Using Baking soda as an electrolyte
Empirical tests have shown that using baking soda as an electrolyte gives a false sense of security. Baking soda will not only remain baking soda in use, but also cause permanent damage to the electrode surfaces during its transition into sodium hydroxide. Note Baking Soda is very dangerous to use.
Empirical tests have shown that after the gas was analyzed, there is hydrogen, some CO2, also enough CO to be lethal. There is NO oxygen produced until ALL of the carbon has been reacted from solution. It is not suitable to state that the gas produced is to be burned and not inhaled. Many experimenters who use baking soda are burning the gas when they are doing their experiments. Most are venting the gas into the air in the room they are in, and even those that DO burn the gas in an engine often-times have leaks in their systems.
Baking soda it will permanently damage the surface structure of stainless steel. That is why it has to be sanded or ground off, and then the cleansing and conditioning started all over again.
Baking soda does not lose potency; it decomposes as a part of the reaction during electrolysis. Some carbon binds with the electrodes and causes damage to the surface structure, the rest of the carbon binds with oxygen to produce other products of reaction during electrolysis. While it is still baking soda, it does not produce hydroxy gas, it produces a blend of hydrogen (H2), carbon monoxide (CO), and carbon dioxide (CO2). As this occurs, the baking soda is transformed into NaOH, sodium hydroxide. This is why it keeps on working, but as the carbon is consumed, the way the gas burns (it changes from bingo fuel gas into hydroxy gas), and the way it effects hydrocarbon fuel combustion during boosting.
A reliable and repeatable performance increase is not going to happen during the decomposition phase of baking soda. It will eventually stabilize, but not until all of the carbon is consumed. If your looking to “escape” the usage of caustics by substation of baking soda.
Baking soda decomposes into NaOH during electrolysis; you end up with a caustic. And the worst part of this is, the end users are lulled into a false sense of security, thinking that it remains safe baking soda. So they are unlikely to take proper safety precautions. And worst of all, if you have expensive SS electrodes, they become damaged as the carbon will also poison the catalytic capabilities of stainless steel. Salt is also unsuitable as is battery acid. To recover them would require a real good sanding to get rid of the surface damage and start over.
DO NOT USE BAKING SODA PERIOD END OF STORY!
Further you would have to add 84 grams of baking soda (NaHCO3) to obtain the same amount of sodium as you would for 40 grams of Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH). This is relevant because it is the Sodium that is driving the electrolysis process.
On electrolysis of NaHCO3, the Na+ ion will rush to the cathode and you will get:-
2Na+ + 2e- + 2H2O -----> 2NaOH + H2 and HCO3- + H2O -------> H2CO3 + OH-
H2CO3 --------> H2O + CO2
CO2 + 2H+ + 2e- -----> CO + H2O
CO + 2H+ + 2e- ------> C + H2O
Conclusion: On adding NaHCO3 a whole range of chemical processes can take place but due to the nature of alkali metals, the one sure conclusion is that Hydroxides will be formed. DO NOT BE DECIVED into thinking that if you make a completely safe electrolytic solution using NaHCO3 or other carbonates that you end up with a completely safe electrolytic solution after use. If one takes pH readings of the electrolytic solution over time, one can access the progress of the carbonate solution (pH will increase with increasing Alkalinity), but my advice is play it safe, where PPE.
But when someone intentionally publishes that using baking soda is safe and does not put out carbon monoxide, sure, there is hydrogen, and sure, there is some CO2, but there is also enough CO to be lethal. There is NO oxygen produced until ALL of the carbon has been reacted from solution. The argument that the gas is to be burned and not inhaled does not mean it is safe. How many of these people that use baking soda actually is burning the gas when they are doing their experiments?
