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HHO Generators HHO Dry Cell - Most Asked Questions Answered

Updated on January 3, 2010

HHO Generator Answers

This article will answer several of the most common questions asked by those experimenting with hho systems, hho generators and specifically HHO Dry Cells. And also give you some safety measures to keep in place when experimenting with hho gas production.

Why do I need Distilled water in my HHO generator ?

Choice of what “grade” of water to use in a "water fuel" generator :

Rainwater, spring water, or tap water all contain impurities. A typical analysis will show minerals, suspended solids and other contaminates contained in these varieties. These impurities will precipitate out of the water when subjected to electrolysis. These appear in the form of brown, black and green scum in water or any discoloration of the water itself. These impurities have a solid mass which in turn will clog up the electrodes of your hho generator and further impede the operation of the hho cell overall. Of further concern is the fact that these solids accompany known gases which mix with the hho gas to go on to create unknown chemical reactions which are toxic to the environment.

Therefore ONLY DISTILLED WATER should be used in the production of hho gas from any type of hho generator.

What is the best Electrolyte to use in my HHO Dry Cell ?

Electrolyte and mixing :

There are many different electrolytes that CAN work in an electrolysis process, but does that mean they are suitable? NO.

Some common ones considered for hho fuel making application include:

KOH- Potassium Hydroxide- Used in soap making

NaOH- Sodium Hydroxide- Lye- Used to open drains!

NaCI- Sodium chloride- Table Salt- Raises blood pressure – DO NOT USE!

NaHCO- Baking Soda- Makes bubbles and poisonous gas– DO NOT USE!

H2SO4- Sulfuric acid- Car battery acid- Makes bad gases and burns! – DO NOT USE!

Vinegar ( 5 to 10% solution of acetic acid ) – DO NOT USE!

Sodium sulfate - DO NOT USE!

There are many other electrolytes in the acid, base and salt families, but generally these are the common off the shelf ones considered for use in most hydroxy electrolyzers.

The best choice of electrolyte is judged by its ability to remain unchanged as the reaction takes place.

Note first we need to understand what a catalyst is and how it works in our HHO Generator.

An electrolyte such as he KOH acts as an ionizer for conduction of the electricity, whereas the nickel in stainless steal acts as the catalyst (hence the finish on the surface of the plates after iron is leached out). The better the flow of electricity the better the splitting of water to a point, current is the generator of heat. Once most of the free iron has been cleansed from the cells, the KOH or NaOH combines with the nickel (and molybdenum in 316L) to form the catalytic layers. The anode and cathode each take on a slightly different characteristic patina and chemistry.

By using distilled water it must be understood that this water can not conduct enough electricity on its own, therefore a catalyst is required in order to aid electrolysis. The ideal catalyst is a substance that enables the reaction to take place without becoming a part of that reaction.

From empirical testing, it has been found that Potassium hydroxide (KOH) and sodium hydroxide (NaOH) are two substances that catalyze efficiently. Tests have shown that when combining distilled water with one of these two catalysts that a cleaner hho cell bath and more homogeneous hho gas mix results. This results in a more efficiently operating hho generator unit thus an in improved mileage gains, performance and less emissions.

Therefore KOH is what you want to use. It is the most stable, and it is not consumed during the electrolysis. So once you have your hho cell working at the target amperage you just need to add distilled water as the water is consumed, no more KOH. About once a month you want to use the water from your primary bubbler to replenish your hho dry cell. This will put back any of the KOH that may have been carried by pressure or steam to your primary bubbler back into your cell.

Every couple of months you need to check your amp draw to confirm you haven't had any MAJOR Changes. About every 6 months it is a good idea to drain your hho dry cell and refill with fresh electrolyte. This is because as you run your hho generator it should get more efficient and require less KOH to get the same result.

Mixing KoH for your HHO Dry Cell:

Warning -

Potassium hydroxide also known as “caustic potash” is highly caustic. This needs to be handled carefully and kept away from ANY contact with skin, and even more importantly your eyes. If any splashes come in contact with you, by adding water on the effected area will cause it to react and heat up, the use of vinegar will neutralize the burning, then wash it off with allot of rinsing.

