Generates from 1.2 to 2 liters of fuel per day.
  4. Can be used for heating the air in buildings with an area of up to 250 "squares".
  5. Minimum operating life – 15 years.
  6. Approximate cost in the domestic market – 3000-3500 USD.
  • Water consumption – from 0.7 to 1.1 liters per hour or 5.5 liters per day.
  • Fuel generation – from 1.2 to 2.0 m³/hour.
  • Estimated period of operation – at least 15 years.
  • Energy consumption – from 1.2 to 3 kW.
  • Heated area – up to 250 square meters.
  • Price – up to 230 000 rubles.
  • Thermal capacity – 27 kW
  • Energy consumption – 300 watt/hour.
  • Number of circuits – one heating circuit + one water heating circuit, which can be installed for a separate fee.
  • Cost – 63-73 thousand rubles.
  • Water consumption – 1.6 liters per hour.
  • Fuel generation – 3 m³/hour.
  • Energy consumption – up to 9 kW.
  • Cost – 480 thousand rubles.

Prospects of hydrogen as a fuel for heating boiler

  • Hydrogen is the most common "fuel" in the Universe and the tenth most common chemical element on Earth. Simply put – you will have no problems with fuel reserves.
  • This gas can harm neither people, animals nor plants – it is not toxic.
  • "Exhaust" hydrogen boiler is absolutely harmless – the product of combustion of this gas is ordinary water.
  • The temperature of combustion of hydrogen reaches 6000 degrees Celsius, which indicates the high heat capacity of this type of fuel.
  • Hydrogen is 14 times lighter than air, i.e. in case of leakage the fuel "emission" will escape from the boiler room by itself, and in a very short time.
  • Cost of one kilogram of hydrogen – 2-7 US dollars. The density of gaseous hydrogen is 0.008987 kg/m3.
  • Calorific value of a cubic meter of hydrogen – 13 000 kJ. Energy intensity of natural gas is three times higher, but the cost price of hydrogen as a fuel is ten times lower. As a result, alternative heating of a private house with hydrogen will cost no more expensive than the practice of using natural gas. In this case, the owner of the hydrogen boiler does not need to pay the appetites of the owners of gas companies and build an expensive gas pipeline, as well as to go through an extremely bureaucratic procedure for approval of all sorts of "projects" and "permits".

In summary, the aerospace industry, which uses hydrogen to "refuel" rockets, has already recognized that hydrogen has the best potential as a fuel.

The hydrogen heating boiler is a contemporary invention.

How the heating boiler on hydrogen works

Just like with a traditional gas boiler:

  • Fuel is supplied to the burner.
  • The torch of the burner heats up the heat exchanger.
  • The coolant poured into the heat exchanger is transported to the batteries.

Only special installations, such as hydrogen generators, are required for fuel production in place of the main gas pipeline or tanks containing liquefied fuel.

Additionally, the most popular kind of generator for a home is an electrolytic device that separates water into hydrogen and oxygen. Fuel produced by electric generators for heating hydrogen can cost as much as $6–$7 per kilogram. A cubic meter of combustible gas requires both 1.2 kW of electricity and water at the same time.

However, in this instance, there is a chance to save costs on the combustion product removal. After all, the only substance released during the combustion of an oxygen and air mixture is water vapor. Thus, a "real" chimney is not necessary for such a boiler.

Pros of hydrogen boilers

  • Hydrogen can be used to "heat" any boilers. That is absolutely any – even old "Soviet" units, purchased in the 80s of the last century. You need a new burner and granite or fireclay stone in the firebox, which increases thermal inertia and levels out the boiler"s overheating effect.
  • Hydrogen boilers have an increased heat output. A standard gas boiler for 10-12 square kilowatts on hydrogen will "give out" up to 30-40 kilowatts of heat output.
  • For heating with hydrogen, by and large only a burner is needed. Therefore, even a solid fuel boiler can be remodeled for hydrogen by installing a burner in the furnace.
  • The base for the fuel – water – can be extracted from the tap. Although the ideal semi-finished product for hydrogen production is distilled water, in which sodium hydroxide is mixed.

