Hacking Open A Car Battery (for Lead and Acid)

Hacking Open A Car Battery (for Lead and Acid)

Hey, what’s up guys? I’m hanging out today with my brother He came out from Texas because we’re doing an experiment with car batteries, and he used to work with car batteries I did. He used to sell them but we’re not selling them today. We’re actually gonna be hacking them open And I got a new car We thought what a better way to celebrate than to rip the battery out, crack it open and show you what’s inside? So let’s get right to it Now thing about Lexus is they have decorative shrouds that cover a lot of the engine components, which makes it look really nice But makes it kind of difficult to get down into the components themselves So we’ve got to pop off all these plastic rivets in order to be able to access the battery compartment And that’s just a matter of taking off a few screws and pulling the battery right up and out All right we’re gonna take the negative terminal off first Once the negative is disconnected the electrical system should be protected And we’ll go to the positive next So update guys we disconnected the positive negative terminals. We released the J-Hook and Bracket that holds the battery down in the car It should be ready to just pull out [sure] so we’re gonna just keep this thing out and show You what it looks like. I’ll get this one since your gloves are like shredded. Yeah, they’re gone All right. Dude this thing’s really heavy These batteries are like 40 to 50 pounds they’re super super heavy and you can see there’s a liquid in here if you shake it It’ll slosh around. You can actually even see the liquid moving. This is called a wet cell battery. There are types of batteries that are called non-spillable And they have an absorbent glass mat on the inside that will soak up the sulfuric acid and keep it from spilling out But what we’re after is actually this stuff This is a mixture of about 25 to 30 percent Sulfuric acid and the rest is water and we’re after that sulfuric acid and the lead plates inside So let’s go crack this thing open and make that a reality Alright Guys so we’re in the workshop and we’re ready to crack this thing open. What’s the best way to open a lead acid battery? Probably to not to But we’re gonna do it anyway. Get a big bucket of Baking soda water is really important because it is a basic solution and since we’re dealing with acids if anything goes wrong We’ll have a place where we can neutralize that acid very quickly. It’s good to have this setup standing by. If you were to open these ports and tip it over it would spill out This is a spill-able battery it’s not recommended to take these vents off But you can see if we do it opens a little port here where you can add more water You want to use distilled water to top off your battery you don’t want to add more acid. That’s correct. All right Looks like things are getting pretty serious Let’s do this! Let’s get down to business. Because these have acid on them if I drop them into the solution of baking soda We should see it fizz a little bit And that’s an indication that I actually have battery acid on my gloves now as well. Good stuff. Check it out guys We got the six ports taken off the top and you can already see the battery acid in there So actually the safest way at this point Would probably just be to take it over to a container turn it over and safely get the Acid out of there without having to crack anything and because we’re working with sulfuric acid the kind of container We want to be using is glass. Here we go With splashes. I hope you have a good replacement battery because I don’t think you’re driving anywhere anytime soon Yeah. If you feel your skin start itching it’s a good time to slap some baking soda solution on it. If it gets on your clothes It’ll bleach the color out of them. That’s good enough for now. If I’m not mistaken This is about 70% water and there’s a really easy way to concentrate the acid and that’s simply by boiling the water off But you got to make sure you’re using the right kind of container when you do that or it’ll explode So we don’t know if this is plastic welded together or if it’s glued or what it is We’re gonna use some tools and try and pry it up gently to see if we can just gently remove that container, if not we’ll bring out the big guns. I feel like this could work you got to be careful when you’re pulling this up because if it snaps, it can spit acid back in your face, so probably good time to put your safety glasses on It seems to be working pretty well My thumb’s like full on so yeah, I’ll be right back. I’m gonna go put on a new glove. All right we got the seal broken. I think this lid is actually attached to the lead plates right now, so if we can find a way to pull those up and out or disconnect them We should be in business Success, so this is what the inside of a car battery looks like guys and you can see how there are lead plates divided into six different cells. Each one of these cells generates two volts and by linking them all in series we get a 12-volt battery. I think what we’re gonna do now is pour out the rest of this acid and then we’re gonna extract these lead plates, soak them in a solution of baking soda water to neutralize the acid and then we’ll take a look at what kind of materials we’d been able to salvage here. First thing we’re gonna do is break up all these terminals because right now if we short this out we could eventually have a disaster on our hands Luckily for us lead is a relatively soft metal and just with a little poking and prying we should be able to break these things right off. Oh, it sparks on that So now can one of these battery casings be recycled? Yeah Actually about 98% of the battery could be recycled. And the reason that you want to take these to recycling depot is because the lead content. The lead, the sulfuric acid, just in general it’s it’s not really something you want to put into a landfill when you want to get rid of a car battery You can recycle them by taking them to any auto parts dealer. Okay, Hold on one second Mark The reveal Here we go. All I’m gonna do is just dump them in this bucket here. Watch how much this fizzes when the acid hits it Wow, it’s a powerful reaction. It’s starting to stink though Uno más? Wow, I think we’re breaching the upper limits here. Yeah Put a wooden spoon over it Now this is generating all kinds of gas which smells terrible and I don’t believe the gas is flammable and to prove it I’m willing to light it with a BBQ igniter. I’ve got a fire extinguisher here, got a lit flame here Let’s go ahead and test this thing out Now you see the flame just went out that’s because it actually is carbon dioxide coming out The carbon dioxide will steal the oxygen and won’t sustain a flame every time. You can see some of these are not actually encased All these other ones have like a vinyl pouch around them which I imagine is some kind of a permeable membrane but looking at these things up close you can say this contains lead. It’s really thin and there’s like a metal mesh in there to hold it all together, but that right there is basically lead metal and there’s a lot of cool things you can do with lead metal and we’re going to be harvesting this. So guys we gotta run, but we are not done with this project yet. We’re gonna catch you in the next video What we’ve got is some sulfuric acid that we are gonna concentrate down We’ve got some lead plates that we are going to salvage and turn into all kinds of cool stuff and we got this plastic casing that we’re basically going to clean up and recycle So big thanks to my brother Mark, coming all the way up here from Texas to be with us today Hopefully you guys learned something new now you know what’s inside your car battery So we’re gonna come back to you with a new video showing you what you do with lead and sulfuric acid from a car battery, it’s really cool stuff It’s really crazy science and we’ll be looking for you in that video. Talk to you then, bye.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. You need to be more responsible with the videos you create. You just provided a how to set of instructions for harvesting acid to idiots and criminals.

  2. yep, makes sense to me, pour battery acid, make a comment that is splashes and do it all without eye protection…Darwin award material right there.

  3. RIP. But being in a mechanic I've recently learned even pouring water will make a battery now a days go bad. And yea Panasonic makes batteries cause I've read some comments. They are heavy and glass mat is also referred to as an agm battery.

  4. Thank you so much ❤️ you helped me in my studies as i was doing Batteries topic in electrochemistry by watching you video of secondary Batteries that is storage battery it makes me easy to understand thank you so much ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️ RIP

  5. 1. When your doing this…..your not supposed to be doing this!!!
    2. to remove the lid intact without smashing, cut the poles of the terminal level with the top of the battery and you can tap them through the lid as you lift, you have to cut it down or the lead absorbs all impact and will mushroom around the plastic before pressing out.

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