The Dream of Flying

Page 23




  Making of Hydrogen Gas  

Professor Charles’ first balloon had taken four days to fill with hydrogen gas with his rather simple equipment. . But soon more effective facilities was constructed. The picture shows how a larger hydrogen producing plant could be arranged.

The hydrogen gas is made by separating hydrogen from oxygen in water. This is achieved by filling airtight sealed casks with water (H2O) diluted with sulphuric acid (H2SO4) and with iron filings (Fe) added. The chemical reaction will be as follows:

H2SO4 + 2H2O > 2H3O+ + SO42-

2H3O+ + Fe > Fe2+ + H2 + 2H2O

The hydrogen gas is now separated and can be led away. On the picture below we see such casks, AA, in which iron and water is put together and, when all is ready for the process, sulphur acid is poured through the funnels that almost reaches the bottom of the casks. The gas streams from the pipes at the top of the casks to a manifold pipe, BB. From this the gas is lead through a tight hose, C, to the purification apparatus, D where it passes a water filter where the oxygen particles that still are left in the gas absorbs completely. The water level in this device can be monitored by the glass pipe, b. a is a waste pipe where the oxygenated water is lead away. c is a pressure gauge that measures the gas pressure inside the apparatus.

From the purification apparatus the gas passes the hose E into the cylinder F, where it comes in connection with calcium hydroxide and loses the small amounts of carbon dioxide that is left. After this procedure the gas passes further one apparatus containing a hygrometer, H, a thermometer, d, to control dryness and temperature and is now ready to be lead into the balloon.

  Making of Hydrogen Gas. Uppfinningars bok, 1873.  




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© Lars Henriksson

Updated 2009-05-13