Hydrogen Ball Launcher
The Hydrogen Ball Launcher gives the visitor the unique opportunity to see electrolysis in action.
With the push of a button current flows through an electrolyte, breaking water into hydrogen and oxygen. Visitors can control the amount of gas produced, encouraging experimentation. The electrical energy used to break the water into H2 and O2 is released as chemical energy when the visitor pushes the “load and fire” button. This moves the gasses to the combustion chamber and ignites them. The resulting loud bang as the gases explode and recombine into water propels a ping pong ball, within a clear tube, high into the air.
This exhibit can be fitted with an additional LabView powered data acquisition system that gives the visitors real time feedback about the electrolysis process. It includes an animation of the electron flow through the electrolysis cell as the electrons break the water molecules into H2 and O2. Parameters such as cell voltage, cell current, and the amount of gas produced and the number of electrons that have passed through the cell are displayed on digital readouts.