Has anyone tried a hydrogen boost system?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Fuel Economy' started by Azor, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I'm no emissions expert, but past discussions indicate that lean burn is associated with excessive NOx emissions, derived from the same high temperatures that supposedly can cause engine damage.

    Honda has made some models specifically designed for lean burn, part time under certain conditions instead of full time. But they seem to have removed them from the market under newer, tighter regulations.
     
  2. Snake

    Snake New Member

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    LOL! This is perfect, I like this one.

    More on topic, Azor. A couple people have asked you if you are intending to purchase and you haven't really answered. Are you just doing research, or is this something you genuinely want to buy and are just looking for approval from others online?

    And why go to a Prius specific forum for this, and not general automotive modifications?
     
  3. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    The Tripod site you are trying to reach does not have a recognized start page (index.html). You have received this error page because Tripod does not allow the automatic listing of directory or subdirectory contents.
     
  4. teeasal

    teeasal New Member

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    To be fair to the OP, he raised a legit question and we should not pounce on him like he's a criminal. Please be polite and try to help another member with reasoning, not emotions.

    I saw an article in the local newspaper about a year ago, about a truck driver installing some sort of HHO devices in his truck. He claimed to get 20%+ increase in FE. He even let the newspaper take a photo of his mod: 6, that is, SIX electrolysis devices installed + some sort of engine management mod chip to allow the engine to run very lean.

    That's it, never heard about him anymore. If his investment in these HHO devices were very successful, you'd think he'll try to promote it and sell it for profit? I suspect that either those HHO devices didn't last long, or his truck engine didn't last long, and/or both, or it didn't pass emission test the next year.

    These HHO promoters even claim that the HHO acts as steam cleaning agent in the combustion chamers to keep them carbon deposits free. And the steam produced by burning the HHO has cooling effects for the cylinders. Hard to believe though 'cause how much cooling can it be if the litre or so of water turned HHO turned steam LASTS A WHOLE MONTH? Just try use a dripping shower to cool yourself in a hot summer day and you'll know it doesn't work. Your dripping shower probably used more than a litre a day!

    Some other HHO promoters also incorporate a water vaporiser in the mix. They make the air intake bubble through a bucket of water to make its humidity very high. They claim that will boost the engine power and higher FE. I guess they're trying to make the gas ICE into a steam engine hybrid, where the water droplets in the air absorbs heat from the burning fuel and turns into steam, which expands to push the cylinders harder. Sounds convincing, BUT, it still doesn't add up with so little water being used. I worked in steam turbine power plants before and believe me, there were A LOT OF STEAM involved. A few drops of water is definitely negligible, and it might, correction, WILL cause corrosion in the cylinders.

    I don't think it's worth risking a $20,000+ car for this, IMHO.
     
  5. Azor

    Azor New Member

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    Let's remember that I specifically asked about the Fran Giroux system. I realize there is a lot of bunk out there associated with hydrogen systems. Perhaps I should have titled this string more specifically to make it even clearer, but it was his system in the link on my first entry.

    Anyway - I emailed him directly with my questions last night and here is his response.

    Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 10:33 PM


    Hello,




    I have gotten into a heated debate about this system in a Prius chat forum. I found the following info in popular mechanics:



    http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/alternative-fuel/gas-mileage/4276846



    .....I spent a good hour on the phone yesterday with Fran Giroux of hydrogen-boost.com. He tells me that the HHO injection is only an enabler for other devices and changes. The fuel savings doesn't come from the energy contained in the hydrogen as it's burned, which is what I've asserted all along was implausible........



    Would you clarify whether what is stated here is what you said AND do you have any evidence that the emissions in a car using your system are not negatively impacted?

    You can see by reading the article at http://www.hydrogen-boost.com/savefuel.html that he has quoted me correctly.
    You can see by reading the article at http://www.hydrogen-boost.com/August%202006.html that emissions from a car using our system correctly are not only not negatively impacted but are vastly improved. But you can also see by reading the articles at http://www.hydrogen-boost.com/September%202008.html and http://www.hydrogen-boost.com/June%202009.html that using the typical approach used by many other hydrogen enhancements companies will indeed negatively impact emissions.



    Do you know of anyone that has used this system on a Prius, and if so, what were their results and are they willing to chat about them?

