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Now we're cooking with HHO

 
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I have very little experience with HHO, but I am hoping this post might help answer two questions. HOW to cook with HHO, and SHOULD we be cooking with HHO?

I am thinking about installing one of these under my sink:

HydroCell https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003XRZIA4/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_YFgPEbP5DK53J

It would be wired to my 12-16V NiFe batteries with an on/off switch.

I have many questions for anyone who has a little more knowledge/experience!  Will this HydroCell be big enough to produce adequate HHO for cooking?  I am thinking of plumbing the HHO produced straight to my propane cook top stove with 4 burners (any problems here?  I may only run one burner at a time.). I am not sure if a Hydrogen flash-back arrestor is really necessary since the HHO is being produced on demand?  Any backflash wouldn't make it more than 2-3 feet before it ran out of fuel. 

Also, I am guessing/assuming I Will need some type of PWM or some way to control HHO flow/amps.  What rating of PWM do I need? Would something like this be adequate? Or will I need more than 30 amps?  Will this PWM work to control the system like I am thinking?

Cllena DC 12V - 24V 30A PWM Dimmer Knob ON/OFF Switch with Aluminum Housing, Single Channel Dimming Controller for Single Color LED Strip Lights, 5050 3538 5630 light strips https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0768T5B6P/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_lMgPEbWWT6F66

Is there anything more I will need for this system?  Seems like this might be pretty simple?  Almost seems too easy?  What am I missing??

And now for the weirder part of this discussion. As a permaculture enthusiast,  I am always looking for solutions, particularly for food/utilities, that are long lasting solutions which could be applied globally as a solution for future human sustainability.  Hydrogen or HHO seems like a prime candidate to replace Propane and Natural Gas, which we want to eliminate for obvious reasons.  However, I begin to imagine a world where 8 Billion people are cooking with Hydrogen, and I wonder.... 

Matter is neither created nor destroyed, but what about water.  True, electrolysis of water produces massive amounts of HHO gas for the amount of water it consumes...  Rough guess, a gallon of water would produce 5 years of cooking fuel? (Total ball park).  My point is here, the electrolysis of water actually breaks the water down, and presumably burns the gas.  That water aint coming back, right? If the whole planet was doing this all the time...  How long before we ran into a new water shortage problem?  I am pretty sure HHO is a good solution for my life now...  I don't mind destroying a few Gallons of water over the course of my life.  But if all people did this...  How many generations...  Am I crazy to be thinking about this?!?!      Wait.... *Shock!  Water is produced when HHO is burned???  Is it close to the same amount of Water that was electrolyzed?  Am I going to have water running down under my stove?? Lol

I obviously need answers and help.  And what do you think?  Could HHO be a sustainable cooking solution for all/many people?  

 
Mother Tree
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HHO is water.

Not quite sure what you're asking.
 
Meni Menindorf
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Burra Maluca wrote:HHO is water.

Not quite sure what you're asking.



Burra, H2O is water bound in molecular form. People write HHO when these 3 atoms are in mixed gas state.  Electricty breaks the molecular water bond, and gives free gases we call HHO ---> highly flammable!  
 
Burra Maluca
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So it's a mix of hydrogen and oxygen, produced by splitting water. ok.

Then I guess the issue is safely storing the hydrogen - it's pretty volatile!

I'd also guess it would actually be more sensible to use the electricity directly as there are bound to be losses in the conversion. Splitting water to give of hydrogen and oxygen, then burning the hydrogen to re-form the water seems a bit odd to me unless you're using something like a solar panel to split it directly and skip the stage of storing the electricity in a battery.

