Production of Hydrogen through the Electrolysis of Water

Hydrogen gas can be produced from water through the process of electrolysis. This experiment tested different values of voltage, temperature of the water, and molarity of the solution to see which optimized the production of hydrogen the most. The results of the experiment can be used to more efficiently produced hydrogen for hydrogen cells. Unlike using gas to power machines such as cars, hydrogen can be produced to power them and the only by-products of electrolysis are heat and water. The amount of hydrogen gas produced was quantified by measuring the change in pH before and after electrolysis. The temperature of the solution was changed by using either an ice bath or a hot plate. To get the high and low values of voltage, two electrodes in the solution were attached to an adjustable DC power source. Those two factors were applied to three solutions of 0.5 M, 1.0 M, and 1.5 M magnesium sulfate solutions. Magnesium sulfate was used because the ions that it forms would not react with the electrodes. After the trials were complete, a three factor design of experiment was used to calculate which factors had the largest effect on the amount of hydrogen gas produced. According to the analysis, voltage had the greatest affect on the production of hydrogen and the molarity of the solution had the smallest effect.

Research Done By:

Amanda Roach
Cousino High School

Shawn Bimberg
South Lake School