Thread: Brown's gas??
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Posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
Tim Wescott
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Default Brown's gas??

Andy Dingley wrote:

On Thu, 08 Dec 2005 10:12:26 -0800, "T.Alan Kraus"

what do you think about the claims made by watertorch?

Snake oil. The basic technology is a commonplace - avoid storing
flammable gases by making them on demand instead. The "Brown's Gas"
malarkey makes two additional claims:

- They claim that the gas they produce contains monatomic hydrogen and
monatomic oxygen as well as the usual diatomic form. This would indeed
be an "extra energy" fuel, but there's no evidence that this actually
happens. By normal chemistry the hydrogen and oxygen produced in the
electrolysis cell will have combined long before it gets to the torch.

- There's some babble about a "cool flame". This is simply ridiculous.
The idea that it "radiates at 129C" is particularly silly. It's a
hydrogen-oxygen flame - they're hot, that's how they work. It's not
magic though, nor are normal rules of physics or chemistry suspended for
this magic gimmick.

That may be the one (partially) true claim, actually.

Hydrogen remains largely transparent as it burns, so it emits very
little light. Blackbody radiation is called that for a reason --
perfectly reflective or transmissive materials don't emit light when
they're hot; bright yellow flames get that way because soot is black,
which is part of the reason that hot soot glows. So if you looked at
the flame with an infrared pyrometer it would show up as not much warmer
than it's surroundings.

I wouldn't stick my hand in it though -- hot transparent things don't
radiate much heat or light, but they'll sure as heck make you hurt when
you touch them.

The rest is the product of a mind that's either severely misinformed or
severely dishonest.


Tim Wescott
Wescott Design Services