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Re: Carbo Plus

> From: Roger Miller <rgrmill at rt66_com>
> Subject: Carbo Plus
> From descriptions I've read and pictures I've seen, it appears that the
> CarboPlus submersed unit is an integrated anode-cathode pair, with a
> carbon anode and probably a stainless steel cathode. It is the carbon in
> the anode that supplies the carbon for the CO2 produced by the system.  
> The anode is eroded with use and needs to be replaced periodically.

	The first problem is that the anode isn't eroded anywhere near as
fast as it should be according to the current draw and the claimed CO2
production.  The CO2 production also isn't consistent with the current draw.
It isn't an electrolytic device, as far as I can see.

> The unit works by maintaining a voltage between the anode and cathode that
> is sufficient to break down water.  
> The half reaction at the cathode is
> 4H2O + 4e- -> 4OH- + 2H2

	Oe usually writes:  H+  +  2e-  ->  H2   

	H2O  <->  H+  +  OH- is fast enough to make the two essentially
the same.
> The half reaction at the carbon anode is
> 2H2O + C -> CO2 + 4H+ + 4e-

	From the point of view of electrolytic chemistry, this makes no
sense.  Carbon is very inert.  If you _could_ run this electrode reaction,
the unit would be doing something fuel cell makers would love to do.

> Both the hydrogen and the CO2 should be produced as gas.  The reaction
> produces 2 molecules of hydrogen gas for each molecule of CO2 produced.  
> Of the visible bubbles produced, only 1/3 are CO2 bubbles.  The rest are
> hydrogen gas.

	The amounts of hydrogen produced would be large enough to be
obvious and a definite hazard.

> The hydrogen gas produced by the unit should have some effects of its own.
> Dissolved hydrogen gas is like candy to anaerobic bacteria, so a tank with
> a CarboPlus unit may support some real active anaerobic activity.

	Hydrogen is essentially insoluble in water.  It will leave.

> Further, the hydrogen gas probably should be picked up by an ORP meter; I
> imagine that truly bizzare (low) readings are possible.

	I doubt it.  Hydrogen is pretty unreactive, as well as insoluble
in water.

Paul Sears        Ottawa, Canada