Instructables

Make a Direct Blonde Fuel Cell (DBFC)

Unleash the awesome power locked in the secret of blonde hair and get free electricity forever!

Okay if you believed that you might actually be a blonde. As may be here's a quick instructable to create a metal oxide battery using household materials....if you build model airplanes that is otherwise it will be off to the hobby store for some carbon fiber rod.

The features a new design using a wide mouth jar and a carbon rod electrode that seems very promising.

This cell uses over the counter hydrogen peroxide ( a 3% solution ), aluminum foil and a bit of carbon to create a simple metal oxide battery. This is the first alternative electrolyte that we've experimented with.

Hydrogen peroxide was suggested as an oxidant to improve performance in an Al Air fuel cell. I'm continuing to evaluate electrolytes over time to see how they store and release energy.

It occurred to me as I was writing this that the peroxide might have been meant to supplement a saltwater electrolyte by providing additional oxygen. I will investigate that and update this as appropriate.

In the meantime I've got this far down the road with positive results and a new cell/electrode design so let's get started....
 
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Step 1: Bill of Materials

As usual with a simple fuel cell the basic list is very simple:

Aluminum foil
Hydrogen Peroxide
Some carbon rod or carbon fiber rod. I used carbon fiber rod from my local hobby store. This stuff is pretty good but must be cut with a hacksaw
A wide mouth jar. As you will see when we get into assembly the aluminum foil lines the inside of the jar. This was a pain with the jar I used. You can use a sode bottle and if you figure out an elegant way to do this please let me know.

A drill and 1/8" drill bit, plus the smallest one you have to make a vent.
A hacksaw for cutting the carbon fiber

A meter is handy for checking voltages.

Okay if we've got all that we're ready to go.
R3deye6669 days ago

Isnt it easier to just put a nail trought the lid .

Am i right in thinking that this is a leidners flask.

egbertfitzwilly (author)  R3deye6668 days ago

A nail might introduce a secondary reaction which clouds the measurement. That's why researchers use them, otherwise they could get ( for example ) a galvanic reaction.

I have no idea what a leidner's flask is, I'm not really a scientist I just play one on Instructables.

Leyden jar i meant sorry am from swiss here is a link
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leyden_jar
rjbatc2 years ago
You can get a graphite rod from a regular dead battery and use that instead of the carbon fiber rod.
egbertfitzwilly (author)  rjbatc1 year ago
You are absolutely correct. I was thinking about making an instructable for extracting these, what do you think?
egbertfitzwilly (author)  rjbatc2 years ago
You are exactly correct. I'm going add disassembling a battery for the high quality carbon core in my next energy related 'ible.
Is that a carbon fiber push rod?
egbertfitzwilly (author)  the gizmoman4 years ago
It's a carbon fiber tube used for building model planes. I have no idea how its used in that context so 'push rod' could easily describe it. It's made by Midwest Products, Inc. and the label just says 'Carbon Fiber'
It's either a push rod(used for linking a servo to an airplane's control surfaces ) or used to strengthen and lighten the plane
to be more specific, balsa is used for the skeleton of the plane, and is occasionally strengthened by hardwood, i am not too sure what exactly that is. but i have never heard of a pushrod being used like that... but i do say that it might not be a bad idea
I've seen balsa pushrods and hard wood is problably oak or plywood
lemonie5 years ago
Can you hook three together and light an LED with this? L
egbertfitzwilly (author)  lemonie5 years ago
Absolutely. In fact I only made this instructable to create some cells for my next instructable "How to wire in series or in parallel". Okay I only made this instructable because I thought it was clever and I needed some create some cells for....
Oh good, how many mA can you get out of one of these? L
egbertfitzwilly (author)  lemonie5 years ago
That's a function of aluminum surface area and electrolyte strength. Max voltage out of a single cell is 1.2V ( versus 2V for a conventional lead/acid battery ) and current is the variable factor. The more surface area of aluminum which is exposed or the more aggressive the oxidizing agent the higher the current. The approach I would recommend would be a salt slurry electrolyte. Cut two slices of sponge and wrap the foil around it. If you use a dried compressed sponge you can get several layers by threading an aluminum foil strip between slices of the sponge. Make sure the carbon rod is insulated from the aluminum by the sponge. I used this technique for the air cathode in my "Make a Microbial Fuel Cell Part II" 'ible. Insert this assembly into a jar and fill with a saturated saltwater solution or slurry. This should give you a solid 700 mV. If you use consistent assemblies you should get a reliable power source with a predictable current flow.
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