HHO Kit for Bike: Disadvantages? Advantages? We Review

Here’s the HHO kit review. HHO kits are marketed as devices that can increase your fuel efficiency by mixing hydrogen and oxygen gases with your car or bike’s fuel. While some drivers swear by HHO kits, science proves that they don’t increase efficiency, since their process requires more energy than they create. In this article, we’ll take a look at why HHO kits don’t work and give you some legitimate ways to improve your mileage and save money on fuel.

What Is an HHO Kit?

HHO kits are devices that use water to produce hydrogen and oxygen to add to your bike or car’s fuel. Hydrogen is highly flammable, and while oxygen is not technically combustible, HHO kits are said to make your engine burn fuel much more rapidly and efficiently.

The chemistry behind the process of making these gases is simple: pass electricity through water and the energy splits the water molecules into its two components, hydrogen and oxygen. This process is known as electrolysis.

Most HHO kits use electricity from the vehicle’s alternator, pass it through a water tank, and then collect the HHO gas and add it to the vehicle’s fuel system, mixing it with your usual fuel. Manufacturers and retailers of HHO kits claim that installing a kit will decrease your vehicle’s emissions and help you get better gas mileage.

Why Don’t HHO Kits Work?

There are HHO kit disadvantages. While the devices might produce hydrogen and oxygen, the amount produced is small — in fact, smaller than the energy required by the process of electrolysis. This follows the first law of thermodynamics (a natural law, which can’t be broken). Energy has to be created from something, and since the alternator’s energy originally comes from fuel, the energy an HHO kits creates through electrolysis is always going to be less than the energy the alternator must provide to create the gases.

In fact, even in commercial applications of electrolysis — where large factories produce hydrogen and oxygen for use elsewhere (like in welding, for example) — only have efficiency rates of around 75%, which means that nearly a third of the energy used to create the oxygen and hydrogen from water is lost in the process.

Mileage improvement and energy efficiency claims with HHO kits are dubious at best. Similar results can be created without an HHO kit. For example, it’s possible to improve mileage slightly by “leaning out” the air/fuel mixture — in other words, reducing the supply of fuel going to the engine.

With a cheap source of electricity other than the alternator (like a solar panel array, for example), you may be able to increase your fuel efficiency through electrolysis. However, you’d also need all of the equipment to safely capture the gas produced in the electrolysis reaction, transfer it to your vehicle, and add it to the fuel system. We can’t recommend that you try this, due to the risk of handling dangerous gases and the cost of the equipment you would need to create such a system.

Free Ways to Improve Fuel Economy

Rather than doing something this drastic to improve fuel economy, there are many other things that you can do today for free, which will improve your mileage.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends braking and accelerating with care for fuel-efficiency. Whether you’re driving a car or riding a motorcycle, hard braking, quick acceleration, and excessive speed can lower your gas mileage by up to about 40%. Slow down well in advance of traffic signals, accelerate slowly, and follow the speed limit for savings at the gas pump.

For bikes, in particular, wind resistance plays a significant role in fuel efficiency. While you may want to take the highway rather than driving stop-and-go city routes, be sure to watch your speed for lower wind resistance no matter where you’re driving.

Carefully planning your trips and keeping up with maintenance can also help cars and bikes get better gas mileage. Check your tire pressure regularly, keep your engine tuned, and combine trips whenever possible to increase your fuel efficiency. Short bike trips can use up to double the fuel of combined trips since your engine has to warm up for each separate trip.

For information about whether using higher-octane fuel can improve your MPGs, see our article on octane ratings.

In Summary

While installing an HHO kit might seem like a quick and easy way to increase your fuel efficiency, a scientific approach shows that HHO kits are not actually efficient. The hydrogen and oxygen gases produced by HHO kits require more energy to create than the energy they output. There are other ways to save money on fuel that are effective and free, such as braking and accelerating more gently, and keeping up with your bike or car’s regular maintenance.