Anyway, I'll leave it for others to discuss.
 
gardener
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Yes, as I understand it when you burn HHO it will revert back to the same amount of water it was before. And yes, it is not safe to store; it should be used on demand with flashback arrestors, unless the system is strong enough to withstand the small explosion, or has a natural pressure release mechanism like a jeweler's torch. Have you calculated the ammount of HHO required to run your burner, and do you know if the burner will work with HHO? It takes a massive (to me) generator just to run a small torch, and I can't imagine one putting out enough gas to run a burner. Also, if I may ask, why use HHO at all? Not trying to be a downer or anything, but it should use less electricity and probably be safer to use an electric direct resistance element like an electric stove uses.
 
Meni Menindorf
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Jordan Holland wrote: Have you calculated the ammount of HHO required to run your burner, and do you know if the burner will work with HHO? It takes a massive (to me) generator just to run a small torch, and I can't imagine one putting out enough gas to run a burner. Also, if I may ask, why use HHO at all? Not trying to be a downer or anything, but it should use less electricity and probably be safer to use an electric direct resistance element like an electric stove uses.



How can I calculate the amount of HHO needed? No, I have no idea of this propane burner could possibly work with HHO. I would probably start by trying to make a torch outside.  I've read that a typical propane burner burns about 1L/h?  I thought I read this little 30A HydroCell puts out 7L/h. Also the HHO flame is much hotter than propane.  At 30A, at 12V, this is using about 300 watts to make a super hot flame, though I am not sure the size of the flame.  Most induction cook tops I am seeing use about 1400-1800 watts.  I have seen youtubes of people cooking with a nice hot hydrogen, or maybe HHO flame, but they didn't explain the apparatus.  (Also, I am data challanged😋, so I can't watch YouTube all day to learn about my HHO).  
 
Jordan Holland
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Meni Menindorf wrote:

Jordan Holland wrote: Have you calculated the ammount of HHO required to run your burner, and do you know if the burner will work with HHO? It takes a massive (to me) generator just to run a small torch, and I can't imagine one putting out enough gas to run a burner. Also, if I may ask, why use HHO at all? Not trying to be a downer or anything, but it should use less electricity and probably be safer to use an electric direct resistance element like an electric stove uses.



How can I calculate the amount of HHO needed? No, I have no idea of this propane burner could possibly work with HHO. I would probably start by trying to make a torch outside.  I've read that a typical propane burner burns about 1L/h?  I thought I read this little 30A HydroCell puts out 7L/h. Also the HHO flame is much hotter than propane.  At 30A, at 12V, this is using about 300 watts to make a super hot flame, though I am not sure the size of the flame.  Most induction cook tops I am seeing use about 1400-1800 watts.  I have seen youtubes of people cooking with a nice hot hydrogen, or maybe HHO flame, but they didn't explain the apparatus.  (Also, I am data challanged😋, so I can't watch YouTube all day to learn about my HHO).  



I don't know how to calculate it, but I'm pretty sure that the liter per hour figure must be for liquid propane. Liquid propane has a conversion ratio of 1:270, so you would need 270 liters per hour of gas to power the burner assuming the burner uses the same amount of HHO. But HHO is a fuel and oxygen, propane is just a fuel; it derives it's oxygen from the atmosphere. Like how a propane plumbing torch is designed differently than an acetylene welding torch, I'm afraid the burner might not even run on HHO. I would definitely try to find out before buying. The flame temperature may be hotter, but remember the Law of Conservation of Energy.
 
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As previously mentioned, a simple hot plate or an induction cooker will be much more efficient. In an off-grid situation cooking with generated Hydrogen + Oxygen is almost certainly a bad idea.
And even I – a pyromaniac – am not comfortable storing mixed hydrogen and oxygen in any quantity. And separating them is not easy (but possible). But again… if there is a fault in the generator, you end up with a very explosive mixture…
Pure oxygen isn't something to joke about either.
Generating the gas mixture as it is used (the only safe option) requires a big battery bank (I'd guess about double what an electric plate would use) so maybe 5kW for a modest flame? At 12V that is 400A(!!!) That needs starter cables…
 
pollinator
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If you are going to do this I high suggest a flashback arrestor,   also a bubbler    Stopping a spark from traveling back to the main canister is just good safety practice.