Minuses of hydrogen boilers

  • Small range of hydrogen boilers and gas generators of industrial type. Most sellers offer "homemade" products with dubious certification.
  • High price of industrial models.
  • Explosive "character" of the fuel – in a mixture with oxygen (in proportion 2:5) hydrogen turns into a rattlesnake gas.
  • High noise level of gas generating units.
  • High flame temperature – up to 3200 degrees Celsius, making it difficult to use hydrogen as a fuel for a kitchen stove (you need special dissipaters). However, H2ydroGEM – hydrogen heating boiler made in Italy by giacomini – equipped with a burner with flame temperature up to 300 degrees Celsius.

In today"s world, where energy efficiency and sustainability are paramount, finding innovative ways to power our homes is crucial. One promising avenue is the creation of hydrogen generators, which can produce clean energy right at home. By harnessing the power of electrolysis, these generators split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen gases, providing a renewable energy source that can be used for heating, powering appliances, and more. Building your own hydrogen generator might sound complex, but with the right guidance and materials, it can be a rewarding DIY project. From selecting the right components to ensuring safety measures, this article will walk you through the steps to create your own hydrogen generator, empowering you to take control of your energy future while reducing your environmental footprint.

Hydrogen generator with your own hands

Homemade apparatus depicts a schematic of a water-filled container with electrodes inside to turn water into hydrogen and oxygen.

To create such a device using your hands, you will require:

  1. A sheet of stainless metal 0.5-0.7mm thick. 12Х18Н10Т stainless steel is suitable.
  2. Plexiglas plates.
  3. Rubber tubes for water inlet and outlet of gases.
  4. 3 mm thick sheet of gasoline-oil-resistant rubber.
  5. Voltage source – LATR with diode bridge to obtain direct current. It should provide a current of 5-8 amperes.

First, cut 200 x 200 mm rectangles out of stainless steel plates. To tighten the entire construction with bolts, the corners of the plates should be cut off. Drill a hole in each plate for water circulation that is 5 mm in diameter and 3 cm from the plates’ bottom. Each plate also has a wire soldered to it so that it can be connected to a power source.

Rubber rings with an inner diameter of 190mm and an outer diameter of 200mm are formed before assembly. In addition, two Plexiglas plates measuring 200 x 200 mm and with a thickness of 2 cm must be prepared. Holes must be drilled into each plate on four sides to accommodate M8 fastening bolts.

The order in which the assembly is started is as follows: place the first plate first, followed by a rubber ring that has been sealed on both sides, the next plate, and so forth, until the final plate. After that, M8 studs and plexiglass plates must be used to tie the entire construction from both sides. Two holes are drilled in the plates: one at the top for the gas outlet and one at the bottom for the liquid supply. That’s where the connector is inserted. On these connectors, medical polychlorovinyl tubes are installed. You ought to thus receive a construction similar to the one in the following image.

Create a hydrogen generator by hand

Making a water shutter—or, better yet, two shutters—on the path from the generator to the burner is required to prevent gas from leaking back into the gas generator.

The gate’s design resembles a water tank, with the tube leading to the burner above the water’s surface and the tube leading to the generator lowered into it. The figure below depicts the hydrogen generator’s gated scheme.

A hydrogen generator’s schematic diagram featuring water gates

In an electrolyzer – a sealed container of water with lowered electrodes, gas begins to be released when voltage is applied. It is fed through tube 1 to gate 1. The water shutter is designed in such a way, as can be seen from the figure, that the gas can move only in the direction from the electrolyzer to the burner, and not vice versa. This is prevented by the different density of the water, which must be overcome on the return trip. Further on through tube 2 the gas moves to the 2nd shutter, which is designed for greater reliability of the system: if suddenly for some reason the first shutter does not work. After that, the gas is supplied to the burner by means of tube 3

Because they stop gas from flowing in the other direction, water gates are a crucial component of the apparatus.

