How to make a Salt Water Battery Lamp
How to make a Salt Water Battery Lamp
If you are asked to do a science project and you are looking for a good science project idea, this might be what you have been looking for. Making electricity from salt waters ranked among the 10 best science project ideas by a group of project advisors.
|Life application:We all know that the worlds now facing an energy crisis and everyone is trying to do something about that. Some people try to use solar energy and wind energy; some others try to invade and occupy oil producing countries and now you can show them that electrical energy or electricity can be made from air and saltwater. After all, both the air and the salt water are freely available everywhere. These are the two things that we have plenty of them available in most areas.|
This may seem impossible.
I could not believe it myself the first time that I heard about it. It almost sounds like a magic trick. Finally, I decided to test it anyway.
I tried different concentrations of salt water, different temperatures, and different electrodes and had no success. It took me a few months thinking about it until I solved the problem in my mind and decided to repeat my experiments again. This time, everything worked fine and I was able to make enough electricity to light up a small light bulb.
The concepts easy. The same way that you burn wood and make heat energy, you should be able to burn metals and get electricity. The differences that you are not really burning anything;instead, you are producing a condition for oxidization which by itself is the same as slow burning. So what you really dos oxidizing iron in saltwater using the oxygen from the air or any other source. (At least, that’s my theory at this time)
I don’t know if this system of producing electricity is economical and cost effective. What I know is that its worth to try. If with one cup of salt water and some metals I was able to light up a small light bulb, maybe you can light up the entire building by a tank of salt water and a few hundred pounds of scrap metal.
No matter what’s the results, you can be proud that you can make an emergency battery for yourself if you need it.
It took me a long time to make the first working battery using the salt water; however, you don’t have to waste that much time. I have combined the results of all my experiments and made a recipe for success. Just follow the instructions below and you will get results on the first try.
It’s ranked as a multi-level project that can be tried by students as young as 12 years old, up to the 4th year chemistry college students. At higher grades student may also study the movement of ions and the chemical reactions that cause the production of electricity in salt water battery.
What’s the cost of material?
Some people may already have all the materials at home or be able to get them free; however,f you choose to buy all materials, you may end up spending about $20 or more.
A good Project title
Need an exciting and attractive title for your science fair project? You have many interesting choices with this project. Following are just a few samples:
Electricity from air
Electrical energy from chemical reactions
Electricity from saltwater
How to make a Salt Water Battery Lamp – Introduction:
Batteries have been made with many different chemical compounds. Scientists often try to make batteries that provide more energy and last longer. Many of such high-quality batteries are commercially available today. They are used in flashlights and electronic devices such as radios, watches, computers and calculators.
Making a battery is always an exciting science project. Your home made batteries can be used as chemistry, physics or electricity project. This project can be performed and conducted as a display project, engineering project or experimental project. In this project, you will make a saltwater battery.
How the battery are made?
A battery is made of two different electrodes inserted in a chemical compound. A chemical reaction between the electrodes and the chemical compound produces electricity. For example f you insert a copper rod and an iron on a cup of orange juice, that will be a battery. In this example copper rod and iron rod are the electrodes and the orange juices the chemical compound or electrolyte. The problems that the electricity produced by such a battery is too little and has no practical use and you cannot use it to light up a light bulb. The saltwater battery described in this project guide can light up a light bulb for a few seconds or a few minutes. When the light goes off, you can simply recharge it by providing fresh salt water or providing additional air or oxygen. Simply empty the used salt water and add fresh salt water to get light again.
Doest really work?
Although a saltwater battery is not as strong as a commercial battery, it can produce visible light on a low voltage light bulb. It is also safer than batteries that use many harmful chemicals.
What chemicals do I need?
The only chemical that you needs Sodium Chloride (NaCl) also known as table salt. This is the salt that you usually have at home and use for cooking. If not, you can buy it from grocery stores. Good quality, pure and inexpensive packages of salt are often marked as kosher salt. You also need water (H2O).
What electrodes can I use?
Some articles suggest using Aluminum and Copper metals as electrodes; however, I have not been able to verify that. I suggest using iron and magnesium electrodes. Of course, you can test any combinations of metals that you like. Irons widely available in the form of wires, nails, metal strips, steel wool and much more; however, I used steel wool because it has a larger surface n compare with others. If you want to use iron wires or strips, you may make a coil out of them to fit a larger surface in a smaller space.
Magnesium metals mostly used in construction of airplanes and some automobile parts. Some magnesium alloys contain large amounts of aluminum. For this project you need pure magnesium or a magnesium alloy with more than 65% magnesium. Any broken piece of a magnesium part may be used as electrode. Pure magnesium electrodes not sold in stores
Electrodes must be clean; sof you are trying to use a machine part as your electrode, you may need to wash them with warm water and dishwashing detergent prior to use. Any oil on the surface of electrodes can interrupt it or prevent the chemical reactions and the electrical current.
|Suggested List of material:
How to make a Salt Water Battery Lamp – Procedure:
Make a strong solution of salt (about 200 grams of salt per liter) in a deep plastic container (topper ware).
Screw the light bulb to the base and connect one wire to each of the contacts on the base.
Connect the open end of one of the wires to the iron electrode (Steel wool).
Connect the open end of the second wire to the magnesium electrode.
Insert both electrodes at the same time in two opposite ends of the plastic container. Make sure the electrodes are completely or mostly in the saltwater. At this time you should get a light in the light bulb.
If you remove the light bulb and connect a DC voltmeter to the electrodes, you must see a voltage of about 1 (one) volt.
To get more light, add some hydrogen peroxide (an oxidizer) to the saltwater solution.
How to make a Salt Water Battery Lamp – Trouble shooting:
If you are not getting any light, below are possible problems that can be verified.
The light bulbs defective, improperly installed or requires much higher voltage. Test your light bulb with a AA battery and it should work.
Check all the connections. Placing AA battery between the electrodes must light up the light bulb; otherwise, at least one of the connections has problem. If you are using regular wire, make sure you have removed the insulation on all contact points.
The electrodes are very small or just a small portion of them is inserted in the saltwater.
How to make a Salt Water Battery Lamp – Safety precautions:
After a few minutes of light production, the salt solution becomes alkaline. Alkaline solutions can irritate eyes and cause dryness of skin. Avoid contact with the used saltwater solution. Used saltwater can be disposed in the sink or sewer system along with other household liquid waste. If you add hydrogen peroxide to the solution, you must dispose dilute it with plenty of water before disposing it. Hydrogen peroxides an oxidizer can cause rust in metal pipes if it’s not diluted.
Why is it called air battery?
Batteries are usually known by their electrolyte or their electrodes. Although we call it salt water battery (because it is using salt water as the electrolyte); it also needs air or oxygen. Oxygens needed in order to oxidize the iron and this battery will not work where no oxygens available. Because of them important role of oxygen in this battery, some people call it air battery.