Chemistry of electricuty – let’s explore battery

Enough of talking about resource. Let’s get started with our first experiment. We shall see how a battery work and also salvage some raw material for our next experiment.
For this you need two exhausted zinc battery. Do not try this with alkaline cells or rechargeable ones – they contain some pretty corrosive chemical that we are not yet equipped to handle. You will require atleast two batteries to get material for our next experiments. That should not be a difficult task I suppose. Big UM3 size batteries are good, but AAA cells will also do.
If you have paper covered battery then your work is simple. But most batteries now have a metal leakproof jacket – it makes the task a bit difficult. Carefully with help of a plier remove the outer jacket. Inside you will find a grey colored tube – which should be heavily perforated by now by the corrosive chemical reaction that takes place inside the battery.
Carefully open the zinc casing from top. Inside you will find a dirty mixture of black powder and some paste. THese are manganese dioxide and ammonium chloride mixture. There will be some glue, and graphite powder. At the center there is a black rod – made of gas carbon. We need these rods in intact condition – take care not to break them.
Carefully disassemble the different parts on a old newspaper.scrape resedue out of zinc casing. Now pour the black mixture of MnO2 & NH4CL in a wide mouthed bottle. Pour about 70ml of water and mix it well to dissolve all soluble chemicals. If required pour a bit more. Decant and
then filter using funnel and filter paper. Old news paper makes excellent filter paper. The black resedue is primarily manganese di-oxide and solution has primarily ammonium chloride. Dry the solution in a shallow dish. You will get white powder of ammonium chloride. Some Zinc chloride and other impurities will also be present. Wash the zinc casing in tapwater.
Once you are done, save the four parts – Zinc, Manganese di-oxide, gas carbon rod and ammonium chloride in separate container. We shall use them in our later experiments.
Wash the zinc casing keep it aside in a wide mouth bottle.

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