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Thread: Copper Mag Cell

  1. #1

    Copper Mag Cell

    These cells have been covered quite a bit already but I wanted to share some experience I have had with them. I have made many different versions from copper end caps to copper pipe buried in Alum with mag,, my latest seems to be the way to go so here it is.

    I started with 1 inch PVC end caps for the base. This gives a great non conducting base to attach the magnesium too without need for a separator. I used 1 inch type M copper pipe and cut it to 3 1/2cm. The magnesium is pure, not electrodes which I cut to 4 1/2 cm.

    On most of my previous attempts I uses electrodes which have a steel core. When I have taken them apart I did see corrosion so I do not recommend them, use pure magnesium and copper only.

    Before beginning any construction I drilled a tap hole in the top for mounting a eye connector and attached that. Next I hot glued the core to the base and it is ready for filling.

    Here is a shot of the parts before any treatment of the copper.


    On previous builds I had completely submerged the core and cut grooves into it to tightly wrap the electrode around it. Over time that method did fail and caused loose connections, that is why I used screws this time and most importantly I intentionally let the top protrude so that the screw will not be in the electrolyte. You do not want a third metal in the electrolyte such as a screw or wire, this was one problem with earlier builds I have made.

    Now for treating the copper. I learned a great deal this time about how to get the best semi conductor layer. I used to over do it with the heat. I would do three heats and dips into the Borax each time bringing the copper to cherry red. This is not the best way! You will notice in the picture below the vast color difference between an early build, the small one, and the new cell.

    For the first burn I did bring it to cherry red. I did this to burn off all oils or debris that were on the pipe. Let it cool for a bout two min and dip it in the borax.

    For the second and third burns pay attention to the metal while you are heating it. It will get to a point where you see all kinds of swirling colors in it, this is almost where you want it. Continue for a very short time after this until it looks uniformly grey not red or glowing, just grey. This is where you want it to be, stop heating it and set it aside. Now let it cool long enough to form a good layer on it but still a bit hot when you dip it. You may have to play around with the timing but it is important not to dip it too soon, the cooling process is just as important as the heating.

    Here is a picture of the finished cell along side of an earlier build. The cell is putting out 1.5 volts and two of them in series drives an LED with no problem. I have not done much testing on them but I can tell this is the best model I have made so far. I already know what to expect from them since I have made so many other versions.

    These were really easy to construct and I think I have overcome some design flaws of my earlier attempts.


    Last edited by BobZilla; 09-02-2013 at 05:59 AM.

  2. #2
    Bob, nice method u have i do follow your suggestion on making semiconductor copper (0,4mm copper sheet).. treated 4x dip on borax water IMAG0200.jpg .. i arrange the cell like this IMAG0019.jpg it give 1,8v and +-500ma output,i pour alum water and a pinch cream of tartar on the paper towel on daily basis, it is solid rock day before i opened, it run my 40 LED for a week.. i decide to opened yesterday to see is there any corrosion, then i found IMAG0229.jpg IMAG0231.jpg and i found bluish corrosion on the copper IMAG0233.jpg ... is it normal? i see the magnesium is wash away.. did you found the same problem? thanks for your advice.. been waiting for someone to give a clue since last month .. TIA


  3. #3
    Nice work, please look at the battery conversion thread to see what I posted about this technology. Thank you for the update.
    I listen to Alex Jones and I fight against the New World Order. Are you a flouride head? Великий Белый Волшебник

  4. #4
    Hi Alfin,
    I have seen the magnesium deteriorate in a similar way with some of the cells I have made. I think there are two reasons it could have happened. The first is that the copper is not forming a good enough layer. That layer is what insulates against just a normal galvanic action. Without it you are burning up the magnesium as fuel. The patterns in your copper indicate to me that the layer was not thick enough or perhaps just not fully distributed across the surface.

    It is hard to tell just from a picture but if you look at the color on your copper, it looks much the same as my old cell I had in that picture. Compare that to the deep red color on the new cell. That is what we must have for it to work properly. Also think of a way to make your connections that does not allow any 3rd metal to touch the electrolyte. That was a big problem with my early attempts. Also perhaps the cream of tartar is doing something to it. I know it can inhibit the alum from growing out of control so that is probably why you are using it, just a thought as I'm not sure if it matters. You can also add sodium carbonate to stop the growth.

    The new cells I featured in this post are not old enough to take apart and look for flaws yet but so far they look just as good as the day I made them around the edge of the magnesium. I will follow up after they have been used for awhile.

    What do you use to heat your copper? I use MAPP gas (yellow bottle). It gets very hot very fast so you have to be careful not to overdue it but works well. I think you are on the right track with your cell but make sure you treat that copper properly. One of these cells will work whether it is done right or not because of galvanic action so just because it produces energy does not mean it is done correctly.

    If you have more material I think you should build some more cells, maybe smaller versions until you are happy with it. You can always put them in series or parallel to form larger. That is the idea with my design, I can make as many as I need and then connect them up according to what I want to do with them. I have tried much larger cells and honestly I think the smaller ones work better.

    Keep it up man, good work!