    I do not know of a customer who has installed on a Prius. I have had many who were interested but I suggested that the cost and effort to install our system in the very limited space in a Prius engine compartment would not be worth it. I had an early model Prius of my own and did not install our system. I did get better mileage with my Hydrogen Boost equipped Saturn than I did with the Prius.



    Finally - if this really works so well, why are car manufacturers not building cars with this system already installed?

    EPA demands stoichiometric fuel mixture with catalytic converters. Our system violates the EPA mandates.


    Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2010 9:32 AM


    Thanks for the response. Have you made any efforts to get the EPA regs altered to allow a properly installed hydrogen boost system?

    Hydrogen Boost is too small a company to be able to afford attempting to influence the EPA.

    I imagine that safety is a concern...because of the presence of an explosive gas... That is not a concern with our system because we use the gas as fast as we make it. The gas is produced under a slight vacuum and immediately sucked into the intake of the engine. The gas, once it leaves our explosion proof electrolyzer (see [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qoQtPyMMFM&feature=player_embedded"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qoQtPyMMFM&feature=player_embedded[/ame] ) and hose, is at such a low concentration that it is no longer explosive until the engine compresses it again in the combustion chamber.
    ______________________

    I came here because I have a Prius, someone recently told me about his system, and I was curious to know if anyone had ever tried it on a Prius.

    I see now that even the system's developer warns not to use it with a Prius and I won't consider it further.

    However, the result of this "debate" does raise the question as to what does it takes to alter dogmatic thinking and federal/state regulations if and when a new idea or technology arises that truly does help fuel efficiency.

    My first impression about Fran is that he seems like an honest, knowlegeable fellow. This guy says he had a significant increase in MPG using his system in his Saturn and many others are backing him up. I'm still not prepared to say they are all lying as several of you seem to believe. However, since I am definitely not purchasing his system now and have a company of my own to run - I'm not going to research it further.

    A suggestion for the future....try not to assume so much about a visitor. I may not know much about engines, but I am a scientist too. I happen to have an MS and PHD in biology and know a lot about the scientific method. Scientists are supposed to remain objective at least until all the data are collected.

    Most of you had your opinions already formed before bothering to analyze this guy's system.

    Thanks for all your input.
     
  6. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    Our system violates the EPA mandates.

    That would be pretty much a stopper for 99.9% of the ole user base right there!!!
     
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  7. vinnie97

    vinnie97 Whatever Works

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    EPA, the same organization who qualifies CO2 as a pollutant? Meh.
     
  8. Azor

    Azor New Member

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    I got a response from Fran concerning engine life. It's only an n=1 but still interesting:

    Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2010 10:42 AM

    Thanks Fran. There is just one more question out there.

    Concerns about damage or decreased life of the engine while using your system have been brought to the table. Do you have evidence that the life of the engine is NOT affected by your system?


    The greatest concern about engine damage comes from the corrosive electrolyte (sodium hydroxide or some people use potassium hydroxide) which can enter the engine in two ways. If the hydrogen generator is overfilled with water, the electrolyte can bubble over and overfill the water trap and overflow to the end of the gas hose. Secondly there is a mist carrying minute amounts of electrolyte that goes to the end of the gas hose. Both “problems†can be eliminated by proper installation and positioning of the gas hose. Many competitors simply attach the gas hose to a high vacuum port leading directly into the intake manifold of the engine. We prevent any electrolyte from entering the engine by placing the end of the gas hose in the air box before the air filter. As the gas passes through the air filter the electrolyte mist is filtered out and any liquid bubbling past the water trap drains out the bottom of the air box.
    Even with these precautions there is the possibility of a customer ignoring the installation instructions and doing things his way (following the idiots that do it wrong). I have done long terms tests with the worst case scenario. Electrolyte will corrode iron and it will immediately eat aluminum. I tested on an aluminum Saturn engine and intentionally put the end of the gas hose right in front of the throttle body and intentionally overfilled the hydrogen generator. I noticed some white residue inside the intake manifold upon inspection and also noticed gunk (partially decomposed fuel) at the throttle body entrance that tended to stick the throttle at idle slightly. A quick cleaning with fresh gasoline or carburetor cleaner remedied the sticking. Remember these “problems were caused by intentionally installing the gas hose in the wrong place.
    I drove that Saturn until I retired it with over 180 thousand miles of hard labor, towing heavy trailers, repeatedly testing many mileage devices, and al around overused and abuse. Never was there any issues caused by the Hydrogen Boost system, even with intentional improper installation. I consider that evidence, considering that I have had eleven Saturns and they don’t normally last any longer than this one.

