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What is an HHO Generator and Should It Be Used in a Car?

Most mechanics and engineers realize that automobile engines run with an efficiency of between 18 to 20 percent. This leaves a great deal of room for improvement. Some claim that an HHO generator can improve fuel efficiency by helping the gasoline to burn faster and more completely, but others are not convinced it's as good as the claims. If you're wondering what an HHO generator is and if you should use it in your car then you're in the right place. Here is everything you need to know about HHO generators to make up your mind.

What is an HHO generator?

According to Instructables, an HHO generator is also known as a brown gas generator. It is an alternative technology that claims to boost fuel efficiency in gasoline-powered engines. They're devices that draw on the power of the alternator of a car or from the battery. A current of energy is drawn through a mixture of water and an electrolyte which separates the molecules of the water to their base form of 2 molecules H20 and 1 oxygen, hence the name HHO generator. HHO generators are sold as units that are easy to install by the average driver with a little mechanical knowledge. No great technical knowledge is required.

How an HHO generator improves fuel efficiency

HHO Plus explains that an HHO generator is claimed to increase engine performance by causing a higher percentage of the gasoline to burn, and at a faster rate. Hydrogen is far more flammable than gas. It explodes with three times the speed of gasoline and with more intensity. The HHO generator is like giving the gas a super-boosting additive that causes the gas to become ignited from all angles instead of from a single spark at the end of the cylinder. More gasoline is ignited, burned, and at a faster rate for less waste and a cleaner burn. It cuts down on CO2 emissions, making it a cleaner and greener technology that burns with a hotter heat that removes coal deposits. Other benefits include lowering engine noise, increasing engine performance, and extending the lifetime of the engine. HHO generators are environmentally friendly, reduce air pollution and help provide a solution to the problem of greenhouse gases by lessening the number of pollutants being released into the air. There are many benefits associated with the use of an HHO generator, but are all the claims true?

Should you use an HHO generator on your car?

Auto How Stuff Works points to a 2007 study made by the US Department of Transportation. The study sought to determine if the theory that hydrogen fuel in commercial vehicles increased mileage and decreased emissions in diesel-powered vehicles. Fringe energy theorists had worked on the concepts for years and it was viewed as a potential cleaner fuel source for the future. The findings suggest that it might not be as effective as claimed by some manufacturers of the units. Jalopnik reports on tests conducted to confirm or disavow the legitimacy of the claims made about HHO generators. The matter has been a controversial issue for some time with educated people on the pro side as well as those who believe it to be a myth. They tested the HHO generator on a Chevrolet Suburban to gauge its efficiency throughout 250 miles, driving the vehicle. What they did learn was that in that limited test run, the generator did not clean the engine of the SUV, nor did it increase the performance.

Other tests

In 2009, NBC's Dateline investigated the claims made about the HHO generator and joined forces with Popular Mechanics to put the theories to the ultimate tels. They used about $1,900 worth of these gadgets to try to enhance fuel economy. What they learned is that the HHO generator draws 15 amps of power from the vehicle, but it was not sufficient enough to cause the oxyhydrogen gas to break even. An HHO generator was also tested by Mythbusters with the same results. Further studies reported in the Alexandria Engineering Journal proved that the use of an HHO generator could result in fuel economy enhancement however, the unit had to b custom fabricated for the precise vehicle being tested.

What is the final verdict?

From what we can tell, in most cases the HHO generator made no significant improvement in the fuel consumption or performance of vehicles, nor did it have any positive impact on cleaning the engine. However, when the HHO generator was fabricated for the specific vehicle that was being tested, it was able to generate enough of the oxyhydrogen gas to make a difference. This tells us that an HHO generator can do all of the things that are claimed, but not all of the models on the market will deliver on those promises on every vehicle.

Final thoughts

The HHO generator or brown gas generator does show some promise for increasing fuel efficiency and causing engines to burn cleaner with improved performance. In theory, the claims made about the HHO generator have potential. This doesn't mean that everyone who uses an HHO generator will receive the benefits described. It's a controversial topic. Some experts believe that it's an alternative technology that may be what the world is looking for at a time when we need to all do our part to clean up the planet. Others remain unconvinced that technology has advanced far enough to create an HHO system that will generate enough oxyhydrogen to make a significant impact. Should you use an HHO generator in your car? There is no cut and dried answer, but if you can find a fabricator that can customize the unit for your particular vehicle you may stand a better chance of experiencing the positive result described by marketers in the HHO industry. We see the tremendous potential in these units, but we also caution that the buyer should beware.

Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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