How to Compress Hydrogen to Power an Engine

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Hydrogen is a chemical element that exists as a gas. It is believed that Hydrogen can also be found on the sun and stars as the fuel that is burnt to produce light (see reference 1). Hydrogen is also used to drive engines such as in Hydrogen powered vehicles engines (see reference 2). Hydrogen, used in Hydrogen powered cars and as rocket fuel, is mostly produced from hydrocarbons. Hydrogen gas is highly flammable and burns with an almost colorless flame that could cause accidental fires and you should therefore handle it with caution (see reference 3).

Things You'll Need

  • Diaphragm compressor
  • Gas tanks
  • Hydrogen Source
  • Hydrogen detector
  • Prepare the Hydrogen source and make sure that it is working properly and efficiently to supply enough gas to transfer to the compressor. You can get Hydrogen from simple means such as passing a current through water, reacting an acid with zinc or extracting it from fossil fuels (see reference 4). Make sure that in the Hydrogen production process, there are no leaks to prevent any accidents. You can detect Hydrogen leaks using a Hydrogen monitoring device bought from a security appliance stores

  • Connect the Hydrogen source to the diaphragm compressor inlet using a tapped hose, and leave the tap closed to prevent the gas from flowing. Use an external pump to push the gas into the compressor since the compressor itself sucks the gas from the inlet into its hydraulic pump. Make sure that the connection between the Hydrogen source and the compressor is air tight.

  • Prepare the gas tank and check for any cracks. Make sure the valve is not damaged in any way once again to prevent any accidents. Join the compressor to the tank using a hose with a pressure gauge. The pressure gauge is used to measure the pressure in the tank so that you may tell at what point you should stop pumping the gas into the tank. It is advisable to store Hydrogen at 800 atmospheres (the units can also be expressed in bars).

  • Open the tap from the Hydrogen source and let the gas flow into the compressor inlet. Power on the diaphragm compressor then watch the pressure gauge move and when the reading is 800 bars, turn the compressor off. Note -- transferring compressed gas from the storage tank to the vehicle engine causes slight loss in its compression energy (see reference 5).

References

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