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Build Your Own Band-aid Fuel Cell

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the scab-power dept.

84

ptorrone writes "Here's how to make a fuel cell from a band-aid...This has got to be the simplest way to build a fuel cell from scratch. The design is ridiculously simple, whilst being effective - it will allow you to explore the concepts of fuel cells in a ludicrously simple way."

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Simple (1)

Sentri (910293) | more than 8 years ago | (#15492819)

Sounds... Simple

Re:Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15492986)

Yeah, and like all makezine-crap, it even almost works.

Re:Simple (1)

matthew.paulsen (978693) | more than 8 years ago | (#15492990)

got methanol?

The simplicity of Joe Cell and Water Electrolysis (0)

NRAdude (166969) | more than 8 years ago | (#15498093)

I posted the following comment in this article at the bottom, here. [slashdot.org] Either Joe Cell or Water Electrolysis reservoirs can be constructed with less than USD 20 in material from a local hardware or gardening store. Enjoy...

~!@#$%^&*()_+

If anyone here is squeamish on technical instructions, just run over to Google Video [google.com] and search for such videos relating to "JoeCell" and "Joe Cell" (note the space between Joe and Cell will give parallel results) and "Water Electrolysis" and "Water Fuel" and "Orgone."

First, to bring the competancy and interests of the blessed Slashdot surveyer into context, download and watch the two Free Energy videos titled Equinox - It Runs on Water [google.com] and Race to Zero Point [google.com] . They are both about 700 MegaBytes total download, and give discussion and wit to some of the errata that science is trying to "tie" together as "String Theory" and the politics related to why most Free Energy inventors are murdered.

The original early 1990's footage in Australia, of the inventor of the Joe Cell, is available at length of 2-hours and 1.1 GigaBytes, titled The Early Years. [google.com]

Next, is to compare the difference between a Joe Cell and advanced Water Eletrolysis. Electrolysis separates water molecules into the more explosive Hydrogen and Oxygen, and from there it is injected into the combustion engine through a carburetor. There is more explosive gas with the Hydrogen and Oxygen then there ever was in the 87-octane available at a liquid pump. There are also excellent results to 87-octane commercially-available gas also by an electrolysis process, and it is recordable that bottled-water certainly costs more, but the measurement of health is certainly better when handling less-volatile liquid that doesn't cause ill health. A Joe Cell is a unique type of Electrolytic Capacitor that uses water as the electrolye and with usually more than two neutral plates. Water Electrolysis has been known ever since the 1850's throughout the world, in various experiments with steam et al, yet the Joe Cell was created by a mechanic in Australia in the early 1990's (if I remember correctly).

I know for a fact that there are over 26 elements preceding the alleged first element "Hydrogen", and the supposed source of the Joe Cell and some process of Water Electrolysis, to derive capacity to collect freely-renewable energy. Water Electrolysis process is to have a number of metal-rods submerged in a hermeticly-sealed cannister of water, and a high-frequency of low-current high-voltage is pulsed through the rods to defray water molecules into free Hydrogen and Oxygen available for combustion. The rate at which the gas (think vapor/not liquid) is produced is a matter of technique that varies from inventor to experimenter. The Joe Cell, on the other hand, is different by negatively-charging water and combusting the irradiated elemental gas that derives from the water under a vacuum. The Joe Cell, under the vacuum of the combustion engine, will irradiate the 26 or more unusual/high-frequency elements preceeding Hydrogen, and derive locomotion from their combustion with an exaust of the more stable water we know of at atmospheric pressure and conditions. The various gas derived from typical Water Electrolysis however, after combustion and upon exposure to the atmosphere at the exaust-pipe (and muffler), will recombine into water and thus allow the matter to be re-collected into a fuel reservoir from whence the electrolysis process brought it about.

In effect, a Joe Cell has some difficulty from reverting to various stages of capacity or failing to lower "stages" of leak. A Joe Cell has more capacity to collect free energy than typical Water Electrolysis, but needs certain alloy of steel; but a complete assembly for an experimenter could have a Joe Cell inline charged by a combustion engine fueled from Water Electrolysis process and then switched to charge the Joe Cell and use it when possible. A Joe Cell is just a small reservoir for energy, no different than a battery but (as said before) uses water as the electrolyte. So far, I am aware of 4 inventors that were murdered for their speculation and advertising the function of these replacement for service-based and commercial fuels and energy.

Videos exhibiting the construction of the Joe Cell, as well as tips on assuring the quality of a Joe Cell, are available at Google Video when searching for either "Joe Cell", then "JoeCell" videos enumerated 1 to 20 [google.com] , or even the "Ringorgone" videos enumerated 1 to 20. [google.com] Download the Peter Stevens video [google.com] that provides tips for the charging process for a Joe Cell, and some tips on mounting a cell in a safe area of the engine compartment. Download the Alex Schiffer video [google.com] for determining Cell quality (such as this NUTECH implementation). [google.com]

Some experimentation has yieled some interesting and unusual behaviour evidenced by the electricity flow, such as this [google.com] and this vortex effect. [google.com]

This video (with some lame political messages and funky music incurred to viable documentation [google.com] , from Byron Energy, exhibits that negatively-charged water is flammable.

