1.02.2016

Clay-air open source battery fuel cell technology

The prior art for this open source patent are aluminum-air and silicon-air and zinc-air battery technologies.  These battery technologies make use of the electrical potential energy in a reduced metal.  Commonly a metal hydroxide (potassium hydroxide) solution is used as an electrolyte and the cathode is the container for the battery.  The anode is the reduced metal which gets oxidized by the electrolyte and produces a current.  There are some downsides to these technologies as it can be difficult to obtain pure aluminum from from anywhere on earth as aluminum can only profitably be made from aluminum oxide ore.  As far as downsides for the silicon battery, the silicon also would have to be extracted and silicon air battery with non-aqueous electrolyte is under patent.

The subject of the current invention is a clay-air (or dirt-air) fuel cell battery.  Instead of being concerned with using a pure or semi-pure anode material or a man made designed composition, the clay-air system uses any natural clay as its source for reducible metals.  Clay is primarily alumino-silicates so the battery anode will be a natural mixture of aluminum, silicon, and possibly calcium, magnesium, iron, etc.  Since this mixture is fully based on natural composition, this cannot be covered by the spirit of the patent of the silicon-air battery and any other element-air batteries/cells because those patents imply man made compositions or mixtures.  This will be a very low cost solution and viable for the poorest places because clay can be extracted from practically any dirt in the world using a simple water sedimentation technique.  Also the oxidized anode material does not need to be recycled to be economically viable because getting more clay is very cheap and limitless. This invention also covers dirt-air anode, or any natural rock, sediment, or mineral used for the anode material. So anyone can use this technology royalty-free.  The electrolyte can be anything, from inert materials or liquids, to liquid oxygen, to metal hydroxide solutions, ect.

One way to make this is to take dirt that has a naturally high clay content and place it in a bucket.  Next fill the bucket with water and stir.  Wait ~1 minute as the largest sediment settles then decant the liquid into another bucket and discard the sediment from the first bucket.  Let this new bucket settle for ~1 day then decant the water off the top and discard the water.  More water can be added here as a purification step and let settle again 1 day and decant water from the top.  Dry the remaining clay water so a clay powder is obtained.  Next take a crucible and place a mixture of roughly 2 parts by weight charcoal (activated charcoal preferred or any organic material with carbon content) and 1 part clay powder.  Seal the crucible lid to create a reducing atmosphere.  Cook the crucible until the clay is reduced to its metallic form, which may be roughly 3 hours at a furnace temperature of roughly 1600 decrees Celsius.  Next pour the molten metal into molds to produce anodes.  Fractal type molds would probably be best to get maximum surface area.

For assembling the battery a case must be designed to hold the battery.  My thought would be to use copper but there are many other options.  Then the case would be filled with some electrolyte solution and the anode placed into the solution with part of the anode out of the solution so it can be electrically connected.  Now there will be a voltage between the anode and case (cathode) and you are done!  The voltage of this cell will be ~1-2 volts and can be connected to other cells in series to produce 12v or any voltage battery desired.

1 comment:

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