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Can anyone tell me how these "saltwater electricity" works?

Author : Markus Imhof

Submitted : 2018-01-11 07:04:51    Popularity:     

Tags: saltwater  quot  works  electricity  

I ve been seeing a lot of these lately and I don t really get how it works. My groupmates and I are starting a project about getting electricity mainly from saltwater and we would like to know how these contraptions work. So if anyone could be so kind out

Answers:

I can't exactly explain how it works, but it's basically a current being formed when metal rusts. If you want to make your own experiment, get a AA battery and take it apart (wearing gloves and safety glasses) There is a black putty in the battery- take it out. Re-insert the carbon rod and fill the empty space where the putty was with salt. Put the top back on. Put it in a device you don't care too much about (because the salt will leak out and rust the device). It should power the device for awhile until the metal rusts through.

That's a simple electrochemical element - like any other non-rechargeable battery. The active components (which get destroyed/consumed in the process) are the aluminium (from the can) and the copper. The salt water just acts as an ionic conductor - any other conductive liquid will also work, from lemon juice to urine.

The science behind it is the difference in electrochemical potential between the two dissimilar metals. Any pair of dissimilar metals (or rather, conductors - plain batteries for example use zinc and carbon) will work for this. The voltage of such a cell is only dependent on the pairing of the metals, not depending on the electrolyte, i.e. for a given metal pairing, changing the liquid won't change the voltage.

If you want higher voltages, you'll need either other metal combinations (up to e.g. 4 Volts for Lithium batteries) or have to wire several cells in series.

simple power and force.

:)

There are saltwater batteries mainly used for emergency and military equipment that is use-once as the energy supply is very short lived.
They are very wasteful in materials for the quantity of energy they produce. Even in the projects I worked on that used them we went with standard batteries as the salt water ones didn't perform that well.

If you want to play around with something - look up Lord Kelvins water drip experiment. This can create many thousands of volts from just dripping water - which I found to be quite neat.



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