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Titanium vs. 316L Food Grade Stainless Steel


Titanium vs. 316L Stainless Steel  |  Titanium  |  Smack Talk  |  Bob Boyce  |  

Is this another Marketing Scheme? Are we being fed more lies?




First of all, Electrolysis is a Chemical process.


Electrolysis,  process by which electric current is passed through a substance to effect a chemical change. The chemical change is one in which the substance loses or gains an electron (oxidation or reduction). The process is carried out in an electrolytic cell, an apparatus consisting of positive and negative electrodes held apart and dipped into a solution containing positively and negatively charged ions (electrolyte). The substance to be transformed may form the electrode, may constitute the solution (Water), or may be dissolved in the solution. Electric current (i.e., electrons) enters through the negatively charged electrode (cathode); positively charged components of the solution travel to this electrode, combine with the electrons, and are transformed to neutral elements or molecules (Hydrogen). The negatively charged components of the solution travel to the other electrode (anode), give up their electrons, and are transformed into neutral elements or molecules (Oxygen). If the substance to be transformed is the electrode, the reaction is generally one in which the electrode dissolves by giving up electrons.


Laws of electrolysis.

The English chemist Michael Faraday was one of the first scientists to investigate electrolysis. After many careful experiments and calculations, he stated the following three "laws" governing electrolysis (laws, not theories):

1. The ability of an electric current to cause electrolysis does not depend on the distance between the electrodes.

2. The quantity of a substance that is electrolyzed is proportional to the quantity of the electricity used.

3. The quantity of a substance that is electrolyzed (water) is also proportional to the substance's chemical equivalent. The chemical equivalent of a metal is its atomic weight (in grams) divided by its valiancy.

Faraday found that approximately 96,500 coulombs of electricity are required to electrolyze one chemical equivalent of any metal. For example, the atomic weight of copper is 63.54, and the valence of copper salts is +2. Therefore, the chemical equivalent of a copper salt solution is 31.77 grams. This amount of copper will plate out onto the cathode when 96,500 coulombs are passed through the solution.

The number of coulombs that flow in each second is measured in units called amperes. Voltage is like an electrical pressure that pushes the coulombs through the circuit. In electrolysis, voltage is just as important as amperage. A certain minimum voltage is needed to produce electrolysis in any given substance. For example, a minimum of 1.23 volts is needed to electrolyze water (containing Battery Acid) to hydrogen and oxygen at 25 °C.





Physical Properties of Titanium  http://www.keytometals.com/ARTICLE122.HTM  

Electrical Conductivity and Resistivity. The flow of electrons across a metal due to a drop in potential is known as electrical conductivity. The atomic structure of a metal strongly influences its electrical behavior.

Titanium is not a good conductor of electricity. If the conductivity of copper is considered to be 100%, titanium would have a conductivity of 3.1%. From this it follows that titanium would not be used where good conductivity is a prime factor. For comparison, stainless steel would have a conductivity of 3.5% and aluminum would have a conductivity of 30%. So titanium is less conductive than stainless steel. That means it contains more resistance than stainless steel. That means it will produce more heat from electron flow than stainless steel; even though it may be slight.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          


Magnetic Properties. If a metal is placed in a magnetic field, a force is exerted on it. The intensity of the magnetization, called M, can be measured in terms of the force exerted and its relation to the magnetic field strength, H, depending upon the susceptibility, K, which is a property of the metal.

Metals have a wide variance in susceptibility, and can be classified in three groups:

  1. The Diamagnetic Substances in which K is small and negative, and thus are feebly repelled by a magnetic field; examples are copper, silver, gold, and bismuth.

  2. The Paramagnetic Substances in which K is small and positive, and thus are slightly attracted by a magnetic field; the alkali, alkaline, and the non-ferromagnetic transition metals fall in this group (it can be seen that titanium and aluminum are slightly Paramagnetic)

  3. The Ferromagnetic Substances, which have a large K value and are positive; iron, cobalt, nickel, and gallium fall under this heading.
    An important feature of this Group, besides the strong attraction in a magnetic field, is the fact that these metals retain their magnetization after being removed from the magnetic field. Iron and Stainless Steel are in this group.