Re:The simplicity of Joe Cell and Water Electrolys (1)

Nazo-San (926029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15505971)

I know for a fact that there are over 26 elements preceding the alleged first element "Hydrogen"

You know this do you? Might I ask how you know this? Hydrogen is the first element because it has one proton in it's nucleus (I say one proton, because that's the only thing for certain thanks to ions,) not because of some kind of political "we like hydrogen better than firstium" style of thing. The way the periodic table works is each element in the table has a certain number of protons in their nucleus and they are ordered by this. Therefore, to be less than hydrogen, you must have zero protons in the nucleus. Therefore, to be less than hydrogen, it must be just an electron or a neutron floating around somewhere, not an actual atom at all and therefore not an "element."

I don't really understand why you even said this though. No one ever said anything about needing elements before hydrogen for it to work or something.

Oh, and leave string theory out of this. It's clear you don't even know what it is. It's not a political movement or something, to put it really simply, it has to do with quantum particles and the theory that it may be possible for some to be essentially connected to each other so that one will respond to the other. No murders have occured over this theory and it's quite silly to even think it possible. There's nothing in it to murder for.

I would suggest that everyone else take this person's statements with a grain of salt. It can't hurt to read up on the Joe Cell if you want, but, simply put, if it were so simple as that, don't you think people would be capitalizing on this? Even if you are scared of "the Illuminati" coming after you, the potential profits are enough to hire a host of bodyguards.

Re:Simple (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15493092)

First get a band-aid. Make sure it has a large sterile pad area.

Remove the backing from the adhesive and set it aside. Next, buy a fuel cell from the online fuel cell store. Then, carefully attach the fuel cell to the adhesive part of the band-aid.

Finally, wave your wand while saying "A-la peanut butter sandwiches", and hey presto! it is done!

Re:Simple (4, Funny)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 8 years ago | (#15493509)

Hah! That's what I was thinking when I read that. Build your own nuclear reactor using a band-aid. Strap band-aid to functioning nuclear reactor procured from post-Cold War Russia. Voila, Band-Aid Nuclear Fission Reaction System.

Re:Simple (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494005)

Pffft. McGuyver could do it with just the bandaid and a couple toe-nail clippings.

Re:Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15493875)

Sure its simple, for those that have read the article, here's a similar idea to build your own laptop:
  * One band-aid
  * A Fresh Laptop (This is the part that does the work.)

Step 1:
  Take the laptop out of the cardboard box.
Step 2:
  Charge laptop battery.
Step 3:
  You probably didn't notice, but you cut yourself on my sharp wit. Apply bandage as necessary.

Viola, you have now made computing power. Mr. Wizard would be proud.

Redundant (-1, Offtopic)

LordNightwalker (256873) | more than 8 years ago | (#15492839)

This has got to be the simplest way to build a fuel cell from scratch. The design is ridiculously simple, whilst being effective - it will allow you to explore the concepts of fuel cells in a ludicrously simple way.

This has got to be the most redundant blurb I read in weeks. This blurb is ridiculously redundant, whilst conveying little info - it will allow us to absorb one simple factoid in a ludicrously redundant way.

You know your article lacks in substance when you actually need filler text just so you can write a 3 line blurb about it...

Re:Redundant (1, Offtopic)

Wisgary (799898) | more than 8 years ago | (#15492962)

That usually happens when it's a copy paste straight out of the digg entry.

Re:Redundant (0, Offtopic)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15493007)

You know your article lacks in substance when you actually need filler text just so you can write a 3 line blurb about it...
Sorry, the number of lines is not something every observer will agree on. It has not to do with the observers' relative speeds asmuch as their window widths.

Re:Redundant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15493432)

"It has *not* to do with the observers' relative speeds asmuch as their window widths."

i believe the word you're lookoing for is *naught* .. just wanted to let you know.

meh (4, Insightful)

darkrowan (976992) | more than 8 years ago | (#15492841)

Still requires you to buy specialty parts to complete. Sure, its a nifty idea. But so is trying to make a V8 engine out of soda cans. You'd still have to buy some parts to make it work right. Let me know when you can do it from just the store bought items.

Re:meh (5, Insightful)

MrFlannel (762587) | more than 8 years ago | (#15492860)

Oh, Oh!
I've got one. Take a lemon, a piece of zinc, and a piece of copper...
well, you know the rest.

I know, it's not much. But it's hundreds of times more interesting than this article.

It's like saying "We've used a band aid to hold together this light bulb, battery, and piece of wire. look! we can show you how to make a flashlight out of a band aid!" Quite deceptive indeed.

Re:meh (2, Insightful)

njh (24312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15493366)

What disturbs me is that pressing on the cell apparently doubled the voltage. TFA claims that this is due to the electrode making a better contact. But they are measuring the voltage with a digital multimeter, with an input impediance of at least 10M. This means that the fuel cell has an output impedance of the order of 10M too - you'd probably get more power out of a calculator solar panel on a stary night!

(alternatively, the finger is warming it up or something)

Re:meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15505685)

I got curious and read up on them more. From what I saw, one of the biggest problems with fuel cells is that they have very short ranges on operating temperature and outside of those ranges efficiency drops exponentially. This one could indeed operate best at a slightly warmer than room temperature range.

