The following can be quite dangerous and is being provided simply for information, if you choose to experiment with the production of hydrogen from water, you take full responsibility for your own actions.

Producing Hydrogen at 1.24 Volts!

Date: Thu, 27 Feb 1997 23:46:04 -0500
To: Jerry
From: (roamer)
Subject: New gaseous testing!!!

Here's a little experiment that even a child can safely perform
that proves that there is no 'minimum voltage' for splitting water
into hydrogen and oxygen.

The supposed minimum hydrolysis voltage is 1.24 volts. According to
standard theory, no reaction should take place at room temperature
below this voltage.

This theoretical figure was determined by taking the energy released
per mole when hydrogen is burned. Using that figure, and knowing
how many amp hours are needed to produce 1 mole of gas, they
calculated the theoretical minimum voltage.

In other words, this figure was not determined by first-hand experimentation.

Ok, here's how to do it:

1. fill a small jar with tap water and in it dissolve table salt
   until reaching full saturation.

2. Get two pieces of steel to use as electrodes. Two short pieces
   of 1 inch wide flat stock were used in the original experiment.
   They were spaced about 1/8 inch apart.

3. Hook up a 1.5 volt dry-cell battery to the two plates using a
   couple of test leads and then measure the voltage across the
   cell plates.  You should see some gas coming off the electrodes
   and it'll be fizzing.  (my measurement showed 1.51 volts under

4. Next, connect a small silicon rectifier diode in series with
   the battery and cell. The particular diode I had available
   dropped the circuit voltage by about .5 volts. The current will
   be quite a bit lower than it was, and the gas production will
   be quite a bit slower. But, you should be able to see and hear
   the bubbles coming off the plates. (my cell voltage was 1.05
   volts during this part of the test.)

Congratulations! Your cell voltage should be lower than 1.24 volts,
yet you are still producing hydrogen and oxygen gas!

At these lower voltages, you will be producing gas at greater
than 100% efficiency according to standard hydrolysis theory!

The reaction in this voltage range is also endothermic. Go figure.