View Full Version : OT maybe: Brown's gas

12-03-2007, 01:19 AM
Has anyone experimented with Brown's gas in an internal combustion engine?

12-03-2007, 01:40 AM
I don't believe that an IC engine is the best application for Brown's Gas. It has a very hot flame but the gas itself is a low source of energy/kg.


12-03-2007, 01:50 AM
Brown's gas is a stoichiometric mixture of hydrogen and oxygen. As such it has low energy density and is entirely impractical to use as a fuel. It has exactly the same drawbacks that hydrogen does in other combinations with air or oxygen.

Doc Nickel
12-03-2007, 04:48 AM
What Evan said. Besides that, Brown came up with the idea in the late seventies, and has been trying to patent/market/develop the idea for decades since.

It has it's uses for certain types of exotic welding, but other than that, it's absolutely no different than plain hydrogen when used/burned, except it's even less dense when stored (and more dangerous.)

It's not quite up there with a Joe Cell, but it's still not the miracle the free-energy guys hype it to be.


12-03-2007, 11:22 AM
A friend is going to try to run a V8 engine with it. I was skeptical and he said google it, I did. After reading several sites I even became more skeptical.

The description of the burning was an implosion rather than an explosion. :confused: That was puzzling untill I realized that the volume of gases burn and turn back to water hense the large volume returns to small volume as described in the texts. Then I began wondering how could a gas that implodes in burning produce any work on a piston that requires downward force. It would, instead, tend to suck the piston up rather than pushing it down. Even if it was mixed with gasoline for the burn the two may cancel each other or at least decrease the effect of the gasoline. They said the timing has to be retarded about 45 deg. but that would put the piston on the down stroke and the effect of the burn would instead suck the piston up if the fuel in fact implodes.

On the other hand, I guess you could design an engine that would start the burn at the bottom of the stroke and suck the piston up. It would really work best as a two cycle engine with a power suck on each stroke :eek: :rolleyes: .

What do you think, Evan, Doc, Ray? Give it serious consideration as I am. It could be an interesting experiment, fun at least.

12-03-2007, 12:06 PM
I can't wait, in the event of a misfire how's he planning to stop flame tracking back through the inlet and into the explosive mixture he has cunningly stored.
Remember what happened to all previous vehicles where the oxidant was part of the fuel?
Does the word BANG ring any bells?
Keep us posted,

Alistair Hosie
12-03-2007, 12:40 PM
Googletastic again Evan.Alistair

Weston Bye
12-03-2007, 01:07 PM
Sounds like the perfect fuel for a "Flamesucker" engine, minus the open flame.

Seems limited though, as with any atmospheric engine, depending on the differential of the roughly 15 psi atmospheric pressure in the outside of the piston and some partial vacuum in the inside.

What would such a cycle look like?
Intake from TDC to BDC, ignition at BDC, reduction (instead of expansive combustion), expel water (piddle) at TDC.

Brown(s) Gas - what an unfortunate choice of names - brings to mind something bean generated.

12-03-2007, 01:43 PM
I've run several 100 or so miles trials with a 25 amp 5 volt electrolyzer hooked into the air intake of both a GMC SUV and a saturn sedan as I was asked by some friends if this would work. I've also tried it with bottled hydrogen. A much smaller flow than expected of either the hydrogen or hydrogen oxygen mixture will make the engine run strangely.

My own data indicated an increase in gas mileage but I never had enough quality data that I would stake my reputation on it to present to my friends investors.

There is some data from a national lab on doing a similar thing about adding hydrogen to a methane powered internal combustion engine and they show some good results. There is also some evidence from GE about adding a small amount of hydrogen to ground based gas turbine engines to help emissions.

I've worked out the energy content of the mixture (which is very low) as we all expect but from personal experience, it affects combustion in the cylinders and will cause a check engine light to go on as well as the fact you can hear the engine run differently. I believe that there is some sort of catalytic effect of the hydrogen oxygen mixture on a gasoline engine due to the extraordinary speed of the flame front of hydrogen/oxygen.