Myself I choose an instant pot combined with solar and lithium batteries.


That said I suggest this video ->   Be sure to turn on english sub titles when you watch.

 
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When you light a propane torch the flame doesn't flow back into the canister because there is no air in it.
What would stop the flame on HHO from going right back into the canister and blowing up?
I agree, if you are using energy to make hydrogen gas, don't waste the oxygen.
But don't store them together.
 
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Can't speak to the safety anymore than everyone else already has, but you might consider having cast iron or something above the flame. you mention it being extremely hot and not knowing the size of the flame. if it's small with all the heat concentrated it'd be likely to burn food, a thick top will hep even out the heat. with how volatile it seems I really don't like how it sounds, even if it would be 'efficient'. Methane digester with some gas storage would be just as green I'd think.
 
pollinator
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Hho or brown gas is an explosion waiting to happen. It's also a great demonstrator of the energy concept: there is no such thing as a free lunch. .
Since you said it's running on batteries take a small amount of money, buy an inverter and hook it to an electric hotplate. The energy you could harvest  from the hho will be half the electricity energy used due to conversion loses. So cut out the middleman and heat electrically. Electrolysis has merit as a way to store energy only if your battery bank is full and you want to use it as a diversion load. But hho should never ever ever be stored only hydrogen, and oxygen, seperately. That setup is much more expensive and again you'd be better off investing in more batteries. Look up online brown gas explosions for emphasis...I still have all my digits and I like it that way.  cheers,  David
 
Meni Menindorf
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Reading more about HHO cooking online, there are a few people experimenting with it.  I found someone saying he made a custom burner for HHO using 19 tiny pin pricks, so the tine flames would spread across the cooking surface.  Sounds like my propane stove top will probably not work without major modifications.  

So I hear all the safety concerns, and to clarify l promise I won't store any HHO :p. This being said, the on-demand system I am thinking of with flashback arrestors...  Is it definitely less efficient?  I get that there are sort of two energy conversions (first water to gas, then gas to flame/heat.). But aren't some conversions more efficient than others?  My understanding is that most electric cooking is around %60 efficiency?  Could the two HHO conversions possibly beat this?  Again...  If this 12V, 30A HydroCell can improve the efficiency of a car...  Couldn't it burn a little flame?  Every electric cooker I've seen uses ~1400W+...  My dinky inverter won't run this for long.  Is it not possible that HHO could make more heat for less Watts...?  I have much more solar electricy during the day than I need, and don't have a good diversion for it yet. I see a welding flame produced for 300W, (Uttiny Acrylic Welder, Portable Buffer With Oxygen Hydrogen Generator Environmental Friendly 110V 0.08-0.13MPa Water HHO Welder (75L/H) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MNDJJ97/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_-ZfQEbY0SWCFC) and I just want to fry my egg!!  

Btw, thank you for reminding me about methane generators...  This is probably a more tried and true green cooking method.  I just want to ween off the propane!  I was using 3 bricks and some dried leaves and twigs for a while, but...  It was kind of smokey :p
 
Sebastian Köln
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Electric to heat is 100%, minus the heat that escapes.
An electric plate will be close to 100%, simply because it would burn your kitchen surface otherwise.

A gas burner can't be 100% efficient, because the hot gas is still hot when it leaves the pot.

Then there is the efficiency of splitting water. Ideally it would take 1.2V per cell, but in reality you are probably at something like 2V per cell (or more!).
All extra voltage is lost as heat.

My original estimate of 50% total efficiency turns out to be quite optimistic…
 
Burra Maluca
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Meni Menindorf wrote: If this 12V, 30A HydroCell can improve the efficiency of a car...  Couldn't it burn a little flame?  



That's a very big 'IF'.  I don't actually believe for one moment that it could.  
 
