re: electrical current from aluminum, copper, calcium/zinc & carbon. Cut 1 1/4" square from discarded thin aluminum beverage can, sanded light plastic coating off of inside and 3/8" off of bottom of outside. Rolled aluminum square around 1/4" shank of a #2 screwdriver. Taped to form hollow tube. Removed and crimped bottom, folding over to close bottom end of tube. Filled with half limestone type rock crushed to powder, half charcoal from a burnt out camp fire crushed to powder, sealed off top end with #12 copper wire wound with electrical tape. Attached negative lead of voltmeter to bottom of tube (think small toothpaste tube but made of aluminum) and positive to copper lead. Result: 560-600 mV. Let run overnight and still showing current.
J Derrell I think I'll need a picture to see. Is the #12 wire tucked inside the tube or taped to the outside? Is the sanded, 3/8" outside bottom edge of the rolled tube where you attach the wire?
Tuesday 14 June 2016, 20:03:58
cbos The #12 (or #14) is at the top. The tape is wound around the insulation to a thickness to match the aluminum tube. The copper in the wire then is embedded in the carbon / ground ~limestone mixture. The exposed end of the wire is what you attach the positive lead of the voltmeter to. The negative lead is attached to the ne
Tuesday 14 June 2016, 22:11:08
cbos ... is attached to the bottom crimped end of the aluminum tube. The current then has to flow from the aluminum through the powdered charcoal/limestone mixture to the copper.
Tuesday 14 June 2016, 22:14:34
cbos To be a little more complete... Aluminum - Aluminum: no current. Copper - Copper: no current. Limestone - Charcoal powdered mixed: Some current. Aluminum - Charcoal / Limestone mix - Copper: Current. Copper - Charcoal / Limestone - Copper: No current (should double check). In other words, it could be a four way interaction of different elements that makes the difference. Other metals or stone might also work. My guess is that the carbon might be key in the powdered form as it has a valence of four.
Tuesday 14 June 2016, 22:44:51
cbos I also wanted to record somewhere that the thought process that went into this included the fact that I wanted to make this with the least amount of money as possible (ideally with none). So when I wandered in the workshop available to me on a Saturday morning, I went, "Oh right, carbon from the campfire!" So I grabbed an old hammer, emptied out an plastic yogurt jar, went to the campfire and hand picked some pieces of charcoal. I then placed them on a concrete block I had dug up the day before, pounded the charcoal to powder, and then left it to dry. Next, I went in search of a rock. The video posted below somewhere (could this be reposted or the permalink shared,? as I couldn't find it after looking for it later) mentioned that calcium and/or zinc were used from vitamin tablets. I had none of that, but a kind older fellow had pointed out the rocks bordering a rock garden he had built years earlier were brought in from various construction sites (again, free, easy to find). I picked one up that looked like soft porous limestone, brought it to a concrete floor, whacked it with the hammer until I began to see a powder and then determined I could do the same with two rocks (stone age technology!). Inside this workshop I had just cleaned up the day before I found some tin snips, and a utility knife. Cut an empty discarded aluminum can, determined 1 1/4" was something workable, sanded, rolled it into a tube, taped it together, crimped the bottom, filled with with half and half charcoal/carbon/limestone powder, sealed the top with a small chunk of old copper wire I found laying around, sealed it with tape, put the voltmeter to it, and ... it worked! So the challenge now I think is to put a number of these together (ten, to be exact) to determine if it can generate five volts, and then see if I can charge my cell phone from it. That is all I am really after...
cbos With the ideas in mind above, and having watched the first twelve minutes or so of the video above, I came up with this: https://youtu.be/SRfiwZjlSI8. Please note that at the 25 second mark the voltage meter is showing *zero* voltage. I had the nagging suspicion that the damp charcoal I had used from the burnt out campfire on the first run through may have made a difference. The powder (charcoal + limestone) had been left to dry for several days and thus showed no voltage either when measured directly or inside the tubes. The question is if the effect here is mimicking a battery or if it is something more. If it is "just" a battery, then it wasn't charged and it may be possible to replenish the charge just by adding more water. There are no caustic chemicals used and all the materials, including the tools used, are all commonly available.