Re:meh (1)

njh (24312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15506470)

The original maker should some experiments!

Re:meh (2, Informative)

GospelHead821 (466923) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494039)

The sticking plaster does perform a couple of important roles in this design. It is "breathable," so it lets oxygen in so that it can react with the methanol. The gauze pad is absorbant and will hold a few drops of methanol solution, so you don't need a continuous feed of methanol to the anode.

Plus, holding together the other componoents is not exactly unimportant! For the cost of obtaining them, sticking plasters are tough and their adhesive is durable.

Re:meh (1)

Blurfle (686495) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494186)

Sounds good, but I would use a grapefruit. You'd get more juice that way.

Re:meh (2, Insightful)

Davus (905996) | more than 8 years ago | (#15492892)

MEA stands for "Membrane Electrode Assembly", this is the bit that "does the works". You can make your own, they are rather difficult to assemble, much simpler is to buy one that is already made from www.fuelcellstore.com
So basically this article just tells you how to hold the main piece into something (bandaid) that makes it look simple...

Re:meh (2, Interesting)

Nazo-San (926029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15492946)

So basically this article just tells you how to hold the main piece into something (bandaid) that makes it look simple...

Read my website to find out how to do it using some scotch tape instead! (This was just a joke, I have no such site.)

Seriously though. There must be something I'm missing here, right? I mean, is there supposed to maybe be some kind of interaction between the methanol and the antibacterials placed on some band-aids or something? Surely no one is dumb enough that they'd come up with this whole article touting the use of a bandaid as being somehow simpler than anything else that holds it all together?

Re:meh (1)

Davus (905996) | more than 8 years ago | (#15493149)

Right on, that's what I'm saying. It's like saying you make your own adhesive, and the key ingredient is pre-bought glue.

Re:meh (0, Offtopic)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 8 years ago | (#15492897)

I think the point of this "blog" entry is to redirect a Slashdot mob to the online store selling the parts you need (which I'm not going to pimp). Pernicious advertising no less.

Re:meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15493087)

Post a link to the competition and really get them then!

Re:meh (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 8 years ago | (#15493541)

You mean www.fuelcellstore.com... Oh Crap I mentioned it. Sorry.
They probably paid the guy to write an article about interesting hobby fuel cell making, that uses some of their parts. So he figured the most novel idea was to put it on a bandage.

Re:meh (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 8 years ago | (#15495525)

You mean the "totally fabby" store? The guy lost all credibility when he said that. Then he insisted on calling the metal screen "posh." Twice.

Re:meh (2, Funny)

beheaderaswp (549877) | more than 8 years ago | (#15492960)

They already did this... it was called the Chevy Vega.

Re:meh (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 8 years ago | (#15493261)

> Still requires you to buy specialty parts to complete

Yep! From the artice:

===

MEA stands for "Membrane Electrode Assembly", this is the bit that "does the works". You can make your own, they are rather difficult to assemble, much simpler is to buy one that is already made from www.fuelcellstore.com

===

Tomorrow - how to make your own car using only a can of paint...and a car.

...just a bandaid? (1)

Toba82 (871257) | more than 8 years ago | (#15492888)

I see a bit more than a bandaid in the directions.

Fly Screen (1)

jpardey (569633) | more than 8 years ago | (#15492909)

High quality indeed... maybe that stuff would keep the mosquitoes out. And the airborn bacterium. So basically, build a fuel cell, and use one part known by laymen? Impressive. Why don't they just put the bandage on the outside of a ballard fuel cell bus?

Simple technology (0, Redundant)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 8 years ago | (#15492965)

I think our technicians and scientists should focus on simple technology first.
Simple technology is, ehm, simple to implement with possibly fewer failure chances and also fewer environmental issues.
This is what the world really needs now.

Re:Simple technology (1)

beezly (197427) | more than 8 years ago | (#15493193)

This is what the world really needs now.

You're mistaken...

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It's the only thing that there's just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No not just for some but for everyone.

Re:Simple technology (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494078)

...and blowjobs. Lot's of 'em.

Re:Simple technology (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15497743)

I had this in my head instead:

Cause what the world needs now
is a new Frank Sinatra
so I can get you in bed.
Cause what the world needs now
is another folk singer
like I need a hole in my head.

Re:Simple technology (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 8 years ago | (#15493219)

can't get much simpler than burning wood...

of course there is that double environmental issue caused by doing so.

Look, we have our current situation of burning fossil fuels and such because it is the simple solution. While the idea of wind power and solar power may appear simple the technology to make them viable solutions is anything but. Hell if it were simple we would have had someone marketing it to us day and night.

Re:Simple technology (3, Insightful)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15493361)

Wood isn't a fossil fuel. It's entirely renewable. Growing trees abstract CO2 from the atmosphere and release oxygen ..... spookily enough, exactly the same amounts of CO2 as you're going to produce and O2 as you're going to consume when you burn that wood. You were taught why in your third year chemistry classes. All the energy stored in the chemical bonds in plant matter originally came from the sun. As long as you plant enough trees, accounting for infant mortality, to replace the ones you are using up {which is not rocket science, just simple forestry management}, then you have a closed cycle. {Note that maintenance and harvesting require energy which is not released in burning, but there's no reason for this energy not to be sourced from renewables}. A tree being grown for energy should be harvested as soon as possible after its growth slows down, since beyond this point you are adding fewer kg. of wood, and hence MWh of energy, per day that passes. This is no different to killing a chicken for meat when its egg production slows down. Both come under the general heading of husbandry.

