Author Topic: Have you ever heard about this experiment from W. C. HEFFERLIN  (Read 2499 times)

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Have you ever heard about this experiment from W. C. HEFFERLIN
« on: September 04, 2012, 12:09:27 pm »
September 1946


All of us are familiar with brooks, rivers, lakes, seas, etc. The world is full of an inexhaustible supply of water, and many people even dink it and enjoy life. But to bum it! Well, some jokes even mention that, too.Yes, for many a long stretch of years, even centuries, too far back to find the beginning, water has been oneof our important prime movers.Inventions and processes beyond count have been and many still are, used much in the original style, frombefore the first water wheel to tide motors and steam engines of all types. Steam turbines today generateelectrical power to drive huge sea-going ships. The latest locomotive is use on railroad trains is driven by asteam turbine!Water is used to put out fires and the fire department is quite familiar to most of us. It is also used to helpkeep us cool. But something that will stop flame and heat will also bum? No, that's not double talk; it's true.Any high school student taking Physics knows the possibilities.How?Let's examine water, what it is by nature. Its chemical symbol is H.O, which means that two parts of hydrogen and one part of oxygen (that stuff we breathe) are in combination. Hydrogen is a gas very explosiveand has been used to lift balloons and Zeppelins, and in the presence of oxygen it will burn violently.There have been developed down through the years many methods of extracting either or both gases fromwater, etc. But one of the simplest, although the slowest, method is known to students as "electrolysis of Water." This is done by running about 12 volts of direct current electricity between platinum plates in a vesselof water containing a trace of acid in solution. Hydrogen will bubble off one plate and oxygen will bubble off the opposite plate.We refer you to the Hofman's apparatus familiar to all Physics students, and the following laws of electrolysis that were established by Faraday a century ago."1. That mass of an electrolyte decomposed by an electric current is proportional to the quantity of electricityconveyed through it.""II. When the same quantity of electricity is conveyed through different electrolytes, the masses of thedifferent ions set free at the electrodes are proportional to their chemical equivalents." Quotes are from Page329 and Page 425, Carhart and Chute Physics, Copyright 1912. Michael Faraday was born in 1791 and died in1867.This process had never been speeded up until the fall of 1921, when, following a hunch and with somereasoning attached, a new and different method was evolved and first tests made with as crude and simple a set-up as was possible.If it worked under difficult and crude methods, then it stood to reason that the perfected and decentlydesigned methods would be successful.A glass vessel was used (commonly called in a laboratory) a thistle-stemmed contort flask, one bunsenburner and a H. F. (high frequency) machine, one rubber two-holed flask plug and one glass valve inserted inthe rubber plug, two wires and some steel wool, also some water.NOW we were ready for the simple test. The flask bowl was half filled with water and held by a bench stand
 and clamp at a 45 degree angle. One wire from one pole of the high frequency machine was slid down throughthe thistle neck into the regular neck of the flask; the other wire from the opposite pole of the machine wasinserted into the regular flask neck through the rubber plug at the neck's upper end.The bunsen burner was lighted and placed under the bowl of the flask to boil the water. When the steam wasshowing inside the flask the H. F. machine was turned on, causing an electrical spark to jump between the wireends inside the flask and through the steam.A red color showed at one end of the discharge and a blue color at the other end. This indicated hydrogenand oxygen.The glass valve in the rubber plug was opened, but no flame could be lighted from the gas rushing throughthe valve.Next, a small bunch of steel wool was placed between the inside wire ends and separated from them. Thenthe H. F. current was turned on again. The first discharge color area remained the same; but the seconddischarge color area in the flask showed very brilliant red and blue colors. Still, gas coming through the glassvalve could not be ignited.So then a second steel wool bunch was inserted into the flask neck and separated from the wire and the othersteel wool. Again the H. F. current was applied and at first. and second discharge areas the past colors werenoted in their respective order. But at the third discharge area there was only one color-yellowish white.IT WAS BURNING!Still we could not ignite a flame from out of the valve. So the valve was closed and the heat removed, but theH. F. current remained on and the third area watched. The steam content grew less as the flask cooled down,when suddenly-BANG!!The neck at the area of the third discharge was gone, rubber plug and glass valve. (We never did find eventhe rubber plug. Maybe the janitor did.)The rest of the neck and flask were unharmed. But a razor blade could not have cut wax any smoother thanwhere the third area started. That proved that instantaneous electrolysis of water was a fact and our hunch wasright. Plenty of hydrogen and oxygen were available in a hurry!When hydrogen is burned in the presence of oxygen it produces a very high temperature flame and there areno fumes. They just combine and form water again!The possible uses can be expanded far and wide, from heating the furnace to cooling the refrigerator; fromrunning the auto to driving an air ship.A small and compact unit could be made and installed in a submarine. One emergency use inside asubmarine would be to furnish oxygen to the air and hydrogen to the buoyancy tanks to raise it. And any water-salt, fresh, dirty-will do for a while in emergencies.