Can water Electroysis charge a bulb?

In this project, I will attempt to use the electricity generated from water electrolysis to energize a light bulb.
Hamza Danish
Grade 6


Can water electrolysis energize a bulb? I hypothesize that water electrolysis can charge a 9-volt bulb. I think this because the electricity produced is quite powerful. Materials with high conductivity are great because they will help the process be more efficient. 


First, I did a bit of research on water electrolysis. Then, to prove my hypothesis I conducted an experiment. The media in the project consisted of water, a battery, salt, and 2 metal rods. The first step was to pour water and salt into a beaker. Then, mix the salt until it dissolves into the water. I attached 2 metal rods with wires. The wires connected to a 9 volts light bulb.  Next, I placed the spoons in the beaker. The - side and + side of the battery both made contact with the ends of the metal rods. For every mL of water, I poured 0.25 mL of salt. It would be better to make direct contact with the battery and metal rods as opposed to using wires. 

In the end, I poured 25 mL of water. using my formula I poured 6.25mL of salt into the mix. I choose 0.25mL for every mL of water because I did not want too much salt or too little salt. 0.25mL of salt is an "ok" amount. The salt won't be getting in the way of the process and will give water enough conductivity to begin the process. Alkaline can also work, but salt is easier to find according to me. 



In my project, I observed a small amount of energy in the water. I also observed that the wires were transmitting energy to the light bulb. The water's colour was changing to a green colour.  During the observation, I noticed that the battery was getting hot. It may seem like the battery was providing the energy for the Light bulb but it was not. I can prove this statement because when I lifted the metal rods, battery and light out of the water the bulb defused again. The battery is only used to begin the process not used to provide energy. 


In the end, the light bulb lit up. The water and salt mixture turned into a green colour. The metal rods were fine except for the bottom of the rods which was exposed to the mixture. Here is a simple explanation. Water electrolysis is the process when electricity moves through the water. Since water is not a good conductor, we use salt to help. The process breaks down the oxygen and hydrogen inside of the water. The formula of water is H2O.  H2O stands for 2 Hydrogen Atoms and 1 oxygen atom. The electricity breaks down the chemical bond between hydrogen and oxygen.


In the end, my hypothesis was correct. The conclusion I could make is that water electrolysis can produce enough energy to charge a 9-volt bulb. I think this was possible because the salt produced extra energy. In the end, water electrolysis can charge a bulb. This may also help humanity by using this as an alternate energy source instead of using electrical outlets.  I want to continue this project in the near future. When I continue I would like to take the energy and use it to charge a phone. To get a little more data, I repeated the project. The outcome was the same, there was not any difference between attempt 1 and attempt 2.



https://www.energy.gov/eere/fuelcells/hydrogen-production-electrolysis (and pictures)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCeUQUkpUAQ basic understanding of DIY water electrolysis. (not experiment used in the project)


Thanks to my parents for supporting me.

Thank you to https://www.energy.gov/eere/fuelcells/hydrogen-production-electrolysis for information about water electrolysis.