The exact combustion process in a cylinder is not all that well understood by my understanding and I don't think it impossible that some of these kinds of strange techniques could work. It is perhaps unlikely though not impossible to get an improvement because the efficiency of an internal combustion engine is so low as it is.

So, I wouldn't write this off but It would be a lot of effort to prove statistically significant improvement if there is in fact any.


12-03-2007, 03:43 PM
Yeah, as soon as he said hydrogen I though BANG, well, there goes that engine. It seems that instead of exploding it burns. My experience with hydrogen generated in an over charged battery was BANG, a fast trip to the steam room to flush the fellow mechanics face and eyes with a hose and then a battery replacement. Fortunately we saved his eyes.

On the other hand they imply it is not an instant explosion.

Cameron, that is interesting. There was the indication of better fuel milage but I wondered how that could be with the counter effect of implosion versus explosion. As you said, the combustion process is not completely understood.

What my concern is in the experiment is will I be creating a bomb that could hurt me. using small concentrations with the gasoline is ok. but to run an engine on just Brown's gas may be dangerous. I need to know more.

The thing that is in the back of my mind is when the diesel was attempted to be run on coal dust and it exploded :eek: . That's not what I want.

12-03-2007, 03:49 PM
See this link for my personal experience with real and genuine Brown's Gas:

Converting water to H and O as many are doing on YouTube is NOT the same as Brown's Gas generation although some are working along similar lines of using alkali solutions. We've been tinkering with that form of 2HO a bit too. (This is not Brown's Gas although somewhat similar.) Our current bench system will increase gas mileage (estimated) by 25% or a bit better in an ordinary sedan on the highway. I feel we can do much better. All the units on the market we tested (we didn't test every unit out there) did no better than 10-15% boost in mileage.

For all you Free Energy buffs this is NOT a Free Energy project. The 2HO produced is a supplement to regular fuel use and NOT a replacement so cost of production is not a big factor, if at all.

More information on Brown's Gas and similar projects:

12-03-2007, 04:14 PM
So, I wouldn't write this off but It would be a lot of effort to prove statistically significant improvement if there is in fact any.

Seems pretty easy to write off to me. The actual weight of the hydrogen in 100 grams of brown's gas is 11.19 grams. That is so low that no possible efficiency increase can make it a practical fuel. It isn't a fuel anyway but an energy storage medium since it must be made using another contemporary source of energy. Burning hydrogen in no way allows one to bypass the Carnot efficiency limit and that doesn't change significantly in an otto cycle engine regardless of what is burnt.

See, that wasn't that hard. :D

12-03-2007, 05:03 PM
That's another issue, energy to convert to hydrogen. It's my observation the energy to convert is more than the energy produced in an engine.

It looks like the same energy gain as enthanol fuel. A loss any way you look at it.

I won't be pursuing the experiment.

12-03-2007, 08:00 PM

I don't buy into the browns gas theories on the site that dalesvp posted. I ran simple controlled experiments and found that there appeared to be some effect on an engine that could not be attributed to the small energy content of the hydrogen oxygen mixture. Not a thermodynamics violation or any such rubbish, just some sort of change in the combustion process, perhaps even a bad one though in my tests (which I state for the record weren't double blind) I saw an apparent improvement in mileage.

I didn't have the resources to collect a statistically significant amount of data so I proved nothing for scientific purposes as I only had about 3 control runs and 3 test runs. After reading the test results from the "511" tests done by the EPA in the 1970's on a variety of fraudulent gas saving devices and looking at the paper I had written, I concluded that I had let myself believe farther than the data allowed. I told my friends that I didn't have a significant result but might have a yes/no answer with more data and that was the end of it.