The gadget might blow up if the gas seeps back into the electrolyzer. Consequently, it is never recommended to use the device without water gates!

Domestic use

Hydrogen finds use in domestic settings as well. These are, to begin with, self-contained heating systems. However, there are a few oddities in this case. Brown’s gas generators are considerably less expensive than pure hydrogen plants, which you can even put together yourself. However, when planning a home’s heating system, keep in mind that Brown’s gas has a much higher combustion temperature than methane. As a result, a special boiler—which is slightly more expensive than an ordinary one—will be needed.

The fuel boiler needs to have the appropriate label.

Although there are a lot of articles on the Internet that claim you can use regular boilers for rattlesnake gas, this is untrue. In the best scenario, they will fail quickly; in the worst scenario, they may have tragic or depressing effects. There are specific designs with a more heat-resistant nozzle for Brown’s mixture.

It should be mentioned that due to their low efficiency, heating systems based on hydrogen generators are not very cost-effective. These systems have two losses: one occurs during gas generation, and the other occurs during water heating in the boiler. Instantaneous water heating in an electric boiler is more cost-effective.

An equally controversial domestic implementation involves enriching gasoline in a car engine’s fuel system with Brown’s gas to save money.

Utilizing a UFO generator in a vehicle


  • a – HFO generator (accepted designation for Brown"s gas);
  • b – gas outlet to the drying chamber;
  • c – compartment for water vapor removal;
  • d – return of condensate to the generator;
  • e – supply of dried gas to the air filter of the fuel system;
  • f – automobile engine;
  • g – connection to the battery and electric generator.

It should be mentioned that, when put together properly, such a system may even function in certain situations. However, you won’t find the precise parameters, power gain coefficient, or savings percentage. These are extremely ambiguous, and there are doubts about the data’s accuracy. Once more, the extent of the motor life reduction is unknown.

However, requests lead to proposals; on the Internet, you can find comprehensive designs for these kinds of gadgets as well as connection instructions. Additionally, ready-made models from the Land of the Rising Sun are available.

Pros and cons

The following are some of the benefits of this kind of heating:

  1. This is an environmentally friendly type of heating, since the combustion of hydrogen in an oxygen environment forms water in the form of steam, and there is no more emission of any harmful substances into the atmosphere.
  2. It is possible to connect the generator to the existing water heating system of a private house without special modifications.
  3. The installation works quietly, so it does not require any special room.


  1. Hydrogen has a high combustion temperature, which in an oxygen environment can reach 3200°C, so a conventional boiler can fail very quickly. In modern devices, scientists have achieved the result of gas combustion at a temperature of 300 ° C, so the problem can be considered practically solved.
  2. When working with Brown"s gas, you need to be very careful, as it is explosive. This is solved by the use of various safety valves and automatics in the device.
  3. Requires the use of distilled water or water with alkali for operation.
  4. High cost of equipment. To solve this problem, many people try to assemble an installation for obtaining hydrogen with their own hands.

Prospects of using hydrogen boilers

Why are hydrogen boilers a promising option for heating a private home worth discussing in general? It’s all about the increasing demand for "green" technologies and the worldwide trend towards them. Without a doubt, the hydrogen boiler ranks "number one" among the greenest heating options available.

First off, it doesn’t release carbon dioxide during operation, which is the "main scourge" of equipment that runs on hydrocarbon fuel, which includes liquid, gas, and solid fuel.

Second, since pure water is the byproduct of combustion in a hydrogen boiler, it doesn’t need ventilation or devices to remove combustion products in order to function. which means that in order to power them, more energy might be needed. and only require additional room inside the home. In other words, you can install a hydrogen boiler and free up boiler room space.

Regarding the landlord

"Up until now, only extremely wealthy individuals or ardent optimists have installed hydrogen boilers in their homes for heating purposes."

Thirdly, the house’s interior is made more humid by the water vapor that is released when hydrogen is burned.

