One basic question - Hydrolize Water

  1. Is there a water depth at which the gas can no longer be created by hydrolysis, or can something be done to push the depth?

  2. jcsd
  3. Simon Bridge

    Simon Bridge 15,471
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Welcome to PF;
    Hydrolysis usually means the cleavage of chemical bonds by the addition of water.
    Hydrolysis under high hydrostatic pressure is a common industrial technique so the answer would depend on the reaction you are interested in.

    But perhaps you thinking of electrolysis?

    Electrolysis of water is the decomposition of water (H2O) into oxygen (O2) and hydrogen gas (H2) due to an electric current being passed through the water.
  4. Yes you are correct. Sorry, I got the terms mixed up.
  5. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    What kind of pressures are we talking about? Tens of atm? Hundreds? Millions? Billions? At some point notion of a chemical looses its meaning and compressed matter becomes a quark gluon plasma. Somewhere between this stage and the parameters we observe on Earth surface electrolysis will stop to work (together with chemistry).
  6. Ok let's say at 100 feet in depth. Is there a significant loss in the production volume of gases?
  7. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    What is the question now?

    Volume of produced gases will be substantially lower, but that's just an ideal gas at work.
  8. Simon Bridge

    Simon Bridge 15,471
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    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Yes I think the question needs to be refined.
    The first, and often toughest step, in scientific method is to ask a meaningful question.

    Where is this question coming from?

    You can electrolyze water at 100 feet - the pressure is only about 4 atmos.
    For a given mass of water electrolyzed, the volume of gas that results will depend on the temperature of the gas.
    If you are prepared to heat it, then it can have any volume you like.
    You do need to expend more energy to electrolyze water at greater depth - precisely because you have to expand the resulting gas bubble against the pressure of the surrounding water. But you could just do the electrolysis in a specially constructed pressure vessel.

    The mass of gas will be the same because that depends only on the mass of water you started with.

    Once produced, if not kept in a container, the gas will escape and maybe get dissolved into the water before it reaches the surface.

    Every now and again, someone figures they can generate power using electrolysis at depth and the natural buoyancy of the gasses.
    Perhaps this is what you are wrestling with?
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013
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