A booming segment of the Perpetual Motion Machine industry is capitalizing on the hype over the "Hydrogen Economy" with claims to produce Hydrogen for impossibly low cost.

2004-07-12

Xogen and Faraday

Michael Faraday's laws of electrolysis state that:
1 - The mass of an element discharged at an electrode m is directly proportional to the amount of electrical charge Q passed through the electrode.
2 - If the same amount of electrical charge Q is passed through several electrodes, the mass m of an element discharged at each electrode will be directly proportional to both (a) the atomic mass of the element, and (b) the number of moles of electrons required to discharge one mole of the element from whatever material is being discharged at the electrode (the charge number z).

In January 2004, Xogen released a study that proported to show that they had developed a new electrochemical process other than electrolysis to extract Hydrogen and Oxygen from water. The report was available from their site for only a short time before it was pulled, however an investor posted a copy to a message boardbefore it was taken down.

Following on its mandate, the Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) has assessed data testing and analysis conducted relative to the basic science of the Xogen technology (hereafter 'the technology') and makes the following statements and I comment in italics:

The technology is not conventional electrolysis as governed by the laws of electrolysis established by Michael Faraday in 1834, because:
(a) The technology produces approximately 3 times more gas output for approximately 1/3rd the current required by conventional electrolysis;
(b) The gas output in part (a) is achieved without special water (i.e. deionized, demineralized) or catalyst (electrolyte). Only City of Calgary tap water was used; Do Faraday's laws not apply to Calgary city water?
(c) As a minimum, with the same power input, the gas production that has been achieved with environmental streams tested is similar to what has been achieved with ordinary tap water; Do Faraday's laws require that environmental streams of water provide dissimilar results to tap water?
(d) The output gas is a stoichiometric mixture of hydrogen and oxygen containing less than 3% water vapour; Do Faraday's laws specify that electrolysis should produce more than 3% water vapor?
(e) The electronic circuitry is digitally driven; Do Faraday's laws specify analog controls?
(f) The gas output does not require drying or filtering prior to its use for combustion;Or a minimum of impurities?
(g) The technology is manufactured from off-the-shelf components. Or parts that are not "off-the-shelf"? Remember, Faraday worked in the 19th century. What special components does Xogen think he was using?

In order to address issues of safety, the Xogen generator output was combusted as it was produced, without the requirement for gas storage.

The output gas has been used to operate a Briggs and Stratton engine and a 1kW Honda generator under 90% load conditions, with very minor modifications to both engines.

The TAP also provided an additional clarifying statement that read, "Faraday's Electrolysis Laws must not be confused with the Laws of Thermodynamics. Faradays Electrolysis Laws describe the maximum usable output obtainable using conventional electrolysis for a given quantity of input energy. No. For a given quantity of current. The Laws of Thermodynamics clearly state that the energy available in a given system will never exceed the overall energy contained within the given system. The Xogen Technology does not under any circumstances violate this fundamental Law of Physics." Yet many Xogen/Tathacus investors understood them to say with this report that they were generating more energy in the form of Hydrogen than they used in the form of battery power.

Technical Advisory Panel(TAP)

Keith Clayton holds a B.Sc. Chemical Engineering and is a Professional Engineer in the Province of Alberta. He joins the panel after retiring from Agrium Inc. with more than 35 years of service. His most recent position with Agrium was as Director of Technology. Mr. Clayton brings a great depth of knowledge on hydrogen generation technologies and techniques, hydrogen being a key input into the fertilizer manufacturing process.

Norm Bartley holds a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering, and is a Professional Engineer and Faculty Member at the University of Calgary. He specializes in electronic circuits and systems, and has provided expert opinions on the Xogen Technology in the past.

Amar Amarnath holds a Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering, as well as a B.Tech (Honors) in Chemical Engineering, and is a Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario. Mr. Amarnath is an independent consultant, and has served as such for numerous companies, including Syncrude, Sherrit Inc. and Agrium. He has over 25 years of experience in broad based hydrogen generation techniques and chemistry related fields.

Technical Advisory Panel(TAP)

The Xogen technology performance as independently tested by the Alberta Research Council March 2001.

18 Amp hours of current flowing will liberate approximately 100.2 litres of hydrogen/oxygen gas of which 2/3rds (66.8 litres) is hydrogen and 1/3rd (33.4 litres) is oxygen. Concerning the physics of the Xogen technology, all other disclosure about the technology that we can make at this time is contained in US patents 6,126,794 and 6,419,815.

