Download video: DIY: Mini Voltaic Pile (15v + from Pennies & Washers!)
Channel: Richard Harris
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The battery made by Volta is credited as the first electrochemical cell. It consists of two electrodes: one made of zinc, the other of copper. The electrolyte is either sulfuric acid mixed with water or a form of saltwater brine. The electrolyte exists in the form 2H+ and SO42-. The zinc, which is higher than both copper and hydrogen in the electrochemical series, reacts with the negatively charged sulfate (SO42-). The positively charged hydrogen ions (protons) capture electrons from the copper, forming bubbles of hydrogen gas, H2. This makes the zinc rod the negative electrode and the copper rod the positive electrode. Thus, there are two terminals, and an electric current will flow if they are connected. The chemical reactions in this voltaic cell are as follows:
Zn ? Zn2+ + 2e-
2H+ + 2e- ? H2
The copper does not react, but rather it functions as an electrode for the electric current.
Notes: We are using pennies and galvanized (zinc) washers for plates and saltwater, not sulfuric acid as the electrolyte (its dangerous). Don't use metal for the posts, it will short the cell (unless you wrap paper around the plates). You can keep the cell dry until you want to use it, and wash out the electrolyte with water then dry it to store it. Try different metals and electrolytes (you can make it rechargeable!). You probably wont be able to run much with this cell its not very much amps, make bigger plates or hook a lot of them in parallel for more amperage!. More plates = more voltage, more surface area = more amperage. Have FUNNNN!
Music: EPROM - Rubber Sheets (The Bay Area)