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Electrolyte Testing for Homemade Batteries

Discussion in 'Power Electronics' started by Dustin Smith, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. Dustin Smith

    Dustin Smith

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    Jun 27, 2012
    Hi everyone. I'm setting up a plan to test different types of household liquids as electrolyte.

    Here is my current list:
    Tap water
    Sea-Saltwater (created from sea-salt)
    Table Saltwater (created from iodine salt)
    Fresh Water (pond, river)
    Vinegar
    Cola (Coke-a-Cola)
    Black Tea (Lipton bags)
    Lemon Juice (concentrated)
    Bleach (normal)
    Baking Soda Water
    Sugar Water
    Ammonium

    If you have any suggestions, please post your thoughts here for me to view. After my testing is completed I'll be happy to share the results with anyone interested.

    I will test the liquids based on the voltage and amperage produced, it's useable life, it's availability in an average American house, and the quantity in an average American house.
     
  2. BobK

    BobK

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    Jan 5, 2010
    Keep the bleach away from the ammonia!

    Bob
     
  3. KJ6EAD

    KJ6EAD

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    Aug 13, 2011
  4. BobK

    BobK

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    Jan 5, 2010
    KJEAD,

    Did you read the paper you linked to?

    Then down the page a little they show an LED circuit with a 3V battery and 1 1MOhm resistor!

    Bob
     
  5. Dustin Smith

    Dustin Smith

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    Jun 27, 2012
    Thanks Bob, I'll be sure to use proper safety measures during my testing.

    Also, thanks for that link KJEAD! It has proven very helpful with the task I've set out to accomplish. One especially helpful tip I learned is to up the amperage by putting my electrodes closer together. I'm also adding ashes mixed with water to my testing liquids.
     
  6. Dustin Smith

    Dustin Smith

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    Jun 27, 2012
    BTW, I wouldn't recommend doing the aluminum can battery test showed in that paper. It's quite thin and I'd hate to see it corrode a pinhole and leak out causing a failure, a mess or worse.
     
  7. BobK

    BobK

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    Um, I wouldn't recommend anything suggested on that web site...

    bob
     
  8. KJ6EAD

    KJ6EAD

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    Aug 13, 2011
    I just skimmed it. I knew it had some errors like referring to a sodium hydroxide solution as an acid but I didn't see the ones you mentioned. It has the look and feel of student/intern research with the attendant false assumptions and erroneous conclusions but it's otherwise fairly comprehensive.
     
  9. KJ6EAD

    KJ6EAD

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    Aug 13, 2011

    Beware that mixing acids with bases can create strongly exothermic reactions which may expel the liquids forcefully from their containers and bases such as your wood ash soluton will react with aluminum to form explosive hydrogen gas.
     
  10. CDRIVE

    CDRIVE Hauling 10' pipe on a Trek Shift3

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    May 8, 2012
    There's also some humor on that website. You'll find this statement at the bottom of the page..

    Quote: Information Big Brother and the Oil Companies don't want you to know!

    My issues with Big Brother are numerous but they don't fall into this category. As far as the the Oil Companies are concerned... Yes, they're terrified that this information will become common knowledge. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

    I submit that your family doctor or local EMT's might be more concerned. :D

    Chris
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
  11. CDRIVE

    CDRIVE Hauling 10' pipe on a Trek Shift3

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  12. Dustin Smith

    Dustin Smith

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    Jun 27, 2012
    KJ,
    Thanks so much for your warning about the aluminum and ash combination.

    CDRIVE, I'll do my best for saftey and not have an unscheduled meeting with the EMTs and doctors.

    You guys have been helpful. I appreciate the time you've given me. Now, off to start my experimenting, (now where did I put those safety glasses and rubber gloves... (just kidding)). :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012
  13. Dustin Smith

    Dustin Smith

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    Jun 27, 2012
    Anyone have any thoughts on the device listed in this website?

    http://scitoys.com/scitoys/scitoys/echem/echem2.html

    I was curious if it was really the sun doing the power, or if it was the heat from the sun. I don't suppose there is any other more feasible solar powered devices the DIYer could play with?
     
  14. CDRIVE

    CDRIVE Hauling 10' pipe on a Trek Shift3

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    May 8, 2012
    I'm not a big fan of alternative energy mania but direct use of Sun light returns the most efficiency. IE, heating water.
     
  15. Dustin Smith

    Dustin Smith

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    Jun 27, 2012
    Ok, I've had to readjust my electrolytes to be tested due to the fact that most of my solutions could have reacted with the bleach solution and created mustard gas. Of those, included sugar and vinegar not to mention ammonia.

    So I've come across a chart that is supposed to show me my battery potential in voltage based on my metals selected, however I've found that my copper wire and aluminum cans (sanded inside and out). My highest reading was 1.38V (in bleach) and 0.51V in salt water.

    This is the website I used.
    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/electrode-potential-d_482.html
    And


    So I guess you add the negative and positive together and you get your supposed voltage? 1.33V?

    Anyways, so far I've found salt water to be more stable and have staying power over 24 hours vs the bleach which seams to evaporate out of the top of my containers. Perhaps my containers should not be open to the air?
     
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