David Baillie
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Meni Menindorf wrote:Reading more about HHO cooking online, there are a few people experimenting with it.  I found someone saying he made a custom burner for HHO using 19 tiny pin pricks, so the tine flames would spread across the cooking surface.  Sounds like my propane stove top will probably not work without major modifications.  

So I hear all the safety concerns, and to clarify l promise I won't store any HHO :p. This being said, the on-demand system I am thinking of with flashback arrestors...  Is it definitely less efficient?  I get that there are sort of two energy conversions (first water to gas, then gas to flame/heat.). But aren't some conversions more efficient than others?  My understanding is that most electric cooking is around %60 efficiency?  Could the two HHO conversions possibly beat this?  Again...  If this 12V, 30A HydroCell can improve the efficiency of a car...  Couldn't it burn a little flame?  Every electric cooker I've seen uses ~1400W+...  My dinky inverter won't run this for long.  Is it not possible that HHO could make more heat for less Watts...?  I have much more solar electricy during the day than I need, and don't have a good diversion for it yet. I see a welding flame produced for 300W, (Uttiny Acrylic Welder, Portable Buffer With Oxygen Hydrogen Generator Environmental Friendly 110V 0.08-0.13MPa Water HHO Welder (75L/H) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MNDJJ97/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_-ZfQEbY0SWCFC) and I just want to fry my egg!!  

Btw, thank you for reminding me about methane generators...  This is probably a more tried and true green cooking method.  I just want to ween off the propane!  I was using 3 bricks and some dried leaves and twigs for a while, but...  It was kind of smokey :p


Meni, unless you are running a pre computer carburated engine hho gives you no efficiency gain. There will always be people claiming otherwise just like perpetual motion enthusiasts or hidden invention people. Usually any increased efficiency does not take into account the burned out alternators and increased engine wear that result. So again use the electricity directly and get 100 percent of the energy.  A 360 watt cell would produce roughly 150 watts to 180 watts of hydrogen per hour.... energy is energy.
 
Meni Menindorf
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Ok, ruminating on all this, and considering we cook with a cast-iron, I am considering getting an induction cook top.  I have noticed that with my current system, I can only run about 350-400 watts continuously.  Will this be enough to do more than slow cook?  I have a slow-cooker/crock pot that uses 200 watts, and barely simmers water (eventually).  Will 350-400 (I am guessing the lowest 2-3 settings on an 1800W unit) be enough to cook within reason (we don't mind being a little slow.).

Also, this whole discussion has reminded me that I have a solar oven!  I pulled this out of storage two days ago and am eating beans like a free-energy king.  

Ok, so those who retain any interest in the topic...  The real reason I started thinking about cooking with HHO is because my current electrical setup has my NiFe batteries bubbling HHO every day as a byproduct of charging.  (See here for more details: https://permies.com/t/119714/Activating-NiFe-batteries)

I don't think my battery bank puts off enough HHO to cook with on demand, and I've pretty near given up the idea of storing it.  ...  Anyone have a link that can scare me adequately?  HHO explosion stories?  I am starting to imagine a pvc pipe with an I/O and a little ballon that fills for pressure...  Sized just right to cook a meal, placed so that if the pipe blows it won't hurt my family.  Sure would be nice to do something with this HHO I make every day!  Presently it blows away in the wind...  Such a powerful stuff!  To waste to waste!  I am not typically a very worried/fearful person.  I don't mind taking some risks.  But I truly don't understand the nature of stored HHO....  Who's got the cap or the seed to continue the discussion?  Is there something we could be doing with the HHO coming off of our batteries?  My reconditioned (epsom salt) batteries also put off a good deal of HHO.  Is there some way to utilize this valuable, lossy byproduct?  
 
Burra Maluca
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Meni Menindorf wrote: Anyone have a link that can scare me adequately?  HHO explosion stories?  



This was just H2 without the O.  You might recognise it.