Note: It is reported that Parahydrogen can be converted to Orthohydrogen via a Magnetic Field. It is interesting that Titanium is weak in that category. So where were do companies get their information that states that Titanium makes a higher percentage of orthohydrogen, than stainless steel. How is it possible, when a string magnetic field is required, and titanium is a non-contributor. Oh, they say it is because titanium contains no chromium. Well 316L food grade stainless is safe enough for human consumption, so where is the chromium count? It certainly does not appear (yellow) in the water.

Eagle Research - George Wiseman's explanation:  http://www.eagle-research.com/cms/blog/browns-gas/hexavalent-chromium-electrolyzers


Conductivity of Titanium vs. Steel  http://www.finishing.com/256/39.shtml

January 17, 2010

Hi, I may have some light to shed on this matter. I work with titanium and steel, I make knives at home in my spare time and work in a titanium foundry for a living. I generally deal in O1 steel due to the fact that I am not set up to pound out a hot blade so I use a form and cut method. Steel reaches a certain point (Via heat index) were it is no longer magnetic. This is something you need to do to it during your de-tempering process and when you then turn around and re-instate the temper back into the blade. The heat range for steel to be nonmagnetic is somewhere in the neighborhood of 550 degrees F.

Most commercial grade and jewelry grade titanium has been processed to a point that it maintains a nonmagnetic status even at room temp. This is one of the reasons it makes such a good commercial grade metal for internal combustion parts ext., but also the reason it makes such crappy knives. You see it lacks very much carbon, if it has any at all in it is but a fraction of what steel has and it is the carbon in your metals that make them rigid enough to hold a good clean edge for a good long time, it is also the element that causes metal to be magnetic.

Titanium is also not very conductive of heat or electricity. It will conduct either but not as well as copper, aluminium and good old steel. Another thing that makes it so good at what we use it for. All in all titanium is cold, rigid, and sub conductive (Kind of like my ex wife) and for hunting and fishing application I think steel is a much better metal. Thanks for your time

Brandon Nelson
- Madras Oregon


Electrical Conductivity & Resistivity for Titanium and Titanium Alloys 
Electrical Conductivity $ Resistivity for Stainless Steel and other Iron Alloys

Periodic Table of Titanium Ti  




MMO Coated Anodes are manufactured by coating a mixture of precious metal oxides on a specially treated precious metal. The coated substrate undergoes multiple thermal treatments at elevated temperatures to gain good bonding properties between the substrate & coating. This bonding property increases the lifetime of anodes.
Titanium is widely used as substrate material for its well-known characteristics like, resistance to corrosion, resistance to chemical attacks and its high mechanical strength.
TiTaN’s Tantalum, Niobium and Zirconium anodes are also used globally for different applications.
TiTaN’s MMO coated anodes are in high demand in the global market for its excellent electrolytic properties and low wear rate of the coating.

NB: Coating wear rate will vary according to the resistivity and the chemical property of the electrolyte.





Smack Talk (gets info from Boyce, the guy that told us HHO would self ignite if stored over 15 PSI)
" It does not "  But don't under estimate Bob's knowledge of Titanium


What's so special about Titanium?  

These new Titanium Substrate HHO Cells produce a more pure form of HHO gas.        Oh Really? Well, how much more? Titanium has a higher resistance than ss, so it conducts less. And it is non-magnetic. So what properties produces a purer gas.

Also, unlike Stainless Steel, Titanium will not leach hexavalent chromium during electrolysis, which has been a major concern for HHO enthusiasts from the beginning.           Well, yes 304 SS you use does, but not 316L & 317L Food grades ! I have yet to see signs of chromium when using all 316L stainless steel in the water. Molybdenum is used in 316 and 317 SS to restrict chromium leaching.

Here's a quote from EletrikRide about the superiority of Titanium HHO Generators over Stainless Steel:
"Chromium ions in the HHO gas of Stainless Steel act to accelerate the decay of orthohydrogen to parahydrogen.  Oh Really? Ions in gas. Since when is chromium part of the make up of the gas? It may be found in the water membrane, but not the gas.   Orthohydrogen is 4x more reactive than parahydrogen. Agreed !  Titanium cells make no chromium ions or other ions. That is why the HHO gas from a Titanium Cell is more reactive."  Oh Really?  What is your source of information? The info below, states that the equilibrium ratio of orthohydrogen to parahydrogen depends on temperature; a temperature below freezing !

