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Thermit battery

  1. Mar 23, 2005 #1
    I was wondering if it would be possible to create electrical energy directly instead of heat and light in this exothermic reaction. Al + Fe2O3 = Fe + Al2O3 (Sorry "=" sign should be an arrow) What sort of electrolyte should be used?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 23, 2005 #2
    Oops, that's 2Al + Fe2O3 > 2Fe + Al2O3
  4. Mar 23, 2005 #3
    Well Fe2O3 is not water soluble, so you would need something to solvate Fe3+ ions. I think H2SO4 would work. Stick an aluminum anode in aqueous solution of Fe2O3. For the cathode, you wouldn't necessarily need to use iron.
  5. Mar 24, 2005 #4
    Thanks, I'll try this but by little book of solubilities says that Fe2O3 is only soluble in HCl and that (unfortunately) dissolves Al, too.
  6. Mar 24, 2005 #5
    I want to stick to commonly found materials and keep it as non-toxic as possible. Aluminum is a commonly found material, that takes a lot of electricity to make. I'm looking for a way of getting that electricity back.
  7. Mar 24, 2005 #6
    It dissolves alumnium salts or does it react with alumimun metal? If the former, then it shouldn't be a problem. I forgot where alumimum was on the activity series for aqueous solutions but I believe it was below hydrogen so it shouldn't be a problem.

    What were you planning on using for your alumnium block? Foil ?
  8. Mar 28, 2005 #7
    Foil to test (greater surface area for reaction) then I want to try used pop and beer cans before moving up to aluminum campers and trailers.
  9. Apr 2, 2005 #8
    Actually now that I think about you might run into a problem because the sulfic acid will react with oxide to form water.
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