Incidentally Carld,

Mixtures of large quantities of hydrogen and oxygen in a stoichiometric ratio are insanely dangerous. I set off an explosion in the tiny 1 liter PVC pipe electrolyzer intentionally and saw no damage or dangerous condition but if you were storing any significant quantities of the mixture, it's a time bomb. Think space shuttle main fuel tank only with the contents premixed.

No disrespect to dalesvp but I would consider trusting in the existence of most or perhaps any of the effects shown on the svpril site about mixtures of hydrogen and oxygen as dangerous.


I am not an alternative energy crazy, just the technically skilled person some folks came to asking for as rigorous as possible a test of the idea that feeding hydrogen/oxygen into an engine would improve mileage.

I still think it might have an effect, not due to the energy content of the mixture but due to a catalytic type effect on some part of the combustion chemistry. I can't prove the effect and wouldn't personally advise anyone to bother trying to look for it.

Regards all,


J Tiers
12-03-2007, 08:08 PM
What is thei "Brown's gas" deal anyhow?

Did this cat "Brown" first dicover that hydrogen would burn? NO

Did this cat "brown" first discover that oxygen was needed to burn hydrogen? NO

Was this cat "Brown" the first to mix the two? NO

So why the ^%$#@! does he "stick his name on basic dish soap" and claim its better with the name on it?

As far as I can see he is just a charlatan whose claim to fame is a mystical thing akin to homeopathic medicine........... Those are the nutcases who claim that you can make substances more powerful by diluting them 10,000 times.

Those guys make Lysenko seem like a legitimate scientist.

Doc Nickel
12-03-2007, 08:08 PM
That's another issue, energy to convert to hydrogen. It's my observation the energy to convert is more than the energy produced in an engine.

-That's hardly "your observation", it's a fundamental law of physics. Simply put, you will never get as much energy out of something as you put into it.

It takes energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Subsequently burning that hydrogen and oxygen recombines them into water and releases energy, but substantially less than it took to split it in the first place.

Therefore it doesn't matter how efficient your engine, what mixture you burn it at, what other fuels you mix it with, or how many degrees you turn the distributor, it's not going to be a viable fuel, and claims of increasing mileage by "25%" are completely fallacious.

It looks like the same energy gain as enthanol fuel. A loss any way you look at it.

-Technically, ethanol is harvesting stored solar energy, so it's not quite in the same class. It's true that it currently takes almost as much, if not more, energy to "brew" ethanol as we get out of it as a fuel, but unlike the fundamental physical limit of the hydrogen/water/hydrogen cycle, we can very likely improve the efficiency of ethanol production to bettre than parity.

We leave it up to the reader to consider whether we have the land to grow enough corn, but that's beside the point.


12-04-2007, 01:11 AM
J Tiers,

Yull Brown, and the guy who took over after him, Dennis Lee were and is probably one of the greatest con-men and crackpots of the last century. Making claims of virtual over-unity and products that have never performed like they were supposed to.

Stoichiometric mixtures explode. Not implode.



12-04-2007, 01:18 AM
A friend is going to try to run a V8 engine with it....
The description of the burning was an implosion rather than an explosion...
What do you think, Evan, Doc, Ray? Give it serious consideration as I am. It could be an interesting experiment, fun at least.

Ah, but Carld, you did not specify that you were describing Black Hole Brown's Gas.


12-04-2007, 11:31 AM
Observation---The act or observing something, that which is observed; a judgement or opinion.


Doc, it is my "observation" on the conversion of water to hydrogen. Any reasonable person would understand what I meant. Why do you have to be a jerk and belittle others in your replys. Your assuming I don't know about the process. Buy a dictonary, you need it.

I have tried to be friendly with you and you keep flaming me. You have a problem Doc.

12-04-2007, 11:35 AM
ckelloug, was the engine you tested with a computer controlled fuel injection system or a carburator engine?

Do you think the better mileage comes from the extra volume of fuel (the hyd./oxy.) in the combustion process?

When you did the hyd/oxy test burn in the PVC pipe did the pipe explode?