 
Sebastian Köln
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There have been several instances in the past where accidental hydrogen releases have ignited
spontaneously. Whilst these have been investigated, no satisfactory explanation has been produced,
but there have been suggestions that some form of electrostatic charging has been present, resulting in
an ignition. In view of the very low ignition energy of hydrogen, such ignitions are a distinct
possibility. Astbury and Hawksworth (2005) have undertaken a critical review of several incidents
with their postulated mechanisms, and has concluded that there is a distinct possibility that releases
which ignite spontaneously may be of an electrostatic origin.

source

If you can keep the oxygen out, hydrogen itself can be handled fairly safe – at least compared to a hydrogen-oxygen mixture!
A balloon filled with hydrogen, floating above the shed with the batteries via a tube would be relatively safe, even in the event that it burns.

Assuming your battery bank produces 20% hydrogen and you normally charge … 200W… so 40W in hydrogen. For a decent burn you want something like 2000W, ideally more like 4000W. That means 100h of charging for every hour of cooking.
 
Jordan Holland
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Meni Menindorf wrote:But I truly don't understand the nature of stored HHO....  



It is an explosive, so I would think of it just like gunpowder, TNT, nitroglycerin, picric acid, mercury fulminate, etc. You mention several times how powerful it is; just imagine all that energy required to heat up and cook an entire meal being released in milliseconds. If you are drawing this off your batteries, imagine those expensive batteries blowing up! That would scare me off of it!

If you need a demonstration, (THIS IS NOT SAFE) fill a baloon with it, attatch it to a long stick, and touch it to a burning candle (not indoors). Then imagine that blast being contained in something that will build pressure and explode sending bits of plastic, metal, etc. at supersonic speeds in all directions.
 
Meni Menindorf
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Sebastian Köln wrote:

There have been several instances in the past where accidental hydrogen releases have ignited
spontaneously. Whilst these have been investigated, no satisfactory explanation has been produced,
but there have been suggestions that some form of electrostatic charging has been present, resulting in
an ignition. In view of the very low ignition energy of hydrogen, such ignitions are a distinct
possibility. Astbury and Hawksworth (2005) have undertaken a critical review of several incidents
with their postulated mechanisms, and has concluded that there is a distinct possibility that releases
which ignite spontaneously may be of an electrostatic origin.

source

If you can keep the oxygen out, hydrogen itself can be handled fairly safe – at least compared to a hydrogen-oxygen mixture!
A balloon filled with hydrogen, floating above the shed with the batteries via a tube would be relatively safe, even in the event that it burns.

Assuming your battery bank produces 20% hydrogen and you normally charge … 200W… so 40W in hydrogen. For a decent burn you want something like 2000W, ideally more like 4000W. That means 100h of charging for every hour of cooking.



These are the kinds of numbers I like to see!
Thinking about the watts needed for cooking, and size of the storage tank needed (even if I could separate the oxygen), it would be something like..... (
33kwh in a kilogram of hydrogen, so 4kw would be about 125 Grams ....  At 11L/gram of gas...  ) 350 gallons???  That sounds like a pretty big tank to store, a massive explosion...  alright already, I'm convinced.  I will say that eventually there might be a way...  Stored hho would be smaller I think?  And as for the efficiency of conversion:
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/oxygen-hydrogen-power-fuel-generator-concept-hydrogen-rd-manager

But I am left with a dangling question.  Will 400W through an induction cooker adequately steam up my veggies, and slow cook some bacon?  
 