Where there is private ownership of land coupled with a high population density, there is an automatic incentive to make every square metre of land work for its keep. Poor forestry managers don't last long in that sort of climate; they invariably run out of money and get their business taken over by someone who can do the job properly. Basically what is happening is that the monetary value of the product is closely tracking the non-monetary value. The main failing of Capitalism as it is practised today is that it only takes notice of the monetary value of goods; but when non-monetary value is directly related to monetary value, then capitalism works.

Non-renewable energy appears cheap, because we're effectively stealing it from succeeding generations. The point will come eventually when it will cost more than renewable energy and that is when the world will have no option but to switch. The damage done by non-renewables is probably reversible, but that won't be anything like an instantaneous process.

I sometimes wonder if the answer to half the world's problems would not be to peg the world's currencies against the megawatt-hour, rather than the value of someting capricious like silver or gold. The price of crude oil being tied to the US dollar doesn't count: that is just as capricious, and the USA has a nasty tendency to invade countries who mention pricing their oil by the Euro.

Environmental economy (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 8 years ago | (#15493737)

The current economic system (especially in North America) is so out of whack with reality it's not even funny. We pay actors and atheletes millions of dollars, and they produce nothing. Yet we pay farmers, who produce every scrap of food on our plate, to whom we owe our very survival, next to nothing. In many cases, not even enough to maintain their own farms. Sometimes I think we need some sort of catastrophe, like running out of oil, to snap us out of our fantasy world and back to reality.

Re:Environmental economy (1)

Twixter (662877) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494960)

To make a note on the forestry idea..... to produce the amount of fuel needed to run the entire country you're talking about a logging and burning project that would place carbon into the air and remove from the forest billions of tons of decaying wood which is a vital piece of the forest ecology. Neither of which is really a viable option.

As far as the economy and why we pay athletes millions of dollars and farms nothing it's because our system works on the premise of scarcity and capital. Those with scarce resources that are desired by many, such as the ability to dunk the basketball from the free-throw line are going to make more than the folks who can drive a tractor. No natural disaster would change that.

What you're really talking about though is a shift away from a system where the people with capital maintain the privilege. We need scientists and researches to maintain ownership of their ideas, but not exclusivity of their use. (Let their value be negotiated on an open market.) The Open Source Movement is the first real viable example of how much we would benefit economically from this model. Look at the billions in opportunity cost we have saved because of the cooperation on the Apache project. Ask Oracle where they would be without it.

I've often thought about letting patient futures be a tradable commodity. i.e. "Oh, that's a great idea that guy or company came out with. I'm going to put $200 bucks and buy a share of that idea."

The value of the shares is the use price someone pays to use the idea, which the scientist receives for payment. It would make markets and manufacturing perfectly competitive, and split out the R&D departments to separate businesses that sell 'ideas.' I think this would work particularly well with the pharmaceutical industry, as the drugs that would help our society the most would have the most fiscal backing, instead of the ones that will have the highest profit margin. Then the drug companies could stop complaining that it is SO expensive to research new drugs while spending more on advertising than on R&D. [nih.gov]

Re:Simple technology (1)

rk (6314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496482)

"I sometimes wonder if the answer to half the world's problems would not be to peg the world's currencies against the megawatt-hour, rather than the value of someting capricious like silver or gold."

Either way, it would likely be better than pegging the world's currencies to exactly nothing, which is the current system. It's certainly an interesting idea... the problem is savings. How do you store a megawatt-hour? I've read that at night the wholesale price of electricity can drop to zero because there's more being produced than consumed, because it's just too expensive to shut down a generator that's going to be urgently needed in just a few short hours. The retail price of a megawatt hour where I live probably about $100. I can store $100 in about 8 ounces of silver, or a few grams of gold. If you can make a battery that can store a megawatt-hour per pound (and hold its charge!) you'd be really onto something (apart from having laptops that could run for weeks on a single charge).

Re:Simple technology (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15497332)

One thing you can do is use electricity to pump water up from a reservoir at the bottom of a mountain to a reservoir at the top when demand is slack, and use that to spin a turbine when needed. There's a plant in Wales [wikipedia.org] that does just that. You don't need to store the actual electricity that represents someone's savings in a battery, as long as you can prove that you have the capacity to produce it as fast as they can consume it. In fact, you are storing the energy in a way -- just in the form of gravitational potential energy in several megalitres of water, or chemical potential energy in unburned fuel. As for transporting the electricity to the people, I had this radical idea of running cables under the streets to each building, thereby maintaining a continuous supply with no breaks while swapping batteries. Of course, it might never catch on .....

