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Building a good working capacity NI Fe Battery.

Discussion in 'Renewable Energy' started by tcmtech, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. 4pyros

    4pyros Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Wow I missed that.
     
  2. ERGOYE

    ERGOYE Member

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    Ok sorry i thought.....
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
  3. jpanhalt

    jpanhalt Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    What does colloidal silver have to do with the NiFe battery that is the subject of this long-dead thread?

    Why are you interested in it? What's so "wonderful" about that circuit?
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. dave miyares

    Dave New Member

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  5. large_ghostman

    large_ghostman Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Actually this is back in fashion, I see this topic popping up alot in science journals lately. Interest in them is coming back.......To answer a couple of the sticking points when this thread was made, Nickel is expensive but there is a way around this, and it is EASY to plate. The nonsense about strength and internal cracking is pretty funny, i think at the time someone had seen a reference to the main issue with Nickel (well two issues), they then decided to twist this into mumbo jumbo.

    Nickel Chloride would be my goto solution for this, obviously your going to get chlorine produced! so precautions are needed, the big issue with Nickel is getting the stuff into solution!! I cheat mainly, i heat up sodium hydroxide SOLID until it melts and then put nickel chips in. This once cool can be reacted with Hydrochloric acid to give you Nickel chloride. BUT DO NOT DO THIS, its really dangerous to do outside a fume hood and with alot of chemistry knowledge and protection in place.

    Go the slower route, you have a choice. Cocn Nitric acid heated, will give you Nickel Nitrate after a while, but it will also release alot of NO2/NOx gas. Take care with that, it isnt called the red devil for no reason, it does kill and chemists are very careful with it.

    Hydrochloric acid conc, and conc hydrogen peroxide, I would add the Nickel to the Hydrochloric acid then some Hydrogen peroxide (32%) drop wise, let the solution stop fizzing and heating after each addition. As soon as you start to see emerald green solution stop adding it and leave for a few days. it does give off chlorine so so it outside or take precautions. Chlorine is bad in small amounts, its lethal and extremely dangerous in small clouds!

    To plate it I forget the voltage, but my memory says under 3V, you can look it up in tables, you want a long slow low voltage thin layer plate. Just leave it plating for 4-5 days at a low current and voltage, you get a good solid coat.

    Where to get Nickel? Old coins! Some dutch coins were all pure Nickel, some Canadian ones are also, dont fall for the rubbish about iron in the coins, or it wouldnt be magnetic, Nickel is slightly magnetic, so look the coin up first.

    But the guy who said it was a hard metal to plate was talking like an idiot, in industry its harder because its harder to dissolve! You can put Nickel under a pile of sodium hydroxide prills, let it all go wet then dry (takes days and days), then react with hydrochloric acid, SLOWLY!

    But these cells are back in fashion!
     
  6. large_ghostman

    large_ghostman Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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  7. large_ghostman

    large_ghostman Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I know this is a dead thread, but it has got me thinking. The subject has popped up all over the place recently.

    Thinking about my reply earlier, i admit i missed the obvious solution! If your plating nickel onto a electrode, then the easiest method (by far) is simply buy some nickel chloride! Its not that expensive and has the big advantage of being ready to go.

    I still havnt looked up the chemical potentials, so i dont know the best voltage to plate at. But unlike many forms of plating I am pretty sure Nickel, is one of those low Volts and Current work best types. I have ~1.4V in my head for some reason, it could be this is just the Voltage from the potentials though. But I am 100% positive its under 5V.

    I have a book somewhere that lists this kind of thing, while higher current plates faster you need to keep some things in mind. I think one reason you do it nice and slow is simply gas control, you dont want alot of chlorine coming off. Its pretty simple to set up a sealed unit for plating, then feed the chlorine into a wash bottle. This you add Sodium thiosulphate to.

