I have done a decent amount of experimentation with generating
hydrogen, but I do not claim to be an expert on chemistry.
Hydrolysis: I used salt water and a 9-volt (and a few other dc-sources)
in my experiments. I collected it by using a beaker filled with salt-water which was turned upsidedown
in a container of salt-water. The anode and cathode were both mounted (I think it was with duct tape) inside the
beaker (close together, but not touching). This method allows for the collection of one atmosphere of hydrogen.
It has instructions for a basic hydrolysis experiment.
NAOH + AL + H20 Method:
I have also tried another method of obtaining hydrogen. The NaOH method. The results
were dispointing because it was very cold that day and the tubes that directed the hydrogen and the water were freezing
up. So, my friend and I decided to give up and take the generator (if you call a few tubes and some jars a generator) apart
so that pressure didn't build up, because when that happens, unwanted results tend to occur. It was generating hydrogen, quite
rapidly at one point, but we havn't tried since then. This method is actually alot more dangerous then the running electricity
through water method, seeing that you are dealing with a poisionouus chemical, so I do not recommend it.
Update: March 30 2005. Me and my friend (Andrew) succeded in generating hydrogen
from water Lye and Aluminum. We filled some balloons and lit them on fire. We have a video of it but I didn't upload
it to the computer yet.