Introduction: AA Fuel Cell

Picture of AA Fuel Cell

Big thanks to NachoMahma for the wire, without him it wouldn't be possible for this experiment.

This was an experiment to make a AA fuel cell with house hold parts (plus platinum Wire), but it failed. In a performence test it produced an unstead 2 - 1.5 volts for 10 seconds, yet it couldn't even light up a red LED. With that said here's the AA hydrogen fuel cell!

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

2 cheap AA (not shown)


nut and bolt

platinum wire

a tube that's the size of an AA, I made one from a 5cc syringe


a bit of aluminum


Step 2: Battery Disection

For safty, use gloves for this, and I don't have pictures because I didn't want to get black powder all over my camera.

Take apart both AA's to get the negative caps. The cheaper the battery, the easier it is.

You could only take apart 1 AA and use positive and negative caps, but I found soldering the negative cap was easier.

Step 3: Mark the Tube

Picture of Mark the Tube

Mark the tube with a sharpie either 1/3 the way in or 2/3 the way in, it doesn't matter, it's all relative.

Step 4: The Design

Picture of The Design

Here's the design of what this is going to look like in the end.

Step 5: Wind Coils

Picture of Wind Coils

wind coils of platinum around the bolt so you can screw off the bolt. Make the coils a tiny bit shorter than each side.

Step 6: Solder

Picture of Solder

turn up you soldering iron to maybe around 650F

Make a giant blob of solder on the terminal, insert the coil and wait about 10 seconds for the solder to solidify. Repeat for the shorter coil.

Step 7: Insert the Alluminum Barrier

Picture of Insert the Alluminum Barrier

insert the aluminum barrier on the mark you marked earlier. make it water tight with super glue around the perimeter. this is easier if you put it on your not and bolt and adjust the nut to make it level.

Step 8: Fill With Water

Picture of Fill With Water

fill one cavity with water (leave some gap, I'd say about 3/4 to 7/8 full), super glue the coil and terminal on, then do the same on the othe rside.

Step 9: To Charge

to charge it hook up the larger cavity to the - and the smaller cavity to the +. Use at least 9 volts. This will create hydrogen and oxygen bubbles, which the platinum can convert back into electricity.


shrajanvetcha (author)2012-09-29

Can I use any other metal wire instead of Platinum?
If so, which metal?

nwlaurie (author)shrajanvetcha2016-04-02

I'm pretty sure you could do something with vanadium instead of platinum.

Nyxius (author)2015-12-15

This failed because you used an aluminum barrier. When you 'charged' it, you generated hydrogen and oxygen on the platinum, but the aluminum also underwent a reaction because you must have ion flow to get a circuit. So one side of the aluminum generated oxygen, which did nothing to the aluminum, and the other generated hydrogen which partially destroys the oxide coating. This basically turns your fuel cell into a low grade electrolytic capacitor. The minute you removed the charging potential there is a reverse potential generated by the aluminum that reforms the oxide layer thereby preventing any serious flow of ions in your device. This lack of ion flow stymies your electric current, but will give you a measurable action potential until the hydrogen and oxygen are resorbed by the water.

sovereign (author)2008-08-04

where did you find platinum wire? the stuff's like 1600 bucks an ounce

i think its platinum coated wire.

ReCreate (author)lasermaster35312009-03-18

plutonium? isn't that stuff radioactive?

lasermaster3531 (author)ReCreate2009-03-19

PLATINUM! is worth more than gold. it is a light silvery-white metal and it is harder than gold but softer than copper. it is also used as a catalyst for fuel cells. plutonium, on the other hand, is very heavy, highly radioactive, and very dangerous. jeez, get your elements straight.

ReCreate (author)lasermaster35312009-03-19

PLATINUM PLUTONIUM OMG THEYRE THE SAME Really its like a one letter diffirence Geez...

froggyman (author)ReCreate2009-03-19

why dont you wear a plutonium brancelet instead of a platinum branclet?

ReCreate (author)froggyman2009-03-19

Oh sure where can i get a plutonium bracelet? Ill keep it with me in my grave so that when anyone comes by to steal my 5 billion dollars under me will die

zimmemic25 (author)ReCreate2009-04-21

he wouldnt. if he had enough time to run away, and takes a shower using one of these anti-radioactive shampoos, and then eats some (forgot the word in english... its a medicine against some radioactive reactions... was been used as a color too) every day for 1 week, he could survive it

jonjones48 (author)zimmemic252010-05-28

potasium tri-iodide

RichardD10 (author)jonjones482015-07-09

I would hope not unless you're looking to have a nice little firecracker kind of reaction. You are close though. Potassium iodide is the one you are looking for. The triiodide molecule can be pretty unstable in general but is especially so when in an unbalanced state on top of that lol. If you want a bit of proof or to just see something cool look up Nitrogen Triiodide on youtube. Those videos are pretty fun.