    Yes you could bubble into very cold water and make bleach (kind of), but your better off using thiosulphate and reducing it to Elemental sulphur. Nice and safe and you dont get caught in a mist of hell, sounds dramatic but not so long ago I had a chlorine reaction runaway a bit. I have a fume hood and a gas mask always to hand, but i still got a decent nose full of it. Its awful!! No wonder it was once used as a war gas, it takes a reasonable amount to kill quickly, but small amounts are extremely unpleasant.

    Sorry to bang on about it, but its seriously nasty stuff.

    I am also wondering about the electrolyte, Both sodium Hydroxide and Potassium hydroxide can attack Nickel. The potassium salt is unusual in not being as aggressive as the sodium one. But apart from the gas issue, chemically I cant see why you couldnt use something like a chloride, maybe table salt? I think the trade off here is how much effort you want to put into the battery, on small scale tests it would be easy to try out different electrolytes. Hydroxide is/was used simply because it gives off hydrogen, this in many ways is alot more preferable than Chlorine or NOx.

    But that dosnt mean its the best electrolyte, it just means it was considered the best compromise. So maybe with some work, the issues associated with other electrolytes could be dealt with. I am aware of Magnesium and other metal batteries being looked into, considering the horrendous damage done in lithium mining, and then environmental damage due to disposal of it, I can see alot of applications for a half decent battery.

    In a home set up this kind of battery could come into its own, although I am busy at the moment, this is something i might have a play with in the lab. No quick answers however as I got alot of other things to do. No one tells you, as you get older time gets taken away from you. Anyone else still got an interest in this kind of cell?

    His original patent is interesting, Cobalt while toxic is an interesting metal.

    https://patents.google.com/patent/US678722A/en

    https://patents.google.com/patent/US1083356A/en

    https://patents.google.com/patent/US1016874A/en

    So much information we can obtain today, if man's intentions had grown as noble as his greed has grown in rate, think how many problems could be solved with the information at our finger tips.

    Time has prevented me from giving these papers much study, but i hope to read them in the near future. Yeah sounds like a dead end i know, but sometimes looking back gives you the way forward.

    I will grab these papers when i next have access to the uni journal system, so just storing the links here. I cant grab the full articles from here, but i will forget them if I dont post!!

    this first one has some interesting info on the chemistry of the iron cell.
    http://jes.ecsdl.org/content/111/5/493.short

    This one, while its talks of carbon nano particles, i dont think its nano in the modern sense. A quick glance through it makes me think its worth a read. it makes some interesting claims!!
    Considering its published in nature, i will read it rather than dismiss the claims.
    https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms1921
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
  8. dave miyares

    Dave New Member

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  9. Pommie

    Pommie Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    To get nickel into solution, can't you do a displacement reaction with good old copper sulphate? Or, maybe copper chloride!

    Mike.
     
  10. large_ghostman

    large_ghostman Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Hi Mike, you cant get the metal into solution that way. You can get Nickel metal from a solution by displacement, and you could get Nickel Chloride to displace with copper sulphate. But from what i gather from the thread, the debate was how best to plate nickel onto iron.

    Nickel in its metal form is one tough metal, its fairly resistant to most chemicals to a greater degree. It will react eventually with sodium chloride, but takes WEEKS and WEEKS to even start. The favored method is sodium hydroxide prills, let these react with moisture in the air and go liquid, they will eventually evaporate leaving Nickel Hydroxide. You can heat sodium Hydroxide until it melts, this is fast but has some serious draw backs, for a start molten Hydroxide dissolves glass extremely fast, it will eat through most metals and beside you dont want contaminated material.

    If you went this route I would use a decent hard fired ceramic mug, or graphite crucible. So really the main options are the strong mineral acids and a little heat and hydrogen peroxide. So why bother for plating? Unless you got the metal I would go the Nickel Chloride route, OR if i had nickel turnings (which I do), i would put these in a carbon or graphite crucible and use that as the cathode, but it isnt a great way to do it.