How did you put the hyd/oxy mix in the engine?

12-04-2007, 07:20 PM

I'm always amazed at what happens when someone brings up Brown's Gas whether on this list or somewhere else. The response is always the same and always very predictable. Makes me lmao!

It is probably a very safe bet no one on this list other than myself has ever seen much less EXPERIMENTED with real Brown's Gas - yet it seems there are an abundance of experts on it. Wow! It always amazes me how people can comment so strongly on something they never saw or had any first hand information about. Maybe with H and O from DC electrolysis but that is not Brown's Gas as everyone who has actually studied the subject knows.

You know - who cares what people believe. Six people are alive today because five gallons of Brown's Gas imploded instead of exploded. None on this list are required or even asked to believe that. It makes no difference in the Grand Scheme of things what people believe. Scientific progress is made by those who question, do not assume they know everything, investigate and boldly experiment where everyone else "knows" things are impossible. Wow! Think of the possibilities....

For a long time I've thought of an experiment to PROVE once and for all to see that this stuff implodes. Wow! Just think of it! The set-up could be examined by whatever brain-dead person may be qualified to make a Grand Pronunciamento as to its ability to prove its purpose. The plan is laid out just waiting funding, a large planning committee, a board of directors, three or four cute secretaries, a few dozens meetings in exotic places, etc. to get it together. In this way - by putting lots of money where someone else's mouth is - (Wow! Just think of it!) such a verified and repeatable experiment will show even the naysayers, the flat-earthers and the know-it-alls there just might be something in this universe they do not know everything there is to know about it.

Then again - why waste time and money proving something? Wow! Just think of the possibilities if the world really weren't flat.... but then - how come the guys on the bottom side don't fall off? Maybe they did and the NWO has been lying all along. Can an experiment be designed to prove people are actually hanging upside down on the bottom side of this flat disk called earth? Who could possibly believe people live like bats - hanging upside down all the time? They are crazy - no one would believe that!

"Heavier than air flight is impossible!" Professor Langley
"Bumble bees can't fly." aeronautical engineer (know it all)
"Telephones are an impossibility." whatever self-appointed expert
"You are condemned for heresy!" Know-it-all Pope to Galileo
etc., etc. and etc.

Optics Curmudgeon
12-04-2007, 08:45 PM
Actually, just the mention, here or elsewhere, of Brown's gas makes me LMAO.
I'm surprised at the restraint people are showing here. It's a testament to the intelligence of the average member here. We're talking about non-science, much like every other free (or nearly free) energy scheme. That's all from me, I have to run off and attach cow magnets to the fuel line of my Brown's gas fueled car, started, of course, by a cold fusion unit. And before you remind me that people are still working on cold fusion, I will remind you that there are still people in New Guinea waiting for the gods from the sky to return with more "cargo".


12-04-2007, 08:59 PM
...so what is "real Brown's Gas," anyway? What makes it anything other than a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen?

12-04-2007, 08:59 PM

The engines in my test were fuel injected with modern emissions controls. I think that this is probably a key point if there is an actual effect since it means that the engine is under closed loop control and that the loop will respond to the remaining oxygen in the exhaust gases.

There is insufficient energy by my calculation for a hydrogen oxygen mixture to have any effect on an engine by it's value as a fuel especially since energy was used to create the mixture. The simple calculation of the energy released by burning the hydrogen with the oxygen shows that if there is a real change that it is by some other mechanism than the energy released by hydrogen/oxygen combustion.

My conclusion was that if there was a real effect, (which couldn't be obtained by the energy content of the hydrogen/oxygen mixture) that it would have to involve one or more of the following:

Some sort of catalytic process,

A change in the pressure volume curve of the burning mixture between isothermal and adiabatic (No idea which direction the change would be)

An effect similar to the second magneto in an airplane engine whereby multiple origins of combustion (via the high speed hydrogen flame front) cause the power output to increase slightly

A trick played on the closed loop emissions control system which caused the engine to run in a way that wasn't normal. Not something like supernatural not normal but using an odd fuel air mixture that the controller wouldn't allow either for emissions or fear of engine damage.