ReCreate (author)zimmemic252009-04-21

Ill just tell my ghostly friends to not let him come:P

robot797 (author)ReCreate2009-05-28

i take the PLATINUM and you the PLUTONIUM lets see who lives longer XD

ReCreate (author)robot7972009-05-28

Me,You will be stolen from it, And because the thief is so bad, Well, You get what will happen,Especially if you don't let him have it.

ReCreate (author)ReCreate2009-05-28

You will be stolen from it
Typo,I Meant it will Be stolen from you.

robot797 (author)ReCreate2009-05-28


ReCreate (author)robot7972009-05-28

laugh out loud

robot797 (author)ReCreate2009-05-29

ziggie boegie doo

hydroganic (author)ReCreate2010-01-07

actualy its three letters

Yerboogieman (author)ReCreate2009-05-10

You mean 2 letter difference and a switch.

ReCreate (author)Yerboogieman2009-05-10

Thanks smarty pants,(No offense meant) :P

robot797 (author)ReCreate2009-05-28

ha ur insulting evryone. it is you who cant read. and not I who cant write

ReCreate (author)robot7972009-05-28

Well, Neither of Are Writing here, Only Typing.

robot797 (author)ReCreate2009-05-28

dont take it that seriuce....

ReCreate (author)robot7972009-05-28

Sauce? What did you say?

robot797 (author)ReCreate2009-05-28

shut up guy this aint fun you say that every thing that evrybody writes is somethinge else. pleasle take the time to read it and dont say just anything you want to.

ReCreate (author)robot7972009-05-28

I am Sorry But there is This Magical Button,Its So Magical,It Preforms Wonders,Its...

robot797 (author)ReCreate2009-05-29

I always use it is is for spelling not for grammar. you are English so you can adjust to my version of English I come from Holland. we speak your language and you never but I mean never speak dutch or German. so zip it.

ReCreate (author)robot7972009-05-29

AHH,Stupid Non Working Comment System! I Will Just Re-continue my comment No Hard Felling,Lets Just Continue Our Short Over heated lives.

robot797 (author)ReCreate2009-05-29

nice now you are talking smart stuff

ReCreate (author)robot7972009-05-29

How am I talking smart stuff? du u wnt mi to tak lik tis?

robot797 (author)ReCreate2009-05-29

dude u totly rock... and i still can understand you. and did i mention i am DUTCH. On forums or mesageboards you must read over the grammar flaws not make a point of them.

ReCreate (author)robot7972009-05-29

Bad Grammar Is Normal On the Internet,Bad Spelling is also normal,Exept for firefox users and instructables members,And,Your Dutch,Still,That does not mean you can't click the magic check spelling button.

robot797 (author)ReCreate2009-05-30

dude I am always using the button and still you don't understand me. get some glasses or something.

ReCreate (author)robot7972009-05-30

Well If you Are always using the button Then why did i find those spelling errors above?

robot797 (author)ReCreate2009-05-30

because after you use the spell check I make a flaw and then I wait and see if you see it

ReCreate (author)robot7972009-05-30

Ah,i Get it, Its Made,not Make ;)

The Expert Noob (author)ReCreate2009-07-03

seventeenthed! (lol)

robot797 (author)The Expert Noob2009-07-24


Jackus95 (author)ReCreate2009-07-03

No where near each other...unless jewelry can normally turn your house into a hot zone.

I'm just shooting in the dark but I'm thinking plutonium, in addition to being radioactive, is also probably more valuable than platinum. And harder to come by.

PKTraceur (author)sovereign2009-05-11

8 dollars an ounce, actually. Gold is 456 per ounce, however. -PKT

ReCreate (author)2009-03-19

So this will replace a AA battery?

guyfrom7up (author)ReCreate2009-03-19

it would have if it would have worked it's the same size

ReCreate (author)guyfrom7up2009-03-19

so all you need to do is get it to work,Right? What should be easy

zimmemic25 (author)ReCreate2009-04-21

it worked, but it didn't produce enough energy to use it as a AA battery. it produced 1-2Volt (unstable voltage) for 10 seconds. and the only way to change that is to find a way to get more hydrogen/oxygen into that little space of an AA cell

PhilippeG1 (author)zimmemic252014-09-06

mulipliez les membranes

ReCreate (author)zimmemic252009-04-21


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