    I did think of copper sulphate, the problem being Nickel is pretty resistant to Sulphuric acid, so its likely to resist copper sulphate, copper chloride could work, but it isnt straight forward, it would need copper I chloride and some heat, which then gives you copper II chloride and slows right down to a crawl. Its a transition metal, so true to form it wont do what you want when you want :D.

    Its a while since I plated with Nickel, I used it alot on crucibles to give them a tough shiny coating. I might try copper chloride with some heat and hydrogen peroxide (32%), but i dont expect much.


    EDIT

    I wrote the above and posted, then it occurred me :oops:, copper would displace from the sulphate and plate the nickel, it wouldnt displace the other way at all. So skip all the nonsense about heat and copper sulphate and chloride etc etc.

    Copper is at fault here, its the oddball transition metal. But then so is Cobalt and Nickel!
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
  11. large_ghostman

    large_ghostman Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I got this mad itch that wants to use very thin nickel foil........Oxide on top and rolled tightly. The modern papers for this bang on about nano carbon, but you got to wonder how ultra fine ball milled oxide would do in Nickel thin foil. Maybe the self discharge could be sorted by discharging it on purpose, depends if the discharge is chemical from reaction reversion, or electrical. If chemical then you need to discharge above the electro potential rate..... Not sure what that would be.

    Actually scrub that, it wouldnt work how i hoped it would. But the key must be in keeping it reacting one way at a time.
     
  12. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Maybe nobody else is willing to say it, but you have my curiosity on what you are theorizing on this subject now! ;)
     
  13. large_ghostman

    large_ghostman Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Well in my first post i have uploaded a nuts and volts on how to build one at home, the original patents have a chemical disadvantage. The reason you can use them or charge them either way, is the reaction is reversible. Dont quote me on this as it transition metal chemistry, transition metals have some strange properties. If you used Nickel as in a thin plate, the surface area isnt big enough. Also the best original cell used Nickel and Nickel Oxide, that all makes sense.

    But in the reaction things swing both ways, i suspect if you could get extremely pure oxides (you cant to that kind of degree cheaply), I think you would get a AC battery that swings back and forth until the electrolyte runs out.
    But i think this is why they dont hold a charge very well, i think impurities let it down and the reaction favors one side slightly. I did some tests and you can use Iron III Oxide, which is cheap. Its also got more grunt so to speak. Now if you also used Nickel oxide on one side the Nickel electrode, you would get greater output, this is why i think the nano carbon worked so well.

    Now skip forward a bit, one the commercial things i have been working on a while is magnetic 'bio char', actually its driftwood (has to be drift wood) made into charcoal at 760C, this is then coated with Iron 3 Oxide and a few other things, what you get is activated carbon thats magnetic.
    I got a journal article somewhere I will post up. Its used to absorb chemicals causing water pollution, removing it after is easy, you simply take it out with a magnet, the journal is the Journal of Chemical Education. I will hunt it out tomorrow.

    I played with this stuff a great deal, I found some interesting stuff with it. For a start its conductive. So not sure what I got in mind its sort of brewing. But we know several facts for sure.

    We can increase the capacity no problem, we have materials etc Edison didnt.
    He used Nickel tubes with Nickel Oxide inside, this isnt efficient. BUT i dont think he filed a couple of patents, if you read the ones he filed he is heading in a multi plate direction. Also we could use Lithium Hydroxide, but you shorten the plate life by 5 years or so.

    Iron III Oxide works for sure

    The rest is just a nag at the moment, if you get rid of the AC swing you shorten the life, but you get little self discharge. So why not do both? If we get a single cell to produce over 1.3V then your laughing, you could use a diode and just switch it over each charge cycle.

    But honestly this is really just vague thinking at the moment, i know something is looking me in the face, i havnt worked out what! But 100% no doubt you could get these working well, what bugs me is the chemistry. From a chemical perspective these cells should kick the **** out of lithium cells we use today. All the equations point in Nickels favor, but my nag thinks Cobalt Oxide and Nickel plate would be the kidy to try out.

