Morbid Battery Uses Blood Electrolyte

Building a battery out of common household products is actually pretty simple. All that is required is two dissimilar metals and some sort of electrolyte to facility the transfer of charge. A popular grade school science experiment demonstrates this fairly well by using copper and zinc plates set inside a potato or a lemon. Almost anything can be used as the charge transfer medium, as [dmitry] demonstrates by creating a rather macabre battery using his own blood.

The battery was part of an art and science exhibition but it probably wouldn’t be sustainable on a large scale, as it took [dmitry] around 18 months to bank enough blood to make a useful battery. Blood contains a lot of electrolytes that make it perfect for this application though, and with the addition of the copper anode and aluminum cathode [dmitry] can power a small speaker which plays a sound-generating algorithm that frankly adds a very surreal element to the art installation.

While we can’t recommend that you try to build one of these batteries on your own without proper medical supervision, the video of the art piece is worth checking out. We’ve seen a few other hacks that involve blood, but usually they are attempting to use it for its intended purpose rather than as an alternative energy source.

22 thoughts on “Morbid Battery Uses Blood Electrolyte

    1. makes me think about Brawndo… Because Electrolytes! Time for an Idiocracy reboot? Oohhh. How powerful would Powdered Drink sludge and A Fizzy Energy Drink work? *Heh, Heh, toliet water…*

  1. The energy isn’t coming from the blood, though. It’s coming from the the anode and cathode materials. So there’s no reason to use blood when seawater is plentiful.

    Of course, this is an art project. Practicality isn’t generally a requirement for those, and in some cases impracticality is the point.

    1. Reminds me old Czechoslovak scifi/horror movie Ferat Vampire. Its about racing car powered by consuming blood from drivers foot.
      Sadly, most of the best scenes were censured by communist office workers, director once mentioned that Ferat Vampire is his most censured film ever. For example, surreal artist Jan Švankmajer made for car engine from animal entrails, but in movie never appeared.

    1. The same way that you keep donated blood from coagulating?

      Typically you would use CPD or more officially, anticoagulant citrate phosphate dextrose solution. Sometimes you can also add adenine, then it is known as CPDA-1.

      The addition of adenine serves to extend red cell survival by providing the adenine needed for the maintenance of red cell ATP levels. The official USP name for CPDA-1 is anticoagulant citrate phosphate dextrose adenine solution.

  2. I think the construction with a round container and cylindrical electrodes is not very efficiently at the use of electrolyte volume. There is a reason modern batteries use plates in a tight fitting container.

    Of course in this case the visual effect was most important :-)

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