    And about the EPA...take it from someone who knows and has contacts within that federal organization:

    Just because it's an EPA mandate doesn't mean the mandate is based on real science.
     
  9. DataWrangler

    DataWrangler Prius Owner (finally!)

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    I try to keep an open mind, but there are many gas mileage improvement "solutions" available on the interwebs making claims that are simply beyond the limits of hundreds of years of established science. This will only get worse as gasoline prices get higher.

    There are many issues at hand here. One is the need to comply with EPA regulation regarding emissions. These are critical to maintaining the air quality in large urban areas. If one ignores EPA regs there are lots of ways to increase gas milage.

    Another issue is the Laws of Physics. Many of the "solutions" fly in the face of the Laws of Physics. But on the interwebs one can say anything.

    A third issue is the cost of the equipment, size of the equipment, and the complexity of the installation.

    Yet another issue is possibility of damage to the engine and catalytic converter.

    Regarding the Prius ... It is already the most efficient car on the planet. It is a finely tuned system. Any modification risks non-compliance with the EPA and damage to the engine.
     
  10. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    How many scientists remain fully objective until all the data is collected for the many common (1) perpetual motion machines, (2) miracle weight loss diets, and (3) get rich quick schemes? The sheer volume of such claims makes your request impossible.

    HHO generators have been around quite a while, and this is the company they keep.
     
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  11. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    No Thanks.
    I'll continue to be one of those poor dumb saps that burns gasoline (with a little alky added) in my ICE, without split fire plugs, tornado intakes, nitrogenated tires, or any of the other gee-whizz stuff that I'm missing out on out there.

    In my never to be humbled opinion, unless your job title is Space Shuttle Commander, then you're not very likely to be needing to worry about using hydrogen for your transportation needs---and you Shuttle guys (and gals) out there are going to be out of a job soon yourselves...I don't see this changing---at least for the next few decades.

    Sorry.....
     
  12. darelldd

    darelldd Prius is our Gas Guzzler

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    ETC(SS) reminds me...

    I remember long ago (in my youth, after spending WAY to much of my hard-earned money on ways to save gas) that if everything I installed on the car even returned half of the promised fuel savings, that my 20 mpg Volvo would have been getting about 100 mpg when I was done with it. In reality, it got about 19 until I took everything off and got it back up to 20.
     
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  13. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    Do you automatically give any outlandish claim in your field of expertise serious consideration?

    The claims are old and some of us are familiar with them.
     
  14. Snake

    Snake New Member

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    LMAO!! Oh this was great too. Good times. :rockon:

    Azor, you still haven't answered my question about if you intended to buy such a system for [any] car? I still think you are just looking for some sort of gratification before you make a purchase everyone recommends against anyway.

    And if you already found your answers then why continue to post?
     
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  15. Azor

    Azor New Member

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    Azor, you still haven't answered my question about if you intended to buy such a system for [any] car? I still think you are just looking for some sort of gratification before you make a purchase everyone recommends against anyway.

    And if you already found your answers then why continue to post?[/QUOTE]

    I did answer your question - it was in my longer post.

    A also stated I would try and get in touch with the designer of the system and I was just sharing what he said with anyone that was interested here because I thought that would be a nice thing to do.

    You think incorrectly. I'm not the type to look for gratification nor am I the type to jump into a purchase before researching it thoroughly.

    Finally (and for at least the second time) - I was not wanting to purchase the system. I was curious as to whether anyone had tried it on a Prius and whether it worked. If you note on that longer post, the developer said it should not be used on a Prius.

    So sorry for not thinking about communicating with the developer of that system before coming here.

    Have a Merry Christmas everyone!
     
  16. Snake

    Snake New Member

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    That seems to be a running theme with you.

    This seems counter-productive. I am sure you came up with many other threads when you searched the forum before you made a post that would give you the answers you needed about the demeanor of people here for these kinds of products... unless you didn't search.

    I definitely understand not looking for gratification, but at this point you seem to be consistently responding to people here for some other purpose and I can't quite figure out what that is.

