Hydrogen / Oxygen explosion?

  • can, Is that pulsed current? Otherwise would be much more gas bubbles if using lots of overvoltage?

    No, it was plain DC. However I used a cheap switching DC power supply, so it could be argued it wasn't truly continuous.


    Once the local electric field at the cathode is sufficiently high (due to electrode geometry, metal deposition, electrolyte concentration, voltage, etc), after a threshold voltage, gas production from electrolysis drops considerably (together with current) and a plasma appears. There is usually a transition range before this, where current doesn't increase anymore proportionally with overvoltage.


    In the above case, a higher overvoltage (after a plasma appeared at around 17-19V) would make dendrites grow faster and intensify the plasma without significant gas production. Increasing voltage above 40V however would destroy the spiky dendrite formation and cause plasma electrolysis to occur on the wire, without further dendrite growth. Again, voltages depend on conditions and electrolyte (10% HCl in the above case; higher concentrations work at lower voltages). The wire cathode was 0.3mm-thick Ni200.

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