Electrolysis Cell Voltage Required?

Thread Starter

russwr

Joined Aug 29, 2017
67
Need data regarding small electrolysis cell of opposing plates. With 12v DC applied and 6 amps on meter to ground, it is assumed that the cell has about 2 ohms electrical resistance. E / I = R. When electrodes are changed to 1/8th size, the amperage reduces on meter. Does this assume that the cell, without any other changes, has HIGHER resistance? If voltage is increased to 60 volts, the cell may produce the same amount of hydrogen gas, at 6 amps again. R X I = E volts. What do you think?
 

LowQCab

Joined Nov 6, 2012
4,290
I think that the only thing that makes a difference is the Current, the Voltage will vary all over the place.

The amount of Current, relative to the surface-area, will determine the efficiency.

A small surface-area, with a lot of Current, will generate a huge amount of HEAT,
which is 100% wasted energy.

The minimum "required" Current is actually very small,
and low-Current, ( less than maybe ~40mA ), is much more efficient,
but it also makes the process very slow.

If You want "fast", or "small", the efficiency will become very low.

You can't win, this is an inefficient, and expensive, process.
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Thread Starter

russwr

Joined Aug 29, 2017
67
Need data suggestions regarding small electrolysis cell of opposing plates. With 12v DC applied and 6 amps on meter to ground through cell, it is assumed that the cell has about 2 ohms electrical resistance. E / I = R. When electrodes are changed to 1/8th size, the amperage reduces on meter. Does this assume that the cell, without any other changes, has HIGHER resistance? (It's the same electrolyte and spacing distance) If voltage is increased to 60 volts, the cell may produce the same amount of hydrogen gas, at 6 amps again. R X I = E volts. What do you think?

Original question only asked about HOW to get the same current flow through an electrolysis cell with smaller electrodes,- MAYBE by increasing voltage to 60 volts? Everybody already knows about huge inefficiencies involved as is very old style process. Salt water at gap increases resistance of 10-22 ohms against a zero ohms gap as bench tested. Years back, 2005-2012, technicians in Georgia said that 100 volts at 6-7 amps was needed for electrolysis using salt water and very small electrodes. There was also talk about injecting a Plasma Path using high volts pulse to allow a low volts current to pass. Measurements were done with oscilloscope probe. I wanted to know if this was true about increasing the voltage input. The web forum was closed down 2019.
 
Last edited:

k1ng 1337

Joined Sep 11, 2020
1,015
Need data regarding small electrolysis cell of opposing plates. With 12v DC applied and 6 amps on meter to ground, it is assumed that the cell has about 2 ohms electrical resistance. E / I = R. When electrodes are changed to 1/8th size, the amperage reduces on meter. Does this assume that the cell, without any other changes, has HIGHER resistance? If voltage is increased to 60 volts, the cell may produce the same amount of hydrogen gas, at 6 amps again. R X I = E volts. What do you think?
There isn't enough information to get a practical answer. Roughly speaking, the amount of current produced is proportional to the redox reactions occurring at each electrode. If the electrode plate is larger, more reactions can occur at the boundary surface. However, if the concentrations of the reactants are too low, a larger plate size won't produce more current simply because there aren't enough atoms available to react.

This is to say there is a delicate balance between the size and shape of the electrodes and the concentration of the electrolyte. The reactions themselves require a certain voltage to take place and by applying excess voltage, every possible side reaction which can occur, will occur. You can use the Table of Standard Electrode Potentials and the Nernst equation to predict what should happen in a controlled environment. This will tell you how much voltage is needed to induce a given reaction and the rate at which the reaction will occur for the given concentrations. Ohm's law by itself isn't enough to describe the reactions.
 

Thread Starter

russwr

Joined Aug 29, 2017
67
I think that the only thing that makes a difference is the Current, the Voltage will vary all over the place.

The amount of Current, relative to the surface-area, will determine the efficiency.

A small surface-area, with a lot of Current, will generate a huge amount of HEAT,
which is 100% wasted energy.

The minimum "required" Current is actually very small,
and low-Current, ( less than maybe ~40mA ), is much more efficient,
but it also makes the process very slow.

If You want "fast", or "small", the efficiency will become very low.

You can't win, this is an inefficient, and expensive, process.
.
.
.
Original question only asked about HOW to get the same current flow through an electrolysis cell with smaller electrodes,- MAYBE by increasing voltage to 60 volts? Everybody already knows about huge inefficiencies involved as is very old style process. Salt water at gap increases resistance of 10-22 ohms against a zero ohms gap as bench tested. Years back, 2005-2012, technicians in Georgia said that 100 volts at 6-7 amps was needed for electrolysis using salt water and very small electrodes. There was also talk about injecting a Plasma Path using high volts pulse to allow a low volts current to pass. Measurements were done with oscilloscope probe. I wanted to know if this was true about increasing the voltage input. The web forum was closed down 2019.
 
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