Aluminum Air Battery


A stack of model coin cells are made from small petri dishes with aluminum and copper conductors around a carbon anode.


A model pouch cell has layers consisting of aluminum, felt with charcoal, copper tape and an insulator made from styrofoam food trays.


Schematic of multiple cell pile using copper foil on styrofoam which is used as an insulator betweeen layers.

In this activity students build an aluminum air battery with aluminum foil, copper tape, paper towels, carbon and salt water as an electrolyte. A stack of cells will light a LED for weeks! Use this to engage interest in battery storage and electrochemistry.

Aluminum air battery lesson plan


Individual aluminum cells are housed in old pill bottles and connected in series.


Teachers at Puget Sound Renewable Leadership Institute build aluminum air batteries. Photo by Bonneville Environmental Foundation

First trial = aluminum foil, paper towel, carbon, copper and saltwater electrolyte. Credit:BEF


You can also experiment with other types of electochemical cells using different metals and household chemicals as electrolytes.


An electrochemical cell

A Battery From Household Chemicals (Display)

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