Build | Fix | Re-use

How to make a Battery from Trash

This Video tutorial is brought to you by a project to help provide LED flashlights and batteries to the poor. In this video we were able to create a series of charcoal batteries wrapped in felt that had been soaked in lye and got a reading of 2.5 volts.



If you want to test this project on your own you will need the following:

  • aluminum foil
  • charcoal or pencil lead
  • lye
  • rainwater
  • paper towels

I made my own charcoal by putting pieces of oak, bamboo and coconut shells in a tin can and placed a lid on top. You will need to punch a hole through the lid. Then I placed the can upside down in my outdoor grill and added fire wood all around it. You can’t use kerosone so I used tinder and small twigs that I found in my yard to start the fire. It will take a couple of hours to burn down. Once it has cooled off you can remove the can. Keep some of the left over ash for the lye. To make lye just sift the ash and then add enough rain water so the consistency is medium thick. Now just soak the paper towel or felt in the lye mixture, wrap the charcoal and/or pencil lead in the soaked paper towel and then wrap the paper towel with aluminum foil. To test the voltage reading with a meter, the negative lead is the aluminum foil and the positive lead is the charcoal. Once you are satisfied that you have enough volts you can proceed to add positive and negative leads. I made a home made aluminum foil wire by rolling a thin sheet of aluminum foil. Then I placed it in between the folds of paper towel without touching the charcoal. For the charcoal I wrapped some copper wire around it for my positive lead. To get enough volts to run an LED you may need to connect these mini batteries in series.


View the original instructable here.

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