    I've seen similar tactics in my time on the internet. Your posts are courteous and well written and respond to almost everyone who gives you a direct reply, but it seems at this point that you are more interested in proving your argument then hearing the opinions of others.

    An example is to your comment about the EPA, which is clearly a more recognized establishment but can somehow be more wrong than the developers of these systems.

    Very well then. I don't think anyone has, at least after reading this particular thread and a few others.

    See you around the forum.
     
  17. Flaninacupboard

    Flaninacupboard Senior Member

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    Hi Azor,

    The hydrogen system "works" in as much as it allows you to frig around with your fuelling and not stall the engine. Big manufacturers are doing this as well, which is what turbo charging, direct injection, HCCI and supercritical fuel is all about.

    If you want a tested, reliable, federally compliant fuel efficient car, then wait for these technologies to be implemented and enjoy. If you want to tinker with your car and risk reliability, compliance and safety (since stalling your engine at 70mph would not be fun) then go right ahead and try this system. You'll probably have some fun, but not achieve much.

    Personally, i had a car with direct injection, and it was not reliable at all, it would stall at slow speeds, and was then difficult to restart. I would not muck around with anything that changed fuelling.
     
  18. cit1991

    cit1991 New Member

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    1. Ethanol works in Brazil because if you cut down rainforest and plant sugarcane, it grows so well (and with little fertilizer) that you can get ethanol (somewhat) economically. You also need large quantities of cheap labor, which Brazil also has. That's why it works in Brazil. None of this applies to ethanol from corn in the US.

    2. Hydrogen from electrolysis is one of the least efficient ways to make hydrogen. That's why noone does it commercially at any real scale. Commercial hydrogen is a byproduct of refining and chemicals production, but that all gets used up. The rest is made by steam reforming of methane. That's way more efficient than burning natural gas to make electricity, then using the power to split water. So, no, you do not get all your electrical power back as heat of combustion. You get maybe 60%, and that'd be from a very good electrolyzer.

    3. As for injecting water, you can't inject an exhaust component into the intake and expect to get energy from it. Anyone who's studied any engineering subject can tell you that. Funny thing about thermodynamics...it can't always tell you what will work, but it definitely can tell you what won't...kinda like DNA testing.

    You don't need to do any real-world testing to know that if you stand in the kitchen and drop a glass, it will fall. Same deal here. No testing required. The only theory that would be proven from road-testing is the one put forth by PT Barnum.

    Actually, if you inject liquid water, it will leave as water vapor in the exhaust, and it takes energy to vaporize it. Guess where this comes from?

    4. As for conspiracy theories, well if I take off my tinfoil hat, I can say that one major oil company (can't say who, because I gave my word), makes a key component of A123's lithium batteries. They are not trying to stifle battery technology, they are helping enable it. If you know anything about those batteries, and how they're made, you can probably guess which part an oil company would make.
     
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  19. cit1991

    cit1991 New Member

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    One more thing about lean burn:

    Back in the 1960's, all engines ran rich...more fuel than the air can burn. 14.7 lbs of air will burn 1 lb of fuel. Way back then, engines ran at about 12:1. If you leaned them out to , say, 14.7, they'd run hotter. That's why your grandpappy says leaning out an engine can damage it. He was right in the 1950's and 60's. Not any more.

    When catalytic converters came out in the 70's, engines were tuned to run at 14.7 so the catalysts could do their job.

    Leaning past 14.7 (to, say, 16:1) actually cools things down, because extra air acts as a diluent. Cooler burning actually causes the engines to make less NOx.

    The problem is that catalytic converters cannot eliminate NOx when there's extra air. Cats reduce NOx to N2 and O2, and that reaction won't go when there's extra O2 already there. So, lean burning makes less NOx in the engine, but none is reduced by the cat, so NOx emitted goes up.

    That's why cars in the US can't use the lean burn technology available elsewhere (like in Europe). Even the weakest federal emission standards are way tighter than anywhere else in the world...to say nothing about those in California.

    Anything that leans an engine out is not illegal because the feds just want to be annoying. It's illegal because it'll send NOx emissions skyrocketing.

    Remember how engines are designed....They are, first, machines to produce on-spec exhaust gasses. Shaft-work is a byproduct.
     
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