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Maxwell's Demon of water?

Could some electrolysis be anomalous?
  [vote for,

The efficiency of disassociating water might be greatly increased by using fast pulses of small currents at high voltages and very small electrodes. Instantaneously, some molecules are going to be momentarily vunerable to easy disassociation because of random thermal or even quantum vibration. In addition, as hydrogen is liberated, its relative lightness may cause it to move upward, away from more completely relieving the charge that caused its freedom. The rate of accumulation might be slower than conventional methods but could the above constitute a sort of 'Maxwell's Demon' of electrolysis?
Tobor, Jul 19 2007

Maxwell's Demon http://en.wikipedia...iki/Maxwell's_demon
[normzone, Jul 19 2007]

Tobor the Great http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047590/
[normzone, Jul 19 2007]


       No. In conventional electrolysis, you are to an extent already using the random energy distribution of the water molecules: I imagine that those which happen to be in a favourable state are indeed more easily dissociated. But this leaves behind a population of molecules which are less easily dissociated - they are, in effect, colder. It's a bit like boiling water: you preferentially boil away those molecules which happen to be at the upper tail of the energy distribution, but this leaves you with a "colder" population. So, you don't win.   

       I'm not sure why short fast pulses would help; and I don't think the liberated hydrogen, on the atom-by- atom scale you're thinking of, will float away in any useful way.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 19 2007

       Given that the process needs to absorb ambient heat, it might be slow, as noted. As to how gravity works on h2 molecules, I'm not clear on that point. Do they rise even before becoming a full bubble?
Tobor, Jul 19 2007

       //As to how gravity works on h2 molecules, I'm not clear on that point.//   

       1) Smaller things jiggle faster and fly farther than larger things when they are collided with, which partly explains it.... hydrogen atoms still fall at 9.81m/s^2, but they also bounce higher and orbit farther up in the atmosphere than their oxygen counter parts, and they bounce a lot with heavier atoms (denser air =smaller mean free path) when they try to come back down.   

       //Do they rise even before becoming a full bubble?//   

       2) Yes, sort of, I guess this describes how hydrostatic bouincey works at a nano-scale level too, but in a small amount of liquid with low depths this effect is negligeable unless you have some sort of bose surface tension binding many hydrogen particles together into a nano-bubble.   

       3. I don't see what this idea has to do with "maxwell's demon" or "perpetual motion" though. Even if 1 photon dislodges 1 hydrogen atom at a constant rate, then you've only gotten 100% efficiency out of this idea, but thermal vibrations will cause one hydrogen to hook up with another oxygen and then just heat up the water more, but more likely the photon would travel through the liquid without knocking any hydrogens loose.
quantum_flux, Jul 20 2007

       --- maxwell appears to be describing an ideal catalyst   

       --- electrolysis is already catalysed (and requires current)   

       --- is the idea to define a light activated catalyst (or perhaps heat activated)?
madness, Jul 20 2007

       [Tobes], please describe what you perceive to be the standard method of electrolysis and then explain why the differences you propose improve on standard methods. For example - decreasing electrode size. Why?
bungston, Jul 20 2007


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