  5. #5
    Hello, I plan to make a newer version of my design. The newer version will to the best of my ability to be a D sized 1.5 volt battery using the same technics and chemical mix. I will look for copper caps that are as near the size of D cells as possible. The same with some plastic pipe that fits inside the caps. I will use caps at both ends and mark the negative and positive ends for identification. The caps will have cut pieces of paper towel with water to be placed inside the caps. The paper isolates the caps from shorting and allows electron flow. The chemical mix I use is on the Battery Conversion thread. I will use magnesium rods that are 15mm in diameter and cut to length for sizing into the design.
    I listen to Alex Jones and I fight against the New World Order. Are you a flouride head? Великий Белый Волшебник

  6. #6
    Bobzilla, i think i need to perfect my treated copper..i used this gaslas220.jpg with content_41_at_2104.jpg it is written BUTANE GAS not PROPANE.. i found it is difficult to uniform the color surface to cherry red,your copper cap seems have uniform color ....... it is also happen on my first attempt on treated copper with different size (1mm) IMAG0013.jpg .. do you now to test with DVM if the copper already one way? TIA.
    Ps: sorry for the english


  7. #7
    Mr. Bedini also used a hot plate in a video as his heat source. For me it was just easier to use gas but you may want to try that if you have one available. Uniformity is important, at least I believe so.

    Just be aware that super hot "cherry red" is not what you want, that is too much. Look again at my description of how I do it. I will say again that in my early attempts at this I brought it to cherry red each time which was a mistake. In thinking back I believe in doing that each time It was counter productive and actually burning off the previous layer each time.

    Bring the copper to uniformly grey, not glowing,, then let it cool somewhat slowly. Do not dip it immediately. For the size plate you are working on I would estimate you should let it cool for at least two minutes before dipping but of course ambient temperature is going to be a factor. Generally speaking when you dip it you want to hear a slight quenching but not much.

    Please keep in mind I am an experimenter just like yourself and am no authority on this, but I have made many cells now so I have some experience.

    I use MAPP gas:

    This burns hotter than even propane. It burns a bit too hot really but that allows you so move the flame all around the copper and get it to a uniform heat without getting spotty. You just want to be careful that you do not overheat the copper with it.

    I do not test it BTW, I do not want to risk scratching it in anyway. When you have a good layer formed you will know just by looking at it. Your English is fine my friend ;-)

    Note to Why_Me,

    Sounds interesting. You should make a thread with some pictures and describe your process. I can tell you that I experimented with closed end pipes and I think the alum cells perform better when they have free access to air. I suspect it has something to do with the crystals forming in a particular direction. It took me awhile to realize it but if you look at how Mr. Bedini does it he has a massive surface area exposed to air so I follow his example.

  8. #8
    2 days ago i make a new cell,i watch JB on how make alum mg batt over and over, and try to follow your step closely,make a small n simple cell, the cell like this IMAG0239.jpg i do isolate the cell from possible contamination of the connector metal like this IMAG0244.jpg this morning i try to observe the cell and i found this IMAG0245.jpg and the mg like this IMAG0248.jpg IMAG0251.jpg .. i found the bluish color in the alum (search on the internet, it called copper oxide? ) and it seem the Mg still deteriorate .. ill try to make a new copper treated this afternoon and ill post it here... hope u can give any advise and clue ... TIA

  9. #9
    Hard to say but it still looks to me like either your not forming the layer or their is a another element contaminating. Your design is very different from mine. Are you using an insulator between the metals? You may want to put something between them. I do not but that is because I am not stacking them together. Try putting a folded coffee filter between.

    Also is your water pure distilled water? Since you do not need much I would suggest you try re-distilling some by boiling and catch the steam, let it condensate and run off to a container.

  10. #10
    Hi guys,
    So I have been watching Branches latest work on the cells and it got me itching to try out some different designs I had thought about but not tried yet. Branch this is all YOUR fault!! ;-)

    I built two new designs to share with everyone. The idea here was to go bigger. The first cell I made in a plastic coffee can. I used 10ft of solid copper 6AWG grounding wire and I pure maggnesium rod that is 1 and 3 eighths by 4 and 3 eighths inches. I fired and dipped the copper 4 times.

    Here is a picture of the materials before any treatment:

    And after treating the copper:

    And how I put it together:

    I really like this design because the copper wire was fairly easy to heat and to bend but also the plastic can acts as an insulator for the cell so setting it on a metal table or having two of them touch each other is no issue.

    The second design is a bowl design. I used a copper toilet float ball and the same size magnesium rod but cut it in half to make two cells from one rod. The copper was fired and dipped 4 times on these as well. These floats seem to condition very well. They are a bit thin but will hold up ok.

    Here is a side by side of the the treated halves and the untreated halves. The floats are made of two halves which will blow apart when you heat it (carefully).

    Notice the deep red, this is what you want.


    Here are the materials for the two cells laid out next to a ruler. I only constructed two of these and still have the other two parts to make two more.


    Finally here is a shot of all these cells completed.

    Well the forum won't let me post the last picture. I will follow up on another post later with the final picture. I am in the process of forming these cells and will show some more data once they get broken in.
    Last edited by BobZilla; 05-20-2014 at 08:30 PM.


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