Also, instead of being like the traditional banks where you would go in with a banknote and exchange it for a certain amount of silver or gold, I can see people turning up at the local Sojiedade Munizipal de Illuminacion y Traccion with anything that burns, and exchanging it for banknotes!

well, how long does it last? (3, Insightful)

the_REAL_sam (670858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15492991)

how many watt-hours, at how many volts? and, just as important, is it rechargable?

anyhow, the bandaids were incidental. the "mea" part was $47.50. it's a heck of an expensive battery, even if IS a WONDER battery.

Re:well, how long does it last? (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 8 years ago | (#15493423)

It's a fuel cell, so theoretically it has infinite Watt-hours aslong as you keep replenishing the methanol.
Of course, it depends on how fast the materials deteriorate aswell.
Judging by his pics, he's getting 0.26 Volts, but it depends on different factors such as moisture.

As for rechargability, it's a fuel cell. All you need to do is add more methanol.

But the Mea is something you can't really get past. Platinum's expensive stuff, and you won't want to be experimenting around too much with that to coat some electrodes.

Let Us Consider 'Step 2' (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496893)

Lets see; bandaids, wire screen, scalpel, volt meter, sissors, cotton gloves, 3% solution of methonal. Got it. I can go to my local stores, and purchase the stuff, no problem.

Ok, I'm looking at the "5 Layer DMFC MEA", not so simple, How can I do a "McGiever" on this?

Now for a logistics question, "What would it take to apply this solution to an average home for One Year?" This would be VERY interesting.

Re:Let Us Consider 'Step 2' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15506132)

Well, for starts you'll need to get some platinum. Tricks have been found to get a lot better results from a small amount of platinum, but, for a mcguyver style trick, you're going to need a pretty large chunk due to lack of access to the sort of machines necessary. The amount of time it will take you to meet this step should be sufficient that you'll just have to get back to me after you've managed to finally earn enough money to buy it.

Re:well, how long does it last? (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496058)

Where'd you get $47.50? Looking at the site recommended in TFA, the part (here [fuelcellstore.com] ) costs $69.50.

Re:well, how long does it last? (1)

the_REAL_sam (670858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15504733)


here's the link, from the same website:
http://www.fuelcellstore.com/cgi-bin/fuelweb/view= Item/cat=/product=302 [fuelcellstore.com]

and here's the search result that yielded it:
http://www.fuelcellstore.com/cgi-bin/fuelweb/view= SearchResults/command=LogSearch?searchfor=mea [fuelcellstore.com]

Re:well, how long does it last? (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 8 years ago | (#15506607)

The article suggests you want the DMFC variety. I guess the "Standard" MEA you've linked here would need gaseous hydrogen/oxygen mix to function?

In my grandmother times... (5, Interesting)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15492993)

Gypsies used a similar trick to get free lunch, they called it "nail soup". Tell the host that you can cook a "nail soup", a soup based on a nail.
Ingredients:
- One big nail
- Water
- Groats
- Bacon
- Salt, Spices, Herbs
- (...some more foodstuffs, I don't remember).

The idea was to cook a basic groats-based soup with nail in it. The nail didn't provide anything to the soup except of curiosity factor that made the host to provide the rest of the ingredients. The gypsy would eat one bowl, the host another, the nail would be saved for another cooking of the soup...

Here they use band-aid instead of the nail.

Re:In my grandmother times... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15493106)

Gypsies used a similar trick to get free lunch, they called it "nail soup".

This story "Nail Broth" was on a Danny Kaye album [ebay.com] called "Danny Kaye Tells 6 Stories From Faraway Places" (1960). I listened to it as a kid, but haven't heard it in years.

And yeah, having read the article, it's kinda like the band aid part is the least important...

SUMMARY: "ludicrously simple potato battery." (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15493012)

[Article summary:]
                Incredibly Easy Way to Build A Ludicrously Simple Potato Battery.

Materials list:
  1. 2 nice big potatoes.
    Any ones will do. Make sure you don't get a sweet potato.
  2. Stainless Steel Fly Screen.
    If you want to get really techie and heavy about stainless steel fly screen, the material that I used was top-notch stuff! The stainless steel was 318 grade - very high quality!! The screen was 72 wires per inch in both directions, with each wire being 0.0037". This wire is available from the folks at the totally fabby www.potatobattery.com [potatobattery.com]
  3. MEA - The Membrane Electrode Assembly
    Rather difficult to assemble yourself. Much simpler is to buy one that is already made from www.potatobattery.com [potatobattery.com] .
  4. Cotton Gloves
    At all times when working with the MEA, you will need to wear cotton gloves. This is because the muck on your hands will greatly inhibit the function of the MEA. Cotton gloves are available in specialty stores, but I love my pair from www.potatobattery.com [potatobattery.com]

                              [...]
[Image]
The completed Band Aid Fuel Cell!

              Testing the Band Aid Fuel Cell

To test the fuel cell you will need some 3% Methanol solution. Again you can get this from the Potato Battery store ( www.potatobattery.com [potatobattery.com] ), unless you know a bit about chemistry or are friendly with a college lab technician.

[...]
Have fun, and be sure to tell all your friends!!!

What about raves? (2, Funny)

n3tcat (664243) | more than 8 years ago | (#15493031)

I suppose it makes no difference what brand you use, but the marketing implications of this are phenomenal. Imagine having bandaids that don't glow but actually light themselves!