    I got some Nickel turnings in a vac chamber with sodium hydroxide. I am going to make some more chloride, plate up some Tungsten with Nickel, or use a foil and plate that.

    Dunno TC you caught me early on this. Its at the gibberish idea stage, needs some thinking on but i dont think people should dismiss this technology. I think he was years before his time, and now thats holding it back. We think we have investigated it all as far as these cells go, but I think thats wrong i think we keep overlooking the obvious.
     
  14. large_ghostman

    large_ghostman Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    The above is a mess, you asked me a question about my theory. Unfortunately my work pattern means my thinking at the start is mostly incubator thoughts. Generally incoherent and gut lead, but i thought i should reply. I get two hours a day down time for reading to relax, i will spend that on reading the Edison patents etc.

    Maybe then I can explain a half decent theory for you. I cant do much for a few days, i have some Cobalt Carbonate that i am turning into Chloride. Working with both Nickel and Cobalt pose risks to health. Not major, except for Cobalt, i know this messes up DNA because i have used its salts to throw up random mutations in plant DNA.
     
  15. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    This threads almost 9 years old and sat nearly dead for a good part of it so I am pretty sure there is no need to hurry on your part. :p

    If you get even a semi-coherent reply in before 2020 you'll be doing more than good. :D
     
  16. large_ghostman

    large_ghostman Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    First some clarity!
    Having rushed my reply i neglected some vital information! I appologize for this and will correct it now.

    Nickel II salts will dissolve/react with Potassium Hydroxide, Sodium Hydroxide no. Also the Elemental metal will not react with Hydroxide, indeed you use Nickel crucibles to melt Hydroxides at high temperature, without reading back i think i gave the main ways to dissolve the metal, in short one of the easiest ways is Concentrated Ferric chloride that has been acidified with HCl, or hot sulphuric acid or Nitric acid Etc Etc. Elemental Nickel does not react easily, this makes it an ideal material for a battery. The cost is higher than say lithium, however a well made battery will last decades and decades.

    It also means you can use extremely thin layers of plate, with this in mind I am currently designing and constructing a battery similar to the Edison cell, using modern knowledge and technology i can see several uses for this.
    They are ideal for electric cars, they are also ideal to store excess power from wind or solar energy. And my personal favorite.................. I cant talk about yet, those with full access to my company site will see a section dedicated to this, the idea and technology behind is Blue Sky new. I have applied for a government grant to explore the feasibility of what i have in mind. the good news however is this dosnt stop me posting up home made cells. All it stops me doing is talking about a specific application, The intended use i have in mind would take a building from Carbon Neutral to Carbon negative.

    I am aware there is a ban on Global warming discussion, in some ways this is going to be hard to avoid in this thread. in all honesty the latest evidence is pretty clear, while i except there has always been large natural blips, it is time we except climate change as an issue. Besides the Ozone and all the other knicker twisting topics people get into, excepting climate change actually advances science in many areas. So my personal perspective would be, even if you could scientifically convince me climate change does not exist, i think it should be embraced as an opportunity to discover new technologies.

    While I do indeed make soap for a living, my partner and i also own an alternative energy research company. I would actually argue the soap business allows me to fund the other business, this may well be about to change. I have had confirmation i am eligible to apply for a grant, the grant is intended for unique and unexplored technologies of the future. Anyway part of what this research covers includes these kinds of batteries, modern chemical techniques may well mean we can solve most if not all the current problem associated with these cells.

    i will post here a slightly cut down version of the research as it progresses, however the full text will be on the company website with full scientific references, which is my way of saying...........Dont ask me here to provide references, if your that bothered go join the other site and read the references! However unless it is an open access paper i will only publish the abstract, i have been asked to remove some papers i posted else where. Slightly grey area as members of DGCS are allowed to read the full text as its for educational purposes.
     
