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Electrolyte is a "medical/scientific" term for salts, specifically ions. The term electrolyte means that this ion is electrically-charged and moves to either a negative (cathode) or positive (anode) electrode:
  • ions that move to the cathode (cations) are positively charged
  • ions that move to the anode (anions) are negatively charged
Major electrolytes are as follows:
  • sodium (Na+)  Positive Ions
  • potassium (K+)  Positive Ions
  • chloride (Cl-)  Negative Ions
  • calcium (Ca2+)  Positive Ions
  • magnesium (Mg2+)  Positive Ions
  • hydroxides (OH) - Negative Ions
  • bicarbonate (HCO3-)  Negative Ions
  • phosphate (PO42-)  Negative Ions
  • sulfate (SO42-)  Negative Ions

Why use Electrolytes?
Electrolytes are important in Electrolysis of Water. They are what most Hydrogen generators use to maintain voltages across the plates. They carry electrical current from plate to plate, tube to tube. They make the water a better conductor. Pure water is actually an insulator. It will not conduct electricity; but pure water is rare. Most water contains some amounts of minerals - which are conductors. The more minerals, the better it will conduct. But when it comes to our hydrogen generators, we need to minimize or eliminate impurities in the water. Impurities that can collect on our electrode surfaces and slow down or stop the chemical process of producing hho.

Do we need electrolytes in order to make HHO in our hydrogen generators? No we do not. Electrolysis can take place in plain tap water, river water, spring water, etc. Why? Because minerals are present in the water. But HHO production will be very low - because of the poor conductive properties of the water. Not much current will flow. But, as the water heats up, conductivity will increase. As it increases, hho production will increase. We use electrolytes to speed up hho production. If you want to see good hydroxy production, try heating your water.

What Electrolyte is best for HHO?
Food grade Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) is the best electrolyte we have found so far. It has a slight edge over Food grade Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH).

  More about Electrolytes (some very good reading)


Electrolytes - in order of the best to the worst to use


1.  Potassium Hydroxide - KOH
  • Also known as caustic potash, potassa, potash lye, and potassium hydrate
  • Produces slightly more HHO than Sodium Hydroxide
  • Lowers the Freezing point of water.
  • Always use Food Grade quality; not all KOH is the same.
  • Hazards

Available at AAA-chemicals

Available at Braintan.com

  Available at The Lye Gue.com


%KOH in Water   Freezing Point (?C)   Freezing Point (?F)  
         0                         0.0                      32.0
       10                        -3.7                      25.4
       20                        -8.3                      17.1
       30                       -14.2                       6.4
       40                       -22.1                      -7.8
       50                       -33.1                    -27.7

2 Lbs. Heavy Duty Crystal Drain Opener

2. Sodium Hydroxide - NaOH
  • Contains 100% Sodium Hydroxide (caustic soda)
  • Also know as Lye, Caustic
  • Crystal form
  • Dissolves Aluminum into Hydrogen gas
  • Do not use Drano. It contains other ingredients.

Available at AAA-chemicalshttp://www.aaa-chemicals.com/sodium-hydroxide.html

  Available from Lowe's Hardware



Citric Acid - Food Grade - 55 Pound Bag 3. Citric Acid


Available at AAA-chemicals



Sodium Bicarbonate - Baking Soda
  • An alkaline cleaner
  • White powder
  • Dissolves but leaves a residue in the water
  • Residue dries as a white powder.
  • It will stop up your flash arrestor and any valve you may have in the output line coming from your cell. I use a small valve in the line to reduce my cells vacuum from 30 to 15 pounds. This valve had total blockage from SB several times.
  • Produces small amounts of Chlorine Gas
  • Not good for HHO



Vinegar - Acetic Acid
  • Produces a lot of brown scum that just keeps building up. It never stops.
  • Not good for HHO



Salt - Sodium Chloride
  • Produces a lot of orange scum that just keeps building up. It never stops.
  • Causes water lightening if concentrations get too high.
  • Causes corrosion
  • Salt can be dangerous
  • Not good for HHO



Q & A

If I keep adding "a little more" electrolyte at a time, how will I know when I reach the exact saturation of the recipe you used? Sounds like a ridiculous question but I find it incredibly frustrating that everything, even as simple as an amount of baking soda to water, is such a National Secret?

There is no secret; there is no magic formula. The way your cell is constructed has more to do with it; spacing between the plates; number of neutrals; number of plates. I add a small amount of KOH at a time, then measure the current. If I don't want to use more than 10 amps, then I stop short of 10 amps. Take into account heat is going to cause amperage to increase. If you are serous about controlling the amperage, get a DC Pulse Width Modulator.

In my videos, I show you the configuration and tell you how many amps it is using. The amount of electrolytes, if any, produces the amps: based on the applied voltage, surface area of the plates in the water, temperature of the water, and spacing of the plates. It all adds up to HHO production.

Heat can be a problem. It needs to be controlled. The more Electrolyte you use, the more amperage it will create. Use only enough electrolyte to get your cell producing the amount of HHO you need on Startup. When the cell reaches operating temperature HHO production will level off. If it does not, then you have a problem. It is possible you are using too much electrolyte. It is also possible you have too many plates in a too small container. If that is the case, use a Pulse Width Modulator as your power source for the cell. Electrolysis causes heat; period. Heat causes more amps, use the PWM to regulate the voltage which in turn regulates the amps.

