United States Patent 3784096

A gas furnace heating system, utilizing as a fuel, hydrogen gas obtained from the electrolytic decomposition of water. Water is fed from a storage tank into an electrolytic decomposition cell, with the hydrogen gas fed through appropriate piping and valves to the burner. The burner is controlled by a thermostat in the heated area. The oxygen produced may be vented into the atmosphere.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
The Raymond Lee Organization, Inc. (New York, NY)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
204/228.5, 431/171
International Classes:
F24D12/00; (IPC1-7): C01B13/04; F24D12/00
Field of Search:
204/230,129 237
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US Patent References:

Primary Examiner:
Wayner, William E.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Podell, Howard I.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is

1. A heating system which is fueled by hydrogen gas produced by the electrolytic decomposition of water, said system including an electrolytic cell in which water is decomposed into hydrogen gas and oxygen gas in separate compartments housing the cathode and the anode respectively, with automatic pressure-sensitive controlled valve means to exhaust the produced oxygen gas to the atmosphere, and thermostat-controlled valve means to control the flow of the produced hydrogen gas to a burner, said thermostat-controlled valve means being responsive to the ambient temperature in the area which is heated by the heating system, in which a pressure sensor in the hydrogen-producing compartment of the electrolytic cell controls a valve which regulates the admission of water into the electrolytic cell, and in which the pressure sensor in the hydrogen producing compartment of the electrolytic cell also controls an electrical switch which controls the flow of electricity to the electrolytic cell, so that a reduction of gas pressure in the hydrogen-producing compartment of the electrolytic cell results in the automatic switching on of the electrical current that produces the electrolysis and in the automatic opening of the valve which causes water to flow into the electrolytic cell, where


This invention relates to a gas fueled heating system, and particularly to a gas heating furnace which is fueled by hydrogen, with the hydrogen produced by electrolytic decomposition of water.

An advantage of this invention is the use of a gas fuel in the heating burner which results in the complete absence of pollutant gases.

The hydrogen gas, which serves as fuel, is formed in a water-fed electrolytic cell by the passage of 1200 Amperes of electric current under a potential of 2 Volts. The water is continuously fed into the cell in response to automatic valves dependent upon the water level and gas pressure in the cell. Electrolysis of the water produces gas in the proportion of two parts of oxygen to one part of hydrogen by volume. An exhaust valve in the electrolytic cell vents the produced oxygen to the atmosphere. The hydrogen is fed to a gas burner, the operation of which is controlled by a thermostat located in the area which is heated by the burner.


The objects and features of the invention may be understood with reference to the following detailed description of an illustrative embodiment of the invention, taken together with the accompanying drawing which is a schematic diagram of the flow of the water into the electrolytic cell, and of the flow of the gases produced in said cell to the heating burner.


Turning now descriptively to the drawing, in which similar reference characters denote similar elements throughout the view, the illustration indicates water 12 stored in tank 11 fed by gravity into electroytic cell 15. Cell 15 is divided into two vertical legs 16 and 17, and is supplied with direct current electricity by power unit 20. Power unit 20 may be a direct current generator, battery, or alternating current rectifier operating from an alternating current supply line. Power unit 20, preferably, supplies 1200 amperes at 2 volt potential direct current to the anode 18 and cathode 19 of the electrolytic cell 15.

Oxygen is formed in cell leg 16 which surrounds the the anode 18. Excessive pressure of oxygen gas 31 in leg 16 of the cell 15 is relieved by venting to the atmosphere. Exhaust valve 35 is controlled by pressure regulator 36 which is responsive to the pressure of oxygen gas 31 in leg 16 of the electrolytic cell 15.

Hydrogen gas 32 is formed in leg 17 of the electrolytic cell 15 and is led to the gas burner 38 through control valves 25 and 26. Control valve 25 is activated by a thermostat 28 in the furnace flue which shuts off the flow of hydrogen gas to the burner 38 when the flame temperature becomes too high, or when the flame has gone out in the burner 38. Control valve 26 is activated by the room thermostat 27 and regulates the flow of hydrogen gas to the burner 38 so as to maintain desired temperature in the space which is served by the heating system 30 of the burner 38.

The flow of electricty to the electrolytic cell 15 is controlled by automatic switch 21 which is regulated by a pressure sensor 22. Sensor 22 is responsive to the pressure of hydrogen gas 32 produced in the leg 17 of the electrolytic cell 15. Pressure sensor 22 also controls solenoid 23 which operates the valve 13 which admits water 12 from storage tank 11 into the electrolytic cell 15.

In operation, a call for heat by room thermostat 27 opens valve 26 to permit hydrogen gas to flow to the burner 38 and causing a reduction of hydrogen gas pressure in leg 17 of the electrolytic cell 15. Pressure sensor 22 simultaneously causes valve 13 to open by activating solenoid 23, and water 12 is admitted into the electrolytic cell 15. The electrical circuit of the power supply 20 is activated by closing switch 21, which results in the diassassociation of the water 12 into hydrogen gas 32 and oxygen gas 31. If the pressure of hydrogen gas 32 increases in the system to an excessive amount, the sequence is reversed and the electrolytic action and supply of water to the cell 15 is automatically stopped.

Since obvious changes may be made in the specific embodiment of the invention described herein, it is indicated that all matter contained herein is intended as illustrative and not as limiting in scope.