  17. large_ghostman

    large_ghostman Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I have 5ltr unopened container of ferric chloride from way back, it moved here with us! Now in theory it should be as good as the day i got it, i opened it and added a little more HCl, it warmed slightly which is good. Its 41 baume i think.... So i also added 30ml of water to the 120ml of Ferric Chloride and around 4ml Hydrochloric acid, to this i added ~400mg of Ammonium Chloride.

    Finally adding ~ 3-4g of thin Nickel flakes of small size. this was nearly 40 hours ago, I have been adding 4-5ml Ferric Chloride now and then but no bubbles! The solution is slowly going a light green, but this could be the ferric chloride, although I doubt it. For all kinds of reasons I cant get Hydrogen Peroxide for a while, being a company I order 32% normally and at present I am not covered to store it. So until the other cabinet arrives I dont feel comfortable having any on the premises. So far i have had 4 visits 3 by the police and 1 by HSE.

    These are agreed visits and were initiated by me, but obviously i dont want a visit and something out of place! So i cant add any peroxide. I dont remember the reaction ever being this slow, i am pretty sure the last time I did this I had Nickel Chloride in around 4 hours. Unless my mind is playing tricks!!

    The Lithium Carbonate turned up today, some is going to be turned into Hydroxide for one of the electrolytes i want to test. I but it in carbonate form as its the easiest way to store safely and you have the option of just about any lithium salt from it.

    I couldnt find ANY Cobalt Chloride from my names suppliers, so i have also got cobalt Carbonate that came today, this will be messed with to form both the Chloride salt and the Oxide. Should give some interesting results with the battery.
     
  18. AllAroundAmerica

    AllAroundAmerica New Member

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    hello everyone well im new here read allmost all the post
    well i love agm batterys but ive been looking around and found this eddison nickel iron baterryes and im liking them allot
    well i first wos thinking on buying som but way to expensive for me like 30.000 us dolars a lot of 10 1000amp (im living in bolivia) so the stuf ain so cheap overe here
    so i wos thinking in why dont i make my own battery bank
    so does any one have a plan or diagram that can pass to me so i look it up and see what i can do i would like to make a cell of lets say 500amp and or maybe more
    the think is that im planing to go off grid just need some more solar panels
    at the moment i have 3 banks of 72 volts nominal and 200amps each banck not small and not so big
    well if any one can help me out with some cool diagrams or plans or if anyone allready made a battery at this scale as a diy proyect pleas contact me
    im looking forward to making at least a lot of 1o worth 500 ot maybe why not 1000amp
     
  19. large_ghostman

    large_ghostman Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    How you going to charge them?
     
  20. unclejed613

    unclejed613 Well-Known Member

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    that's what i was thinking, a replacement reaction could work. nickel is almost as reactive as iron. for electroplating though, i wonder if the sulphate or nitrate would be safer. any way you slice it, you will have some gases liberated during plating. when i was a kid, i used to electroplate pennies with iron using a very crude setup. one thing i learned with electroplating was it's a process that likes lots of current. higher current means: a) more metal plates out in a given amount of time, and b) larger surface area requires more current. you want the connection to the cathode to be up out of the solution. you want the anode to be made of the metal you are plating. for a power supply, all that's really needed is a transformer and rectifier. you won't have much control of the current, unless the supply is on a variac. you may want to use a regulated bench supply with an adjustable current limit, so that you can regulate the current. spacing between the anode and cathode will also have an effect on the current. if the workpiece needs to be double sided, use two anodes one on each side. quite often i would get a workpiece that was plated on one side, and not much plating on the other side.
     
  21. large_ghostman

    large_ghostman Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Try it, dosnt work so good.

    Nickel is tough, Ferric Chloride with extra HCl and a Amine works fastest.
     
  22. shortbus=

    shortbus= Well-Known Member

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    How do they do "electroless nickle" plating?
     

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