Most significantly, though, is that electricity generators powered by renewable energy sources (RES) and with a noticeable intermittent nature work well with hydrogen boilers. For instance, with wind generators and equipment that runs on biogas. In this situation, during peak modes, RES generators can electrolyze hydrogen, which will then be used as boiler fuel. Direct grid connectivity for these generators will necessitate the use of more costly equipment.

An advertisement outlining the "advantages" of a hydrogen boiler

Cheap energy from RES can be "converted" to hydrogen as technology develops; this is already taking place in industrial facilities. However, installing a hydrogen boiler to heat their homes has so far put either extremely wealthy people or ardent optimists at risk.

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About the law of conservation of energy

This law states that everything in the world is interconnected: if there is a loss somewhere, there will be a gain somewhere else. And in order to obtain gas by means of electrolysis, a certain amount of electrical energy will still have to be expended. And energy, as we know, is obtained mainly as a result of creating heat during combustion of other types of fuel. And even if we take the net energy needed to generate electricity and that which hydrogen gives after combustion, the losses are twofold (at least!) even with the most modern equipment. So, 1/2 of the money is just thrown away. Moreover, this is only the cost of operation, and the cost of the equipment, which, as noted, is not cheap, is not taken into account. Consider at least hydrogen generators.

Based on research conducted in the United States, the cost of producing one kilogram of hydrogen is as follows:

  • 6.5 dollars if we use the industrial electric grid;
  • 9 dollars for wind turbines;
  • 20 dollars in the case of solar devices;
  • 2.2 dollars if solid fuel is used;
  • 5.5 dollars if the substance is produced from biomass;
  • 2.3 dollars, if it is electrolysis at high temperature, carried out at a nuclear power plant (the cheapest method, but the furthest from the usual household application).

Be mindful! Even the most sophisticated household generator will pale in comparison to an equivalent industrial device in every way. Therefore, it is impossible to say that hydrogen can be a serious competitor to natural gas given the prices described.

The same holds true for heat pumps, diesel, and even electricity.

Materials Needed Instructions
Glass jar or container Start by filling the jar with water.
Stainless steel spoon or wire Insert the spoon or wire into the jar, making sure it doesn"t touch the sides.
Electricity source (such as a battery) Connect one end of the wire to the positive terminal and the other end to the negative terminal.
Collection container Place another container above the jar to collect the hydrogen gas.
Water As the electricity passes through the water, hydrogen bubbles will form at the spoon or wire.
Electrical tape Seal any gaps between the jar and the wire with electrical tape to prevent leaks.

Building a hydrogen generator at home presents a fascinating way to investigate alternate energy sources and possibly lessen dependency on fossil fuels. With the help of basic materials and fundamental chemical concepts, homeowners can produce hydrogen gas by utilizing the process of electrolysis.

The environmental benefits of building a hydrogen generator are one of its main advantages. Burning hydrogen emits no emissions, making it a clean and sustainable energy source in contrast to fossil fuels. People can help mitigate the effects of climate change and reduce carbon emissions by adding hydrogen to their home heating systems.

In addition, building a hydrogen generator locally can help achieve energy independence. Homeowners can produce their own hydrogen gas using renewable energy sources like solar or wind power, as an alternative to exclusively depending on centralized power grids. The energy production process is becoming more decentralized, which increases resilience and lowers vulnerability to disruptions in the conventional energy infrastructure.

On the other hand, building a hydrogen generator requires careful planning and close attention to safety. Because hydrogen gas is extremely flammable, handling it carefully is necessary to avoid mishaps. In order to guarantee the generator operates safely and reduce the risk of combustion, proper containment and ventilation measures are essential.

In conclusion, building a hydrogen generator at home is a useful and sustainable approach to investigate green energy options. Individuals can produce clean, renewable hydrogen gas for insulation and heating by utilizing the process of electrolysis. Although safety measures need to be taken, hydrogen technology presents a promising path toward the production of sustainable energy in the future.

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Sergey Ivanov

I like to help people create comfort and comfort in their homes. I share my experience and knowledge in articles so that you can make the right choice of a heating and insulation system for your home.

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