David Baillie
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Meni Menindorf wrote:

Sebastian Köln wrote:

There have been several instances in the past where accidental hydrogen releases have ignited
spontaneously. Whilst these have been investigated, no satisfactory explanation has been produced,
but there have been suggestions that some form of electrostatic charging has been present, resulting in
an ignition. In view of the very low ignition energy of hydrogen, such ignitions are a distinct
possibility. Astbury and Hawksworth (2005) have undertaken a critical review of several incidents
with their postulated mechanisms, and has concluded that there is a distinct possibility that releases
which ignite spontaneously may be of an electrostatic origin.

source

If you can keep the oxygen out, hydrogen itself can be handled fairly safe – at least compared to a hydrogen-oxygen mixture!
A balloon filled with hydrogen, floating above the shed with the batteries via a tube would be relatively safe, even in the event that it burns.

Assuming your battery bank produces 20% hydrogen and you normally charge … 200W… so 40W in hydrogen. For a decent burn you want something like 2000W, ideally more like 4000W. That means 100h of charging for every hour of cooking.



These are the kinds of numbers I like to see!
Thinking about the watts needed for cooking, and size of the storage tank needed (even if I could separate the oxygen), it would be something like..... (
33kwh in a kilogram of hydrogen, so 4kw would be about 125 Grams ....  At 11L/gram of gas...  ) 350 gallons???  That sounds like a pretty big tank to store, a massive explosion...  alright already, I'm convinced.  I will say that eventually there might be a way...  Stored hho would be smaller I think?  And as for the efficiency of conversion:
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/oxygen-hydrogen-power-fuel-generator-concept-hydrogen-rd-manager

But I am left with a dangling question.  Will 400W through an induction cooker adequately steam up my veggies, and slow cook some bacon?  

depends on the induction cooker. The induction hotplate I tested with my kill a watt meter was using 325 watts at low. If you used a small pan you could get that to work. But if you were prepared to shell out money for a electrolysis machine why not invest in a bigger inverter? As to that link for a revolutionary hydrogen machine well... "12 years of lab experiments" pops out, "eastern europe" pops out and no ability to purchase one all ring the familiar alarms. So, with incredible claims must come formidable proof or else it's just smoke and mirrors.
 
pollinator
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Induction plates are neat. I have one because I got tired of buying $12 hot plates every 8 months and also because they are (mostly) idiot proof and hard to hurt yourself with or  burn things down.

But. The one I got for about $140 (? three+ years ago) which was well recommended on amazon and cooking sites, seems to regulate temps by switching off for short periods, then turn back on. Often this is no problem, but when I'm frying on low heat (where there is a lot of "off" time), I can watch the food sizzle - stop sizzling - sizzle again.... Many of the reports toute consistent regulated heat, so maybe I didn't opt to spend enough, or maybe there's a fault with the appliance.

Here's the wiki page for induction cookers:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Induction_cooking

Remember that you need pots with bottoms that respond to magnetism. The stronger a magnet sticks to the bottom of the pot, the better that pot will do with and induction heat source. Cast iron is "ok". I use it all the time. Some other old steel pots I have didn't work so well. Copper pots don't work well.

I have found that for most practical purposes, 1000 watts is the minimum power you need for a heating appliance, whether it be for cooking or room heating or heating the tea water in an electric kettle. 1500 watts is definitely better if you don't want any disappointment.  Maybe you can so with less, but take some thought. Read labels.


Regards,
Rufus
 
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HHO will revert back to water when burned. A propane burner wont work. You need something with smaller holes and a higher pressure. you want that HHO exciting the holes with velocity to counter the flame front. Otherwise the flame will enter the the burner and into your system, boom!. I will go for an induction cooker more efficient less maintenance and a lot safer.
 
ronaldo Detera
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One more thing. HHO is called dirty hydrogen. It will explode even in an enclosed vessel because there is a perfect ratio of fuel to oxygen. Bottled propane comes as pure fuel, it wont burn even if you fire it without first mixing with oxygen in the air. that is why at the foot of the burner there is an entry for primary are to pre mix with fuel. You dont need this with HHO because of the reason stated above. Please dont even try if you think you dont have enough know how. This is a very nasty fuel because its premix with oxygen in perfect ratio ready to explode with an addition of a little spark.
 
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