Add a nifty strobe effect and you'll have the perfect rave accessories anytime you fall off your bike!

Abu Musab al-Zarqaqi, dead (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15493162)

I just heard some happy news on talk radio. Al-Qaeda's chief in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was killed in an air strike on a safe house where he was holding a meeting. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his suicide bombs, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly a sun goblin icon.

Re:Abu Musab al-Zarqaqi, dead (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15493298)

The whole district was carpet-bombed. Reporters were not allowed to the place but the military reports there were no civilian casualities.

Dupe... (-1, Offtopic)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 8 years ago | (#15493166)

Slashdot should just give up and sync every story from digg.

Okay, it might be neat... (1)

kdougherty (772195) | more than 8 years ago | (#15493173)

However, there is no practical use. I'd never incorporate this in any electric devices in my house. 1. It's too fragile. 2. It's way too expensive. 3. It's easier to grab a pack of batteries from Wal-Mart. 4. I'd probably use the last two bandaids to make the device, then end up cutting myself.

Re:Okay, it might be neat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15493369)

5. You'd need at least 5 of them to get enough voltage to power simple devices such as (low voltage) flashlights. Possibly 10 or more to power more complex devices such as MP3 players.

That's just to get the needed voltage. It doesn't say anything about capacity in there, but, from what I see here, I believe the results from this little experiment are actually worse than a similar sized solar panel. Why would you use something so complex, easy to break, and requiring maintenance if you can just use something powered by the lights of your room or by the sun? Not to mention that you can run up to walmart and buy one of those little watch batteries to give you better results. They come in packages of two for about $5 or so. Versus this coming in packages of one for about $45 + $5 pretty often for more methanol (what they don't tell you in that article is it's exposed to the air, and alcohols tend to evaporate very quickly into the air, so it's not going to last long.)

Real fuel cells are down the road. Just be patient everyone and stop trying to find cheats involving band-aids or whatever. Someday down the road, the real things might just replace those tedius rechargable batteries. Well, not completely replace, but, definitely help since it would be so much more convenient (just carry something like those cigarette lighter refiller but loaded with methanol in your car and presto, you have an instant battery recharger everywhere you go. Gas stations could probably sell them since methanol doesn't have the laws governing ethanol on it.) This band-aid "hack" doesn't show you even the tip of the iceberg of the real thing.

Re:Okay, it might be neat... (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15493510)

5. There are power points on the walls with electricity coming out of them which costs about 7p a kWh in the daytime, or 3p in the dead of night.

The simplest way (1)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 8 years ago | (#15493270)

It seemed an awful lot of fuss to me, what's wrong with copper wire, steel wire, and a lemon? Now that's simple.

Re:The simplest way (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 8 years ago | (#15493438)

Tell me where you get your copper from that it's cheaper than methanol.

Re:The simplest way (1)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 8 years ago | (#15493503)

out of the waste bin in my workroom

Re:The simplest way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15506275)

Tell me where you get your copper from that it's cheaper than methanol.
You mean cheaper than a MEA. The copper is the non-renewing part. You keep the copper and renew the lemon. Therefore, the copper corresponds to the MEA and the methanol corresponds to the lemon. You can get lemons cheaper at your local food market. A REAL fuel cell would provide a lot more power per dollar than a lemon, but this one does not provide much more at all, if any.

Re:The simplest way (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 8 years ago | (#15510288)

It's been a while since I had chemistry, but my idea was that there's a redox reaction between the Zinc and the acid, so you use up your Zinc and end up Zinc-oxide (I was mistaken about the copper). The Lemon is only the electrolyte.

Fuel cell (2, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | more than 8 years ago | (#15493794)

Well, that may be simple, but it is hardly a fuel cell.

Outlaw this! (1, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15493367)

Let's see how long it takes 'til someone figures out to power the timer for some bomb with a similar design and we can't get band aids anymore.

"Sorry bud, you're bleeding and we can't do anything to avoid infections. But doesn't it give you a fuzzy warm feeling that it's all done for national security?"

Re:Outlaw this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15495175)

Yes, but in Soviet Russia, National Security does it for YOU!

Or maybe do it properly (1)

vandan (151516) | more than 8 years ago | (#15493466)

People wanting to look at this seriously should buy the PDF instruction book available from http://www.goodideacreative.com/fuel_cell.html [goodideacreative.com] . I got one, and it's good :) Damned good. I'm thinking about getting some other ones ( eg the solar one looks interesting too ).

Joe Cell and Water Electrolysis plans are free. (0)

NRAdude (166969) | more than 8 years ago | (#15495933)

If anyone here is squeamish on technical instructions, just run over to Google Video [google.com] and search for such videos relating to "JoeCell" and "Joe Cell" (note the space between Joe and Cell will give parallel results) and "Water Electrolysis" and "Water Fuel" and "Orgone."

First, to bring the competancy and interests of the blessed Slashdot surveyer into context, download and watch the two Free Energy videos titled Equinox - It Runs on Water [google.com] and Race to Zero Point [google.com] . They are both about 700 MegaBytes total download, and give discussion and wit to some of the errata that science is trying to "tie" together as "String Theory" and the politics related to why most Free Energy inventors are murdered.