Elemental molecular forms

There exist two different spin isomers of hydrogen diatomic molecules that differ by the relative spin of their nuclei.[20] In the orthohydrogen form, the spins of the two protons are parallel and form a triplet state with a molecular spin quantum number of 1 (½+½); in the parahydrogen form the spins are anti-parallel and form a singlet with a molecular spin quantum number of 0 (½–½). At standard temperature and pressure, hydrogen gas contains about 25% of the para form and 75% of the ortho form, also known as the "normal form". The equilibrium ratio of orthohydrogen to parahydrogen depends on temperature, but because the ortho form is an excited state and has a higher energy than the para form, it is unstable and cannot be purified. At very low temperatures, the equilibrium state is composed almost exclusively of the para form. The liquid and gas phase thermal properties of pure parahydrogen differ significantly from those of the normal form because of differences in rotational heat capacities, as discussed more fully in Spin isomers of hydrogen. The ortho/para distinction also occurs in other hydrogen-containing molecules or functional groups, such as water and methylene, but is of little significance for their thermal properties.

The uncatalyzed interconversion between para and ortho H2 increases with increasing temperature; thus rapidly condensed H2 contains large quantities of the high-energy ortho form that converts to the para form very slowly. The ortho/para ratio in condensed H2 is an important consideration in the preparation and storage of liquid hydrogen: the conversion from ortho to para is exothermic and produces enough heat to evaporate some of the hydrogen liquid, leading to loss of liquefied material. Catalysts for the ortho-para interconversion, such as ferric oxide, activated carbon, platinized asbestos, rare earth metals, uranium compounds, chromic oxide, or some nickel compounds, are used during hydrogen cooling.

Conclusion:  Cell Configuration and Conditioning determines how efficient it is capable of operating.

  • Plate Voltage around 2 volts per plate. The Number of Plates in Series determines this; not the total number of plates.

  • Plate Maximum Efficient Current Density = 0.54 amps per square inch of surface area, inside the plate gasket surface area where the water is exposed to the electrode plate; Unipolar or Bipolar.

  • Amperage and voltage determine the heat and the amount of HHO.

  • The amount of Electrolyte determines the resistive conductivity of the water. It is the water that needs to be made to conduct; not the conductive metal. The metal we use , stainless or titanium, is more conductive than the electrolyte water. It is the water that determines the amperage flow rate in our case. Water is the most resistive link in our circuit, from the battery and back to the battery.

  • The magnetic field determines the amount of Orthohydrogen, not the type of metal electrodes.





Titanium HHO Cell - Electrolyte Mixture - KOH

Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) is the proper electrolyte to be used in an MMO Titanium Substrate HHO Cell. Potassium Hydroxide is used because it works the best with MMO coated titanium plates.



Titanium HHO Cell - Plates 

By now you should know that the Cathode is the negative on an HHO cell, and the Anode is the positive. On a Titanium HHO Cell, the Cathode CANNOT be MMO coated! The cathode must remain bare titanium or else the coating will come off during electrolysis. Only the anode requires MMO Titanium Substrate material. This is the reason why people have experienced problems with their MMO Titanium HHO Cells having a very short life span. A titanium cathode serves no special purpose. It is higher in resistance and does not participate in the magnetic alignment of the cell plates.


HHO Gas Production MMW (Millileters per Minute per Watt) - avg of about 3.5 MMW 
NOTE: Keep in mind that Titanium Cell HHO Gas is about 2x more powerful than Stainless Steel Cell HHO Gas, because of the purity. So a Titanium HHO Cell at 3.5 MMW can be likened to a Stainless Steel HHO Cell at 7 MMW. 

More Lies from Smack? There is no basis for this statement.



The electrolytic chlorine generation industry and the "grounding" industry associated with galvanic corrosion both reference a Mixed Metal Oxide or MMO coated Titanium electrode. The metals referenced are NIOBIUM, PLATINUM, RUTHENIUM, IRIDIUM, etc. Does anyone have any details on this MMO coating and the process involved in producing this MMO coating? In addition, there seems to be new technology out there emerging which allows the polarity of the anode and cathode to change without damage to the coating.

