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Septic Battery

Like a potato clock
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Two dissimilar metal rods in a septic tank turning turning it into a battery. It gets refreshed every day. Household chemicals like liquid draino only make it stronger. Could be used for an emergency back-up power system as a way of getting out of the house safely.
sartep, Aug 14 2003

Urine http://health.disco...clopedias/1524.html
Yeah, there's electrolytes. [sartep, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

[link]






       This is, I guess, a real shitty idea...But is sewage an electrolyte?
DrCurry, Aug 14 2003
  

       // evil door //   

       Which leads directly into the septic tank.
DeathNinja, Aug 14 2003
  

       Assuming a high fibre diet, how much would the porta-potti in an RV (caravan) generate?
rbl, Aug 14 2003
  

       It's the "like a potato clock" part that worries me. [sartep], what kind of potatoes have you been eating?
k_sra, Aug 20 2003
  

       //Is sewage an electrolyte?[ DrCurry, Aug 14 2003]// //This is a good idea if you can show what [DC] has asked. [CTrebor]//   

       [CTrebor] Biogalvanic electric batteries work. For an elementary school science fair project in 1962, I built a battery comprised of layers of cow feces sandwiched between alternating copper and galvanized iron plates. A small 4"W by 8"L by 4"H wafer created enough electricity to power a flashlight bulb. The project won the school fair, but was eliminated in the County regionals because it wasn't sufficiently original.
jurist, Aug 20 2003
  

       Since when do elementary school students ever come up with original science?
DeathNinja, Aug 20 2003
  

       I'd like a potato wrist-watch
po, Aug 20 2003
  

       Potato cellphone.   

       Quite good. +
galukalock, Aug 20 2003
  

       Your fecal battery was eliminated even before you built it, [jurist].
bungston, Aug 20 2003
  

       Rods in a septic tank turning turning
And my digestive tract churning churning
Keep the electric lights burning burning
More better to see [sartep] gurning gurning
bungston, Aug 20 2003
  

       // That depends upon how thick they are, I'd imagine.//   

       True, but the amount of metal required to get a certain amount of energy out of the battery would be excessive for the amount of energy produced.   

       A normal zinc-carbon battery is constructed so that the acid will (usually) run out before the zinc has been eaten through, but the real limitting factor is the zinc, not the acid. Battery makers could easily and cheaply include more acid, but doing so would increase the leakage rate.
supercat, Aug 20 2003
  

       //Your fecal battery was eliminated even before you built it, [jurist].//   

       You're right, of course, [bungston]. The design of the science fair project I described was based on Volta's Pile (circa 1800), though with several design modifications that would seem substantially more significant if you were 10 years old and the ARPAnet had yet to be invented.
jurist, Aug 21 2003
  

       Eliminated - winkwink-nudgenudge
thumbwax, Aug 21 2003
  

       So Volta had piles?
(I can *not* believe I said that.)
angel, Aug 21 2003
  

       Just one pile. I guess Volta didnt have any cows handy.
bungston, Aug 21 2003
  

       Good idea, sartep. jurist: please don't use "feces" and "sandwich" in the same sentence.
mrthingy, Aug 21 2003
  

       The metal rods could have scrapers that keep the unwanted material behind when you pull them up. That way you won't have to replace them as often.
sartep, Aug 24 2003
  

       Wow, that's deep. I like it. :)
sartep, Aug 24 2003
  

       [marked–for–excretion]   

       Sorry...   

       seriously though, would there be a problem with metal contamination of the waste?
BunsenHoneydew, Aug 24 2003
  

       The quantities of zinc and copper in leaching into the waste would be minimal. Such metals are not strangers to many soils.
sartep, Aug 25 2003
  

       Churn and bun.   

       When I was a kid, I tried all kinds of things to power my 2 potato clock. Surprisingly, I discovered that 2 house plants worked. So I figured why someone couldn't just put 2 very large copper and zinc rods into the middle of a corn field.   

       I suppose that a few rods in the septic tank couldnt be too far fetched.
Jscotty, Dec 06 2005
  
      
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