How do we compare

Conventional Electrolysis of water

53.6 Amp hours of current flowing will liberate 22.414 litres of hydrogen gas at 0 degrees C, 1 atm.

Xogen Technology

18 Amp hours of current flowing will liberate approximately 100.2 litres of hydrogen/oxygen gas of which 2/3rds (66.8 litres) is hydrogen and 1/3rd (33.4 litres) is oxygen.
Tested by the Alberta Research Council March 2001.
The TAP has concluded that the technology is not conventional electrolysis as governed by the laws of electrolysis established by Michael Faraday in 1834, because the Xogen technology does not operate within the voltage parameters as defined by Faraday's Law.What voltage parameters specified by Faraday's laws? The Xogen technology produced approximately three (3) times more oxy-hydrogen gas output using approximately one third (1/3) the current used by conventional electrolysis. As a minimum, with the same power input, the gas production that has been achieved with environmental streams tested is similar to what has been achieved with ordinary tap water.

Conventional electrolysis of Water

Electrolysis of water is by definition the use of electrons via an applied current and voltage to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gas. The chemistry of the process is determined by the following equations:
Positive electrode (anode):
Negative electrode (cathode):
Net reaction: * - Potentials based on measurements made in 1 M sulfuric acid at 25 °C and 1 atm. Taken from p.D-121, CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 55th Ed, CRC Press, 1974. This potential is the same whether the solution is acidic, basic, or neutral. However, it has been argued that added heat energy is needed to compensate for the change in entropy of the system. This added heat raises the minimum necessary potential of the system to 1.47 V ( J. MíO. Bockris, 1980). Note that for electrolysis, the Voltage required is given to 3 significant figures, while for the Xogen process, it's not shown. The theoretical power efficiency for the electrolysis of water can be calculated in a number of ways. As long as the same conditions are applied to each case, the results give a relative comparison between the actual efficiencies of different electrolysis gas generators. The water electrolysis industry typically reports power efficiencies in kilowatt hours of power required to produce 1 m³ of pure hydrogen gas at 25 °C and 1 atmosphere pressure (101.325 kPa). Ideally, one mole of water plus two moles of electrons will produce one mole of hydrogen gas. The "ideally" refers to the Voltage. The conversion of 2 moles of electrons to one mole of H2 is certain.
1 mole of H2 gas is equivalent to 22.414 L, or 0.022414 m³ of H2 gas.
2 moles of electrons are equivalent to 53.6 Ah [(2 mole)(96,485 C/mole)(1 A/Cs)(1 h/3600 s)].
Ideally, 1.47 V is needed, so the ideal power efficiency is:
(53.6 Ah)(1.47 V)/(0.022414 m³) = 3.52 kWh/m³ of H2 gas
at 25 °C, 1 atm (1.013 bar).

Simply put :
53.6 Amp hours of current flowing will liberate 22.414 litres of hydrogen gas at 0 degrees C, 1 atm.

Conventional electrolysis as governed by the laws of electrolysis established by Michael Faraday in 1834 will have the above performance.

Source Taken from CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 55th Ed, CRC Press, 1974.

More independent laboratory test data will be posted shortly. That didn't happen.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the heck is your point pal?

"18 Amp hours of current flowing will liberate approximately 100.2 litres of hydrogen/oxygen gas of which 2/3rds (66.8 litres) is hydrogen and 1/3rd (33.4 litres) is oxygen."

vs

"53.6 Amp hours of current flowing will liberate 22.414 litres of hydrogen gas at 0 degrees C, 1 atm."

Ok, the Xogen technology seems to produce more gas with less amp hours... Unless maybe Im misinterpreting this information. But it seems as though you are trying to say that Xogen technology cant be better than standard electrolysis. So what the heck is your conclusion? Are you merely trying to say that Xogen technology must follow Faradays laws of electrolysis? Well, you dont make a very good case buddy. Have you looked at how the Xogen technology works? I have and I know it is very different from standard electrolysis. What the heck are you basing your argument on? Also, do you people never learn that knowledge passed down to us is not always 100% accurate? How many times in history does an accepted idea have to be blown away before you stubborn people realize that what we know is not the end all be all? Jesus Christ.

April 28, 2006 1:57 AM

 
Blogger john lichtenstein said...

Your quotes are from an Xogen document, so it's their point you are asking about. It looks to me like they were trying to say that their process was different from electrolysis in that it draws less current. Actually, this isn't true. You have to read the next two posts to see that they made errors of about 8% by not correcting their gas flow measurements for the temperature of the room, about 3% by not correcting flow measurement for water vapor content, and 700% by not correcting their current measurement to account for the 8 cells being in series. When you make these corrections, you can see that Xogen's process has the same relationship between current and flow as electrolysis.

The Xogen process is just electrolysis accompanied with a statement that it's not electrolysis.

April 28, 2006 12:59 PM

 
Blogger Dan said...

Robert Dopp has developed an advanced and novel technique for hydrogen generation through water electrolysis. The following white paper outlines how higher rates of hydrogen generation can be attained through new approaches using water electrolysis. For more information visit Robert Dopp's web page

July 17, 2008 4:24 AM

 

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