The tiny explosion that I set off with a glowing wood splint while wearing safety gear was mainly to see that if it exploded during a test, corrosive potassium hydroxide would not go everywhere. There were only a few cubic inches of hydrogen/oxygen in the system (since it was designed to store as little as possible for safety reasons and to duplicate an experiment claimed to work by somebody else). The potassium hydroxide was used for demonstration purposes because it is the best electrolyte available even though it's corrosive and requires Ni200 Nickel electrodes. The system was built in a stout PVC DWV pipe which will take a fair amount of pressure but the amount of gas was so low that I suspect that even glass would have been undamaged.

The hydrogen/oxygen mixture was injected into the air intake of the engine just in front of the air filter on all vehicles tested.

I have some hope that there is a beneficial effect from adding the hydrogen oxygen mixture to an engine but I have no proof whether it actually works or doesn't and it's just the sort of idea it's easy to trick yourself into believing because it would be nice.

Before getting too enamored, google for EPA 511 test and read all 30 or so papers there and see if any of the materials making you want to try this sound like any of the papers published on the EPA web site. If so, run.

Best of Luck,


12-04-2007, 10:19 PM
It is probably a very safe bet no one on this list other than myself has ever seen much less EXPERIMENTED with real Brown's Gas - yet it seems there are an abundance of experts on it. Wow! It always amazes me how people can comment so strongly on something they never saw or had any first hand information about. Maybe with H and O from DC electrolysis but that is not Brown's Gas as everyone who has actually studied the subject knows.
A statement such as that indicates that you are not familiar with the first principles upon which the science of combustion and the extraction of energy is based. One only need know those principles to know what will happen in any given scenario. The experiments have been performed countless times and that knowledge is freely available to any who wish to study.

Incidentally, I have seen and used hydrox mixtures in glass blowing. Actually, it's used to blow quartz because of the very high melting temperature.


There is something that may help the efficiency of combustion when burning hydrogen. The majority of the energy released during hydrogen/oxygen combustion is in the form of extreme ultraviolet energy. In the cylinder of an engine this means that sufficient energy will be distributed at the speed of light to the entire mixture during initial ignition to cause it to ignite faster and more completely than the flame front speed would suggest.

[edit2] It's for that reason that significant quantities of hydrogen/oxygen mixtures may switch from deflagration to detonation when ignited.

12-04-2007, 11:06 PM
For everyone that replied reasonably I thank you.

A question asked should not be answered with rediculious or demeaning replies.

ckelloug, thanks for the answers and I will read the EPA 511 tests.

It seems my curoisity about things always brings out the people that don't see any point in learning for myself about a subject and I should rely on their superior knowledge and never pursue the issue.

I appreciate the willingness of those that share informatiion on even questionable subjects and don't flame me for wanting to learn for myself.

J Tiers
12-04-2007, 11:09 PM
"real" brown's gas.....?

So the results of water electrolysis that I made many years ago as a kid, and which did in fact explode nicely in a balloon, were NOT the mystery "brown's gas?

I think my comparison to Homeopathic medicine is a great deal more apt now that I slogged through the link in an earlier post.

The "opponents" of Brown's gas claim that science has a role here, and that science has not yet shown any anomalous behaviour of dissociated H2O, and moreover, there is no theoretical reason why any such behaviour should be expected.

The proponents seem to be basically saying that this is a matter of "faith", that science has NO role, as it is discredited and has something to hide in the matter, a vested interest in suppression. There is ALWAYS a mention of famous opinions which have proven wrong. But, no mention of the fact that science of a known and ordinary sort suffices to explain those things.

I would refer those who have any doubts to the "7 signs of bogus science".

The "brown's gas" folks score a nearly perfect 7 on this scale.