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First Time Trying Electrolysis


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#1 SearsYellow OFFLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2013 - 02:10 PM

My next door neighbor and I tried cleaning out a gas tank. We tried gas with marbles, pee stones and gas, sulfuric acid with gravel but nothing seemed to even get close to getting it clean. I was actually posting a thread on here asking for your opinions about what we should do and the thought hit me to try electrolysis.

 

I called him up and told him to grab a 5 gallon bucket, battery, jumper cables and baking soda. He set it up and this is what it's doing.

 

The first one is when we started:

 

Second one is two hours later.

Attached Thumbnails

  • electrolysis1.jpeg
  • electrolysis2.jpeg

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#2 Ryan313 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2013 - 02:15 PM

It looks like it is working pretty well! And pretty fast! You may want to find a plastic bucket, that metal one will corrode pretty fast.


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#3 SearsYellow OFFLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2013 - 02:24 PM

It's a trial and error job even though he had a bunch of plastic buckets but didn't want to take the time to rig up bolts and etc to have something place to place the positive lead on. We plan to take it out at 430-500 oclock this evening. We started it at 10 this morning so it will be in the 'solution' for 6.5-7 hours. If it needs more time we will indeed rig up a plastic bucket with bolts and such.


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#4 olcowhand OFFLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2013 - 02:38 PM

How are you cleaning the interior of the tank though?  There needs to be a positive anode suspended inside the tank to do the interior.


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#5 SearsYellow OFFLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2013 - 03:18 PM

I assumed that the sulfuric acid (mixing baking soda with water and heat) would get inside the tank and work its magic. Wouldn't the water be my positive anode inside of the tank? If I am thinking right my tank is my negative because the negative (ground) is attached to it. The positive anode is connected to the bucket which is in contact with the water which in turn would make the water my positive anode.


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#6 KC9KAS OFFLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2013 - 03:44 PM

The electrolysis seems to work on a "line of sight", and the set-up you have won't "see" into the interior of the tank. You will need to suspend a rod inside the tank as stated before.


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#7 olcowhand OFFLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2013 - 04:01 PM

The water is simply the medium to act as a connection to the sacrificial anode, which is your steel bucket.  It is "more or less" line of sight.  There is no line of sight between the interior & the bucket, as the tank itself blocks line of sight from the inside of the tank.


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#8 SearsYellow OFFLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2013 - 04:08 PM

Okay didn't realize it was 'line of sight'. I figured it would actually react inside of the tank also. Like I said this is the first time I have ever tried it so I guess we will see how it does. I may have to bring it home tonight and retry it if it doesn't work out.


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#9 SearsYellow OFFLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2013 - 04:45 PM

Well there would be a rd 2. It cleaned the heck out of the outside but just a smidget on the inside. I plan to hook it up to my battery charger this time.

 

Any specifics on amperage and a amount of time I need to leave it hooked up?


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#10 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2013 - 05:00 PM

You need to suspend an anode inside the tank. Usually you let things cook for 24hrs. When doing the inside of a tank it may speed things up if you can stop and empty the gas tank into the main tank and let it fill with fresher fluid. The current will be whatever flows due to the the applied voltage, the surface area of the tank/anode, concentration of the solution and the amount of rust present. Don't worry about current as long as some is flowing it will get the job done. I'd guess you will get several amps to start and then it will drop off. 

  Depending on how clean you get the tank it may still be a good idea to coat the inside with a tank sealer. 


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#11 olcowhand OFFLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2013 - 05:30 PM

I would definitely put a tank liner after finishing.  


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#12 SearsYellow OFFLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2013 - 10:18 AM

We have to do some soldering on the tank. There is a hole in the tank that has been fixed with silicone at one time. We plan to coat the inside of the tank with RedKote after we get the rust out.

I would definitely put a tank liner after finishing.  



#13 Toolpartzman OFFLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2013 - 01:11 PM

Brian is correct, the anode must be suspended inside the tank, without touching the tank.  I've used malleable wire, bent into a loop small enough to feed thru the entrance, then used a piece of old fuel line to shield the wire from the tank opening. To hold it tight, I clamped the fuel line to the filler neck, the power from the battery to the tag end.

 

NOTE: Most tanks are thin and heat* will build up at the connectors--so check it every couple hours. At 3-6 amps it will clean it FAST.

 

Heat and at one connector, the electrolite  is acidic and the other is aylkiline -can't remember which. If left too long and lots of voltage, pin holes will appear.


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#14 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2013 - 02:16 PM

Sears, Here is another thread about E-tanking the inside of a gas tank. Take a look,

 

http://gardentractor...-tank-question/






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