  Electrolyte Concentrations




More about Electrolytes


pH - The Power of Hydrogen

by Roger McFadden
Technical Director
Coastwide Laboratories


Acids, bases and salts are among the most important chemical compounds used by chemists. A variety of maintenance chemicals contain these compounds. For instance, hydrochloric, phosphoric and citric are acids used to make mineral stain removers, toilet bowl cleaners, metal cleaners and rust removers. Alkali maintenance chemicals like degreasers, oven cleaners and drain openers contain bases such as sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, sodium metasilicate, trisodium phosphate and ammonium hydroxide. Special salts like sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium EDTA and ammonium ethoxysulfate are formulated into carpet shampoos, hand soaps and carwash detergents to provide more efficient cleaning.

Acids, bases and salts contain ions of the element hydrogen. Ions are atoms or molecules that have lost or gained electrons. If atoms lose one or more electrons they become positively charged ions (cations). If they gain one or more electrons, they become negatively charged ions (anions). It is the presence of the hydrogen ions in solutions that allows us to measure the pH of a solution. The quantity of hydrogen or hydroxyl ions in a solution determines whether the solution is acid or alkaline.


In 1909, Danish biochemist, S.P.L Sorensen proposed the use of a logarithmic scale to express the concentration of hydrogen ions (H+) and hydroxide ions (OH -). This scale has become known as the pH scale. Sorensen knew that water had a nearly balanced concentration of positive (H+) and negative (OH-) ions. The positively charged ions are calledhydrogen ions and the negatively charged ions are called hydroxide ions. Scientists measured the concentrations of hydrogen ions in pure water, acidic water and alkaline water. The pure water contained a hydrogen ion concentration of 1 x 10-7 moles. The acidic water (hydrochloric acid) contained a hydrogen ion concentration of 1 x 100 moles. The alkaline water (sodium hydroxide) contained a hydrogen ion concentration of 1 x 1014 moles.

The hydrogen ion concentration was found to vary over fourteen powers of 10. A change of one pH unit changes the hydrogen ion concentration by a factor of ten. For example, a solution with a pH of 1 has 10 times more hydrogen ion concentration than a pH of 2; One hundred times more hydrogen ion concentration than a pH of 3 and so forth. This means that a solution with a pH of 1 has one million times more hydrogen ion concentration than a pH of 7. To avoid dealing with these incredibly complex exponential, scientists proposed a simplification. They converted the exponents -7, 0 and -14 to 7, 0 and 14 respectively. Subsequently, the pH scale was established ranging from 0 to 14 with the mid-point of 7 indicating neutrality. Therefore, the scale of ordinary pH values extends from 0 to 14. The pH of a neutral solution is 7. Thus the range of acid pH values extends from 0 to 7, and that of alkaline values from 7 to 14.


It is difficult to give an exact definition of pH. A couple of simple descriptions offered are, "power of Hydrogen" and "potential Hydrogen" ion concentration. Neither are perfect descriptions. Both present a way of remembering the significance of "p" and "H". Simply stated, pH tells us whether a solution is acid, alkaline or neutral. It does not tell us how much acid or alkali is present. It is a good "warning sign" (Proceed with Caution), but it does not establish whether the compound is corrosive or dangerous.

pH is a critical measurement. Life depends upon it. For instance, human blood is basic with a pH between 7.3 and 7.5. If the pH of blood drops below 7.3, acidosis occurs. If the blood pH rises above 7.5, alkalosis occurs. Death will occur if blood pH goes below 7.0 or above 7.8. Our human existence depends upon a balanced and buffered blood pH.

The pH of a cleaning product does not signify cleaning performance or strength. It simply indicates the concentration of hydrogen or hydroxide ions. For instance, the performance of a cleaning product cannot be determined simply by knowing the pH of the product. A common misconception about cleaning products suggests that a higher pH means superior cleaning.


There are several methods used to measure pH. Two of the simplest are litmus paper and liquid acid-base indicators. The most widely used method is the pH meter. These meters are easy to use and very accurate. When chemists want to measure the amount of alkali or acid in a solution, they use a process called, titration. Titration measures the amount of alkali and/or acid in a solution. pH measures the concentration of hydrogen ions present in a solution. Both are important.

Most pH values are measured either by electrometric determination (pH meter) or by colorimetric methods with the aid of indicator solutions or indicator papers. The pH meter determines a precise pH with the aid of a suitable electrode submerged in the unknown solution. A direct and immediate reading is registered on the pH meter scale. The pH of a solution may also be determined by adding a few drops of indicator solution to the unknown solution. The resultant color of the mixture is then compared with a reference scale. Special high class filter papers impregnated with suitable indicator solutions can be submerged into the unknown solution and the resultant color of the paper is compared with a reference scale. The indicator papers are a simple method of determining a broad assay of acidity or alkalinity. They are not as precise as the other methods.


Professionals know the importance of understanding pH. For example, floor care experts use neutral pH (7) floor cleaners for daily maintenance and alkaline pH (12-13) for finish removal. Professional carpet cleaners select carpet cleaning agents with pH's between 7 and 10 to avoid potential carpet damage. Agricultural specialists control soil pH to enhance plant growth. Pool care personnel keep swimming pools and hot tubs pH balanced for safety and protection. Laundry experts keep the pH above 9.5 during the bleach cycle to protect fabrics from bleach attack. Industrial plants control the release of sulfur dioxide to control harmful acid rain from damaging our environment. These are a few of the thousands of ways pH plays an important role in our lives.


It is important for every cleaning professional to have a basic understanding of pH. Ignoring the pH of a solution can be expensive. Floor coverings and surfaces can be damaged by an inappropriate pH value. Be careful and select cleaning products with compatible pH values to match your surface requirements.


  Page Last Edited - 04/03/2022

    Copyright 2003   All rights reserved.   Revised: 04/03/22.                                             Web Author, David Biggs
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