Most are venting the gas into the air in the room they are in, and even those that DO burn the gas in an engine often-times have leaks in their systems. If calculations are correct, then a concentration of just 0.0667 % in the atmosphere you are breathing is enough to bind with 50 % of your Hemoglobin, this is a life threatening situation! For non chemistry people who wish to get a grasp of the toxicity of Carbon Monoxide, a good rule of thumb is, when you think Carbon Monoxide, think Cyanide!
A glass jar containing wires wrapped around pieces of plastic, and filled with baking soda is NOT a suitable Hydrogen Electrolyzer!
A common person may reason that Vinegar (a 5 to 10% solution of acetic acid) is a suitable electrolyte for DC Electrolysis to make Hydroxy. Why not? It’s cheap, sometimes cheaper then bottled water, everybody can buy it around the corner, and it is very safe you can drink it. WRONG.
It's not a good electrolyte, and you can NOT count on its stability. One of the reasons is that is not a solid with an high boiling point like the preferred KOH or NaOH, but pure Acetic Acid is a liquid, with a certain vapor pressure ( you can not smell cold KOH, wile sniffing on a bottle of cold Acetic acid may let your nose fall off, it stinks pretty strong); and it has a boiling point not much higher then water.
( Water = 100°C, Acetic Acid = 118°C ). And because many Cells and Boosters are run on elevated temperatures, some above 90°C, you can imagine that besides your Hydroxy gas, allot of water vapor ( steam) AND also allot of acetic acid vapors will escape such a Cells. Thus you are loosing your electrolyte if you use Vinegar, not so with NaOH and KOH.
Further See : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kolbe_electrolysis The Kolbe electrolysis From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia reaction is an organic reaction named after Adolph Wilhelm Hermann Kolbe.The Kolbe reaction is formally a decarboxylative dimerisation and proceeds by a radical reaction mechanism.
As an example, electrolysis of acetic acid yields ethane and carbon dioxide:
CH3COOH ---> CH3-CH3 + CO2 (Shorter form without in between steps)
Acetic Acid gives Ethane gas + Carbon dioxide gas So you get an un-useful gas CO2 (it extinguish flames not promotes explosions) and Ethane gas which is a flammable gas that will behave as a fuel. Your electrolyte is also by the electrolysis process itself falling apart and vanishes trough your engine, you'll be left with plain water, without electrolyte, resistance goes up, amps go down, gas production goes down, and your possible gain in MPG is pretty fast back to zero.
Using Sodium Sulphate (Glauber's salt)
The electrolysis of an aqueous solution of sodium sulphate using inert electrodes produces hydrogen at the cathode and oxygen at the anode and a neutral solution of sodium sulphate remains unaltered by the electrolysis.
Cathode Reaction : 4 H2O + 4 e(-) ==> 2 H2 + 4 OH(-)
Anode Reaction : 2 H2O ==> O2 + 4 H(+) + 4 e(-)
The overall cell reaction is : 6 H2O ==> 2 H2 + O2 +4 H(+) +4 OH(-)
BUT sodium sulphate is much weaker than lye, so you would need much more electrolyte and WORSE: it quickly turns your water into a brown/red substance. Though it does not damage your electrodes, it really does not look good!!So the bottom line is that after all my experimentation I simply decided to stick to lye. Yes it is a drain cleaner and thus caustic, but just like any object or substance that can be potentially dangerous in the wrong hands (e.g. scissors, medicine etc. etc.) you simply need to be responsible and keep it out of the reach of your children. Lye(NaOH) or KOH, when used as electrolyte, is clean and will never damage your electrodes.
Ammonia is consumed in the process which means you would have to continuously add more Ammonia instead of distilled water in the case of NaOH. Also Nitrogen is being produced instead of oxygen again in the NaOH case. So what you end up with is no oxygen (good stuff) and nitrogen ( good fertilizer but it won't burn but occupies space in the combustion chamber therefore bad in this application.) This is probably why it in not used.
Em resumo, usem apenas NaOH ou caso consigam encontrar, o melhor e mais seguro de todos : KOH.