The original early 1990's footage in Australia, of the inventor of the Joe Cell, is available at length of 2-hours and 1.1 GigaBytes, titled The Early Years. [google.com]

Next, is to compare the difference between a Joe Cell and advanced Water Eletrolysis. Electrolysis separates water molecules into the more explosive Hydrogen and Oxygen, and from there it is injected into the combustion engine through a carburetor. There is more explosive gas with the Hydrogen and Oxygen then there ever was in the 87-octane available at a liquid pump. There are also excellent results to 87-octane commercially-available gas also by an electrolysis process, and it is recordable that bottled-water certainly costs more, but the measurement of health is certainly better when handling less-volatile liquid that doesn't cause ill health. A Joe Cell is a unique type of Electrolytic Capacitor that uses water as the electrolye and with usually more than two neutral plates. Water Electrolysis has been known ever since the 1850's throughout the world, in various experiments with steam et al, yet the Joe Cell was created by a mechanic in Australia in the early 1990's (if I remember correctly).

I know for a fact that there are over 26 elements preceding the alleged first element "Hydrogen", and the supposed source of the Joe Cell and some process of Water Electrolysis, to derive capacity to collect freely-renewable energy. Water Electrolysis process is to have a number of metal-rods submerged in a hermeticly-sealed cannister of water, and a high-frequency of low-current high-voltage is pulsed through the rods to defray water molecules into free Hydrogen and Oxygen available for combustion. The rate at which the gas (think vapor/not liquid) is produced is a matter of technique that varies from inventor to experimenter. The Joe Cell, on the other hand, is different by negatively-charging water and combusting the irradiated elemental gas that derives from the water under a vacuum. The Joe Cell, under the vacuum of the combustion engine, will irradiate the 26 or more unusual/high-frequency elements preceeding Hydrogen, and derive locomotion from their combustion with an exaust of the more stable water we know of at atmospheric pressure and conditions. The various gas derived from typical Water Electrolysis however, after combustion and upon exposure to the atmosphere at the exaust-pipe (and muffler), will recombine into water and thus allow the matter to be re-collected into a fuel reservoir from whence the electrolysis process brought it about.

In effect, a Joe Cell has some difficulty from reverting to various stages of capacity or failing to lower "stages" of leak. A Joe Cell has more capacity to collect free energy than typical Water Electrolysis, but needs certain alloy of steel; but a complete assembly for an experimenter could have a Joe Cell inline charged by a combustion engine fueled from Water Electrolysis process and then switched to charge the Joe Cell and use it when possible. A Joe Cell is just a small reservoir for energy, no different than a battery but (as said before) uses water as the electrolyte. So far, I am aware of 4 inventors that were murdered for their speculation and advertising the function of these replacement for service-based and commercial fuels and energy.

Videos exhibiting the construction of the Joe Cell, as well as tips on assuring the quality of a Joe Cell, are available at Google Video when searching for either "Joe Cell", then "JoeCell" videos enumerated 1 to 20 [google.com] , or even the "Ringorgone" videos enumerated 1 to 20. [google.com] Download the Peter Stevens video [google.com] that provides tips for the charging process for a Joe Cell, and some tips on mounting a cell in a safe area of the engine compartment. Download the Alex Schiffer video [google.com] for determining Cell quality (such as this NUTECH implementation). [google.com]

Some experimentation has yieled some interesting and unusual behaviour evidenced by the electricity flow, such as this [google.com] and this vortex effect. [google.com]

This video (with some lame political messages and funky music incurred to viable documentation [google.com] , from Byron Energy, exhibits that negatively-charged water is flammable.

Band-aids are for wusses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15493688)

A real man would use duck tape*.

*World + dog will insist that it's 'duct tape' but it isn't really. It's duck tape because it is (or once was) made out of canvas duck. It is totally useless for ducts because it's so darn porous.

Re:Band-aids are for wusses (1)

nasch (598556) | more than 8 years ago | (#15495104)

A) Reference?
B) How come my ducts are sealed with it?

Re:Band-aids are for wusses (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496137)

Wikipedia cites the OED, unfortunately you have to pay to see it online.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duck_tape [wikipedia.org]

Re:Band-aids are for wusses (1)

BeaverCleaver (673164) | more than 8 years ago | (#15498586)

I used to work in the industrial heating industry and we used a buttload of duct tape to seal the heating ducts. Worked a treat. You mean the plastic-y tape, right? Because I thought the fabric-backed stuff was gaffer tape, so called because film crews use so much of the stuff. I know this is completely unrelated to a bandaid fuel cell, but the bandaid fuel cell was shit. I wonder if the guy's books are any better?

DIY (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15493773)

This is remarkably like an article I once wrote about how to make a fission generator with stuff lying around the house. It turns out not everyone else has the same stuff lying around the house as me.

Re:DIY (1)

Bob Cat - NYMPHS (313647) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494565)

I do.

In Soviet Russia... (1)

epp_b (944299) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494171)

...the band-aid fuel cell builds you!

Ludicrous (1)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494258)

Ludicrous, simply ludicrous. Got to love that word, "ludicrous". Everyone, find a situation and use it in your conversation today and report back. Extra points if you used WHILST talking with your employer. Ludicrously yours, Me

Re:Ludicrous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15495035)

are you ludicrous?