Always store it in a sturdy, air-tight container which is clearly labeled "DANGER! - Potassium Hydroxide". Keep the container in a safe place where it can’t be reached by children, pets or people who won't take any notice of the label. When working with dry KOH flakes or granules, wear safety goggles, rubber gloves, a long sleeved shirt, socks and long trousers. Additionally wear a face mask which covers your mouth and nose.

If you are mixing solid KOH with water, always add the KOH to the water, and not the other way round, and use a plastic container for the mixing, preferably one which has double the capacity of the finished mixture. The mixing should be done in a well-ventilated area which is not draughty as air currents can blow the dry KOH around.

When mixing the electrolyte, never use warm water. There results a chemical reaction between the water and the KOH which generates a lot of heat. By placing the mixing container in a larger container filled with cold water will help to keep the temperature down, and also prevent any spillage if your mixture should “boil over”. Add only a small amount of KOH (tablespoon) at a time, stirring continuously, and if you stop stirring for any reason, put the lids back on your storage container.

Electrolyte concentration DOES have a direct impact upon maximum obtainable efficiency of any type of hho generator. If the electrolyte concentration is run at below peak conductivity, it is just like inserting resistance in series with a cell. Current flow is limited by the increased resistance of the solution. This causes less power to flow, BUT, more of the power that does flow, is wasted as heat. Therefore, if one wishes to achieve peak efficiency with their hho generator, and especially the HHO Dry Cell design, even at brute force DC, one would want to run the electrolyte concentration at peak conduction, and use another means to control current, such as a current regulator.

KOH is added into distilled water to bring conductivity. Without KOH / NaOH the current does not pass through the water from +Ve to -Ve. With the quantity of KOH / NaOH we control the current drawn by the hho generator. That means if you add more KOH then more conductivity and less resistance hence more current and more gas production for applied voltage and vice versa. Hence the concentration of KOH is directly related to the current draw and the hho gas production.

How much Koh Do I Mix For My HHO Dry Cell ?

10% KOH concentration (by weight) is so far reported and understood to be the optimum. KOH weighs 11 grams per heaping teaspoon.

Adjust concentration based on amperage draw at start up of your hho dry cell. Starting amperage should be no more than 10 amps. This is close enough as the normal loss of water due to use will gradually increase the concentration and subsequent amperage draw as it runs.

Example - To make 1 Kg of a 28% KOH solution by weight, add 280 grams of KOH to 720 cc of water. To make 1 Kg of a 20% KOH solution by weight, add 200 grams of KOH to 800 cc of water. To make 1 Kg of a 10% KOH solution by weight, add 100 grams of KOH to 900 cc of water. The total weight is always 1,000 grams containing whatever percentage of KOH that is wanted.

Warning about Drain Cleaners for use in HHO Gas Production in hho dry cells.

If using off the shelf NaOH (drain cleaner or “caustic soda” you must check that there are no other impurities in it.

Continued in part 2 -- What not put in your HHO Generator

I hope that this helps to answer the common questions about HHO Generators.

You can find loads of HHO information and free plans for many different hho generator designs at HHO 2u.


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      what about using ammonia

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I think the ratios was well explained if you cant work out what 10% of any desired unit of weight then you shouldn't be messing with a hho generator.

    • profile image

      HHO LPM 

      7 years ago

      Hello Tupazuvic;

      Naoh (Lye) does work well with hho generators in about the same amount to achieve amp draw required, but does not create as "clean" a gas as koh.

      We run koh in all our hho experiments, wet or dry cells and it woks quite well. is the guys to talk to on the dry cell gens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      hi ser,,,

      if you dont mind can you tel me,if i will used example 1 table spoon of NaOH in my dry cell,the output or production is the same with KOH?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Please could you help us with the following question, If I use a teaspoon of KOH in about 2.5L of water I get about 14 amps draw. So if I am correct if I used your measurements of KOH I would be using about 440 grams Of KOH, this would push my amps up way too high. The other question I have is why am I not getting a flame if I light it when using a small blow torch on the other end. keeping in mind I have built up pressure on the sustem.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank you Dree;

      I will try to get the time to add a conversion chart for all you hho generator builders.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Good article - very informative! Thank you!

      As far as ratios for adding KOH to water, it would be a little easier for me (and possibly a good portion of the other backyard mechanics out there) to digest if it were expressed in gallons as opposed to CC, but I don't mind doing the conversions for the time being.


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