Tips & Tricks Blog
Notes, ideas and general comments on anything related to high-tech.

October 4, 2018

How Much Lead Can You Get From a Car Battery

Filed under: General

Long story short, I needed to source about 20lb of lead cheaply and decided to take apart an old car-sized marine battery a friend gave me.

If you ever do that (and my advice don’t) just get the contact points and the big chunks that bridge the plates. You can see the latter on the picture inside the battery case.

Getting the lead mesh from the plates is not worth the efforts. There is more junk there than lead.

Baking soda and/or pool’s PH+ chemicals can be used to neutralize it. Borax can be used too. It converts it into boric acid and anhydrous sodium sulfate (neither of which is a nasty stuff, apparently). The process is simple. First, the water is added to dilute the acid (it’s not pure, so 50/50 mix is good enough). Then the neutralizing agent is added slowly (if doing it start with one spoon to see how it reacts). The baking soda and HTH PH+ bubble when added (borax doesn’t). As soon as it stops bubbling when the baking soda or HTH PH+ is added it should be good to dispose of.

It took quite a bit of the stuff to neutralize all the acid in the bucket and its remains in the battery case. I have scavenged and dumped in a pound or two all the above chemicals till it finally stopped bubbling.

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The final result: 10lb


And after smelting there were only about 6lb left.

The conclusion: a lot of time, efforts and baking soda wasted (borax and PH+ did not count, didn’t need them anyway).

Water Purity Experiment

Filed under: Water

Just for the fun of it I decided to see how different is the residue after evaporating the water coming directly from the well, vs passed through the softener, vs passed through the reverse osmosis filter (iSpring under-the-sink system).

I have filled in 3 glasses, covered them with a napkin and left to evaporate slowly in a secluded corner in the basement.

To my surprise it took a while (about 2-3 months, probably due to high humidity in the basement in the summer).

Here are the results (left-to-right: well, softener, filter). The last row is under microscope (4x magnification):
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20181003_231638 20181003_231642 20181003_231645
20181003_232125 20181003_23214420181003_232213
20181003_234106 20181003_234326 20181003_234424

The filter has (quote) “…¬†Alkaline mineralization filter cartridge with Mineral Stone, Calcite, and Corosex …”. The content inside is of brown/yellow color, so I guess that’s where the brown crystals come from.

May 5, 2009

Artificial Aging of Wine Using Electric Field

Filed under: Wine — Tags: , , , ,

I have just read an interesting NewScientist article. It mentioned that they have had an unprecedented success with artificial aging of wine. To be precise, they mentioned taking a cheap 3-month old cabernet sauvignon and making it taste and smell like a really good wine according to a blind test of a group of wine experts. The chemical analysis also showed that the treatment sped up production of chemical compounds usually found in aged wine.
The process involved placing the wine for 3 min. into 600V/cm. electric field.
That should not be that hard to try at home unless some important details were missing from the article.
Maybe I should take an old TV and replace the picture tube with appropriately sized wine container between two plates under high voltage…
Note that they said that overexposure will ruin the wine…

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