QC#64 – Battery Mining

A heavy duty lantern battery is hacked apart, and repurposed for melting metal a miniature arc reactor furnace.

How to make The Mini Arc Furnace: Coming Thursday, March 5th

Next Video: Mad Science Minion: http://bit.ly/QCMadScienceMinion
Previous Video: Mini Arc Furnace: http://bit.ly/QCMiniArcFurnace

Subscribe for new videos every 5 days! http://bit.ly/TKoRSubscribe
Join my email list! http://bit.ly/TKOREmailList

“Quick Clips” are clips of random experiments in a minute or less.

For other project videos, check out http://www.thekingofrandom.com

Social Media Links:

Google+: http://bit.ly/plusgrant
Facebook: http://bit.ly/FBTheKingOfRandom
Instagram: http://bit.ly/instagrant
Twitter: http://bit.ly/tweetgrant
Pinterest: http://bit.ly/pingrant
Tumblr: http://bit.ly/grantstumblr

Music by Jason Shaw (RP-Clattertrap)

Project Inspired By: This project was inspired by NurdRage. If you check out his video, please share the love and let him know you came from this video. Thank you! 🙂 (http://bit.ly/IBNurdRageBattery)

WARNING: Zinc is a metal which can lead to heavy metal poising if ingested in large quantities , and manganese dioxide is irritating to bare skin. Electrical arc furnaces are shock hazards, fire hazards, and can produce toxic fumes depending on what material you’re working with. Heating zinc to extreme temperatures forms zinc oxide which is toxic to inhale. Caution, care and expert planning are required to mitigate risks. Use of this video content is at your own risk.

Project History & More Info:

For this experiment I tried melting down the zinc casings from the lantern batteries, and casting them into a small ingot, formed with a mini muffin tray.

Zinc has a relatively low melting point 787.2°F (419.5°C), so the Arc Furnace is able to melt each casing into liquid zinc in around 5 seconds. That’s amazing!

I don’t have an exact purpose for the zinc yet, but it’s an easy metal to work with, easy to cast, and great to have on hand for a future projects. It’s also one of the main metals used for making a simple battery.

The black stuff pulled out of the battery casings is manganese dioxide. It’s a useful chemical for experiments with hydrogen peroxide, so it’s worth hanging onto.

A couple of years ago I saw a video made by youtube.com/NurdRage on what could be scavenged from a carbon-zinc lantern battery. It’s useful to know what common everyday materials are made of, and these heavy duty batteries are containers packed with carbon rods, zinc metal, and manganese dioxide. I tucked the information in the back of my mind until now.

In my experience, the materials are still just as useful when the batteries are dead, so after you get all the benefit from using the electricity, the components can all be recycled for loads of other projects.

In reading and studying history a bit, I learned that some of the earliest forms of light were made using carbon arc lighting. Large amounts of electricity were pumped through carbon rods, making a bright arc and providing light.

I tried making a carbon arc light with the carbon rods and a car battery, and it worked great.

When I tried hooking the carbon rods up to the arc welder made from microwave parts (http://bit.ly/HomemadeStickWelder) it was insane. It could melt aluminum in a matter of seconds.

That kind of power was so mind blowing, and the materials so easy to obtain, it paved the way for making the Mini Arc Furnace project possible.