Build Your Own Batteries!

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About: Maker from USA. Follow me to stay up to date on my projects and possible kickstarters! Business email: constructed@mail.com

Intro: Build Your Own Batteries!

Have you ever wanted to make your own batteries? I will show you how to make one using ordinary household items.The batteries are very small, and to power bigger things, You may need to make more and connect them.

Batteries. Needed for just about every electronic project, electronics revolve around them. But think about it, What happens once they lose their power? You throw them away, just like all 7 billion of us on earth. These batteries are building up in our landfills, so I set myself to find out how to reuse them.

It all started when I saw that instructables was holding a Green Electronics contest, I thought to myself, "What could be more green than DIY Batteries from everyday parts?!?!? This project is very environmentally beneficial, as it takes a dead battery and turns them into a new one, preventing the creation of electronic waste. The possibilities are endless on this concept (stronger batteries, tiny batteries) and just think of what it would be like if everyone on this planet was able to recycle old batteries. If you think this is a good idea, please vote in the green electronics contest.

To Build this, You will need

  1. Water
  2. Carbon Rod
  3. Zinc strip
  4. Wires
  5. Empty spice container
  6. Hot Glue gun
  7. Salt
  8. Something small powered by small batteries
  9. Thats all you need to make your own battery!

I will teach you how to get a carbon rod. Foil can be used as a substitute for the Zinc strips

Step 1: Get Carbon Rod

To get a carbon rod, You can take apart a non alkaline battery. Generally the batteries will say "super heavy duty" or "heavy duty" Never Ever take apart the one that says Alkaline.

These kind of batteries are known as "Dry Cells" and They work by converting chemical energy into electricity. Most of the time they consist of a Carbon Rod (what we need) surrounded by moist electrolyte paste. Heres the parts in a dry cell.

Anode (Negative): Zinc

Cathode (Positive ): Carbon coated with MnO2

Electrolyte: Mixture of plaster of Paris, Ammonium Chloride and Zinc Chloride

To take it apart, You need to use needle nose pliers to peel off the outer layer of the battery Next use a knife to cut off the top of the battery. Once its off, you will see the top of the carbon rod, slowly pull until the carbon rod is out.

Step 2: Foil

Now your going to need your Zinc strip (anode)

I used aluminum foil, which will work the same as a a zinc strip. What you need to get a sheet of foil about 5x5 inches. Fold it Hotdog style and then roll it up so its around the same size and length as the carbon rod.

Step 3: Drill Hole

Drill a whole the size of the carbon rod so it fits snug. Place the carbon rod into one of the hole leaving about 1/2 an ince sticking out from the top

Now do the same for the foil strip

Step 4: Glue in Place

Glue the two rods in place using the hot glue gun. Seal the two holes so no water can pass through. Also glue the two wires to the tops of the rods sticking out

The carbon rod is now +

The foil is now -

Step 5: Your Done!

Fill the spice jar with a salt water mixture and place the lid back onto the spice jar. You are now done. The signal is very weak, But if you make more and connect them, you can make them stronger.

Just think of the limitless possibilities you can create with your own batteries. Not only do they work, they also reuse old dead batteries, preventing the creation of electronic waste.

If you enjoyed this instructables, please vote for this in the Green Electronics contest.

Green Electronics Challenge

Finalist in the
Green Electronics Challenge

Gadget Hacking and Accessories Contest

Finalist in the
Gadget Hacking and Accessories Contest

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86 Discussions

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SHOE0007

1 year ago

I meant I removed the electrodes cleaned them and protected them from further oxidization.

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SHOE0007

1 year ago

It lasted 1 hour before the battery started to drop. I think it the nickel corroding a bit. To save the expensive electrode (Nickel). 1 hour it went to 0.55 constant a lot better than just titanium and copper with potassium bisulfate.

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AidanD12

1 year ago

Is there an easy way to make it more powerful

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RyanF0ley

3 years ago on Introduction

is there a way to make the battery way stronger. PLEASE RESPOND

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Craft-it-now

3 years ago

Sounds like a good way to recycle!

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jde vega

4 years ago on Introduction

uhhmn... anyone knows how long this battery last and how many volts it can generate can i even light 1 led? plss.. answer

1 reply
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szahreddine

4 years ago

it is close to the idea of a galvanic cell

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SamuraiGoose

4 years ago on Introduction

Nice, I'll try with a pencil lead.
I've made batteries using pieces of lemons with 2 screws on them copper & steel for example, even powered a red LED connecting them on series.

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mykiscoolSamuraiGoose

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

I used pencil lead also when making a test electrode for a hydrogen generator (so that it won't wear off like metal). An issue is that it is hard to remove from the pencil without breaking it. I was able to get a little bit out. I used a razor blade to remove as much wood from around the graphite as possible.