The substrate is sand blasted and pickled for the removal of scales. A paint of isopropyl alcohol with the metal chlorides along with titanium tetra chloride is painted by brush with no metal parts. It is baked in an oven at 400 to 600 degrees. Painting and baking done many times to achieve the desired thickness. If wear resistance is needed iridium chloride is added, if catalytic action is needed. then ruthenium chloride is added, for water electrolysis, more platinum chloride is added. If high current density is required niobium is added.


Smack says: This is how you are supposed to build a Ti substrate MMO coated HHO cell

1. 3.5VDC per plate

2. Uncoated cathode

3. .5amps/sqin

4. Low PH

5. Isolated flowing configuration.

Stay tuned for more truths and facts concerning this technology and engineering protocol.


Quotes from Bob Boyce

Well, despite claims to the contrary, MMO/Ti does not make better gas than stainless steel. If that stainless steel has been prepared correctly and operated within acceptable parameters. But the same can be said about MMO/Ti, as it also has to be applied properly and operated within acceptable parameters. The only advantage that MMO/Ti has is the low chromium and iron content, but for me the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. There are other metals that also have low chromium and iron content, and work so much better due to the lower potential.

I for one will not be switching to MMO/Ti any time soon. Even though MMO/Ti anodes can produce a very high quality hydroxy gas, IF implemented well, some drawbacks of the material do not bode well for its future in this technology.

One very major drawback is the over potential of the material, as this forces the energy efficiency of any cells using Ti or MMO/Ti to be at least half of the efficiency of NORMAL electrolysis, and less than a quarter of the efficiency of my catalytic water cracking process. The use of nickel cathodes will reduce this loss, but will not totally eliminate it.

Another major drawback is degradation and passivation. With proper design and implementation, lifespan can be increased, but nothing can stop the undesired reactions. There will always be a limited lifespan to this material. Designed operational temperature is quite low, and any heat will serve to speed up the undesired reactions that will destroy this material.

Another major drawback is durability. No amount of care taken in design or implementation will make up for the lack of this material to withstand abuse. It is very vulnerable to variations in ph and temperature. Someone pouring in the wrong substance will damage it quite rapidly. Once the material is damaged, it becomes totally useless rather quickly.

So all in all, if I were going to change materials, I would not be using Ti or MMO/Ti. I have already done the research to determine the best materials to use. And while Ti has niche uses, it is not my first choice. Stainless steel is less expensive. If the right grade/quality is used, and if it is prepared and operated properly, then it works very well for us. A more expensive option is one of several nickel/moly alloys that are low in iron and chromium content. This tested to be better than stainless steel, but at a cost. It is out of the price range of most home builders.

Bob Boyce

From the Man himself. NEED I SAY MORE?


Technical Documents

  NASA - Transition Metal Catalysts for Para to Ortho Hydrogen Conversion




Titanium vs. 316L Stainless Steel

  • Food Grade Stainless Steel contains Molybdenum - which inhibits the leaching of Hexavalent Chromium. Hexavalent Chromium is a fluorescent yellow color, not brown as some suggest.
  • Food Grade 316L stainless steel is slightly more electrical conductive than Titanium. (a plus for SS). These two metals will make the same amount of gas. Neither makes a stronger gas.
  • Stainless Steel is Ferromagnetic, a quality that produces higher Orthohydrogen quantities because of its magnetism. Titanium is Paramagnetic; it is hardly affected by a magnetic field. A strong magnetic field is essential in making Othohydrogen.
  • Titanium is Unipolar. It can not be used as Neutral electrodes. It has a Diode blocking affect; so does most Aluminum. 316L Stainless Steel is the superior metal. It may not be as hard of a metal, as Titanium, but its longevity is sufficient for use in Electrolysis of water.
  • MMO coated Titanium is not superior to Titanium; it is softer. It can not be used as a Cathode electrode; if it is, it will electroplate the positive plate, and any neutral plates. If electrical polarity of the plates gets reversed, the cell will not conduct. If a Titanium Anode is less conductive, than a Stainless Steel, its only benefit of use will be its hardness. Its rust inhibit ant abilities is no added benefit unless all of the electrodes have the same benefit.

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