From the Editor? (3, Funny)

derubergeek (594673) | more than 8 years ago | (#15495761)

It would appear that the submitter of the story is Phillip Torrone [wikipedia.org] , the host of the MAKE blog (and apparently a Senior Editor?). I'd like to think that's not really the case: MAKE is really cool and this fuel cell is really lame. The worst part is that now I have that stupid "I am stuck on Band-Aid brand, 'cause Band-Aid's stuck on me" jingle running through my head.

This MAKE article is really disappointing... (1)

cr0sh (43134) | more than 8 years ago | (#15496785)

I was expecting to see something really cool. I guess I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up - it is MAKE magazine, after all, the wonderful magazine that seems to do anything BUT show you how to make something. Rather, it seems like many articles are of the "first, buy something expensive, then tweak it" variety - which is anything but making something.


What was I expecting from a "bandaid fuel cell" in an article from a magazine named MAKE?

Well, perhaps something describing how to build a fuel cell that doesn't require an expensive (and sometimes difficult to obtain) membrane, or catalyst. I was saying to myself "Finally, someone has figured out how to use saranwrap (or something similar) as the membrane for a simple fuel cell".

I suppose if it was that simple, the companies would already be doing it - or would they? How many other times in our recent history have companies passed on simple and effective technologies for a product simply because you couldn't patent the crap out of them? Could fuel cells be any different? I wonder the same thing about solar technology - is there a way to make a better (or at least cheaper to build) copper oxide solar cell, or an easier to build organic solar cell (you know the ones I am talking about, which use cranberry juice or whatnot). In the case of a fuel cell, the expensive and hard to obtain parts seem to be the catalyst material and membrane (in the case of the bandaid fuel cell, it seems that the membrane you buy is just a combination of both in a pre-made stack). In the case of a homemade solar cell, the difficult piece is the front transparent conductor: It is difficult to make transparent conductive glass (silvering is one method, but it require chemicals that are heavily regulated today thanks to things like the PATRIOT Act - no kidding! - plus the chemicals are difficult to handle and expensive to purchase) - so most homemade solar cells, especially the copper oxide ones, use saltwater as a transparent conductor. I have also given thought to "silkscreening" a very, very thin layer of Artic Silver paste compound onto glass to act as a conductor, but I am not sure that would work, either.

At any rate, this article did nothing to cause me to get excited and MAKE something. For a toy experiment, it isn't worth it. I would have been much more impressed had they detailed building a solar powered stirling engine from empty cola cans and a fresnel magnifier...

Re:This MAKE article is really disappointing... (1)

adam.dorsey (957024) | more than 8 years ago | (#15497538)

Dunno if the Arctic Silver thing would work. I'm pretty sure that one of their big selling points is a lack of conductance, at least that's what http://www.arcticsilver.com/as5.htm [arcticsilver.com] says. Sweet idea though.

Re:This MAKE article is really disappointing... (1)

cr0sh (43134) | more than 8 years ago | (#15498228)

Hmm - you're right. Good thing I didn't go out and buy some of this stuff to try it! Thanks for heads up. What I am needing is some kind of "stuff" that will "stick" to glass, be mostly transparent (ie, 75% or greater), and electrically conductive. So far, the only two realistic options I have seen for this kind of thing is silvering glass, either chemically or via vapor deposition. Now, vapor deposition isn't difficult, but the tools to do it with aren't easily (or cheaply) available.

Basically, you need one hell of a lab grade vaccuum pump, that can pump down to very, very low pressure levels. Even chained together refrigerator compressors won't get you low enough (I haven't found one method that would allow me to homebrew a vaccuum pump for such use). So, I am left with chemical silvering, and as I have explained, the chemicals are nearly impossible to get, and are expensive as well, difficult to store (before or after mixing - they come in dry form), are poisonous, etc.

So, I am trying to look at some other method to build the front electrode - silkscreening with some electrically conductive adhesive seems like the best way, so far - I just have to find that adhesive (and hope it doesn't have too high of a resistance).

My other idea is to reduce the cost for the copper oxide side of things - copper sheeting is pretty expensive, so I have also thought that maybe a high-copper bearing anti-fouling paint, applied to an alluminum base plate might work. Anti-fouling paint is used on boats and ships to prevent corrosion and barnacles from collecting - it tends to be fairly expensive (around $80.00 a gallon), but that gallon covers more area than $80.00 worth of copper sheeting, so if it worked it would be a great thing. My ultimate goal is to be able to homebrew a solar panel cheaper than a silicon based one (even if in area it has to be much bigger to supply the same amount of electricity). So far, based on everything I have seen, silicon is still cheaper. It would be cheaper still if it were easier to get seconds from manufacturers...

Re:This MAKE article is really disappointing... (1)

adam.dorsey (957024) | more than 8 years ago | (#15500252)

I hit google with clear conducting as search terms and got something on clear conducting laminating films. Maybe that would elp, unless "conductive" in this sense doesn't mean electrically...

Not much of a solution. (1)

Pejorian (258646) | more than 8 years ago | (#15498004)

This Band-Aid Battery strikes me as a really temporary, stop-gap solution.
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