Lead Ingots & Sulfuric Acid Scavenged From My Car Battery

Lead Ingots & Sulfuric Acid Scavenged From My Car Battery

Hey guys, welcome back! I’m hanging with my brother again today. Last time we were together we took the battery right on my car, cracked it open, and we harvested the lead and the sulfuric acid out of it which is what we got here today. But it’s really really crude and what we want to do is refine this. We want to melt this down and make lead ingots and this sulfuric acid is really dilute we wanted to concentrate that as much as possible, so that is what we are doing today. Alright guys, so when we took the acid out of the battery yesterday, you saw how dirty it was; it was really cloudy, it was really black, and I think that’s because of the lead sulfate was contaminating the mixture. Now that it’s sat for a couple of days, all that is settled down to the bottom, we’re left with a relatively clear mixture, which should be water and sulfuric acid. Now the idea is to boil off the water and leave the sulfuric acid behind. Now guys, obviously this is a lot of sulfuric acid to try and concentrate at once, so rather than doing the whole thing, we’re just going to do a little sample here. I’m going to dip down in there in this container will fill up about 3/4 of a cup so we can put this on a burner, get it up hot enough that [we] can boil off the water, and this thing should not crack as long as we don’t thermally shock it by cooling it too quickly. So I picked up a little burner here; It was about 20 bucks. I’m going to stick a pot on there just to help collect any spills if there are any and then set our Pyrex container of Sulfuric acid right on top there. Now, let’s crank this up about as high as it goes; that’s only going to reach about 100 degrees Celsius because the water will start blowing off; and what we’re looking for is white vapor to start coming up the top. It’s been an hour and a half on our battery acid and you can see we’ve dropped from 3/4 of a cup down to 1/4 of a cup. That means this thing is pretty much Concentrated sulfuric acid and that’s confirmed by all this white vapor coming off the top there, and what’s at this point? We do not want to let it run any longer so it’s good time to go and turn off the heat and let this thing start cooling down. So with all these fumes vaping off you can see why this is important to do this outside or under a fume hood because these fumes are very toxic and they sting the lungs when you breathe them in. I don’t have a whole lot of acid, and it’s a pretty tall glass, so as long as it stays on the bottom and doesn’t tip over this should be able to store relatively well for A long time. But how cool is that?
Concentrated sulfuric acid from a car battery. And over here, this is all the lead we were able to extract out of those pouches you saw and all of the individual cells. And come check this out, you can next see how the different plates work now. These are the plates that were inside the vinyl pouches and you can see it’s coated with lead. I think this is the stuff that we’re after. I’m not sure if the lead oxide will melt down into lead. If there’s anything salvageable from that but we’re just going to put the whole thing in the pot and melt it down and see what we get. So, we’re outside with the lead plates. We’ve got a stainless steel container; because this can take a lot of heat. We’re going to melt the lead into that using the gas blaster propane torches, that we made in a previous project, and see how much lead we can collect and salvage into these mini muffin trays as [it drips]. Woo! Toasty warm! Crazy hot! We got some lead there… doesn’t seem like a whole lot. Alright! That’s a pretty good one We’re going to just nuke all the leftovers and see if we can get any lead just to drizzle down to the bottom and then pour [that out of ingots.] I’m really surprised that we’re not getting more than we are, I thought there would just be a ton, but that’s how it’s going. Yay! Feels like we’re getting more! Oh yeah! That looks a little bit dirty. Looks like there’s more than just lead in there. So guys, we did get some pure lead and gets near the beginning of our melt. As it progressed, I think this got so hot, we mixed in some other kind of metal alloys, and these are still still raging hot right now if I jiggle this pan, you can see it’s actually still in liquid form. We just have some impurities on the top and we get rid of that, and then we’ve got some nice lead ingots. Sweet! It looks like this might work after all! So let’s just go ahead and knock these out, and then knock them out on the sidewalk here. So these came out really nice, I mean, that’s really pretty. Look at that. Now check this out guys, these are all the mini metal biscuits we got out of our car battery, but they are full of impurities, so to purify them a little bit more I’m going to remelt these right here in this pot, and all the impurities should float to the top. We should be able to skim those off and then record them. Wow! Dang, that’s heavy! Wow! That’s really heavy! So, there you go. We came out with about eight Mini-muffin lead ingots from our car battery. So these things are looking pretty good. The next thing to do is just let them harden up a little bit and then douse them in water to let them cool down, and we are done. And there you have it guys! Eight mini-muffin lead ingots from our car battery. Theoretically, they should be cold enough for you can reach in and grab them. So Mark is going to demonstrate that for us. There you have it, it’s pretty weighty. How does that feel? (Weighty-wise?) It does feel really weighty. Let me see the rest of them. Oh, that’s warm water. That’s really warm. Ooo! Want me to stop? Oh, you’re pretty much done now. Hahaha! Here we go! Whoa! (Wow!) Oh yeah, yeah, definitely has a good amount of weight to it. Leads are really heavy metal; it’s very dense and that’s why almost everything metal floats on top of it. Which makes it really easy to clean it up because you can just melt it, scrape the [slag] off the top and you come up with relatively pure ingots like this.
Alright guys, now there is some backyard science for you. We took a car battery, which my brother helped me hack out of my own car, and we have converted it into these stacks of beautiful lead ingots and Concentrated sulfuric acid. If you don’t know what this stuff is for yet, stay tuned because we got some really cool mad science experiments using this stuff. So there you go guys! A lot of really cool things that we can salvage out of a car battery. And don’t forget we have a ton more battery acid that we can concentrate in sulfuric acid very cool stuff, very good to know in times of emergency because sulfuric acid is kind of one of the building blocks of Chemical Society. You can make a ton of stuff with this chemical so thanks for joining us for this experiment guys and we’ll be looking for it in a next project video. Talk to you then. He’s so random.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Lead is poisonous so you should actually be wearing gloves just to let everyone know. Please like this so other people see this

  2. It kind of hurts my feelings when you try to use hazard symbols for H2SO4, but forget the corrosive symbol.

  3. Your brother keeps trying to talk but you keep interrupting also you weren’t wearing the king of random shirt also YOUR THE BEST

  4. I love the little movements his brother makes like he feels awkward but he's cute when he's trying to be chill hihihi ❤

  5. I hope you were replacing your battery already. This was cool, but you still need to drive

  6. Sulfuric acid is one of the most important chemical. Many things are based on it like hcl or H2PO4. It’s so important that you can measure the economic power of a country at least in chemistry by taking a look how much the country uses each year. Btw sorry for bad englisch

  7. great … now every 10 year old is gonna hack his dad's battery apart for the acid and lead … glad i don't have kids

  8. The problem with the concentration is that it may not be pure sulfuric acid after the boiling. When they boiled it, water was evaporated from the solution. However, they are dealing with H2SO4 which contains 2 hydrogen atoms per molecule. The air surrounding it contains O2 which is a highly reactive gas when exposed to heated hydrogen solutions. When boiling, they gave the sulfuric acid enough activation energy to make the acid react with the oxygen. When this happens, the acid gives its hydrogen to the oxygen to create water. What is left in the solution is H2SO4, HSO4, and SO4. Now instead of having water and sulfuric acid, they have sulfuric acid solvent and a sulfate solute which is less pure than the dilution. This would work if it were done in a vacuum chamber where there was no atmospheric oxygen to interfere though.

  9. Another way to get lead easily is to buy a bunch of fishing weights and melt them into an ingot as they’re pretty much 99% lead. Just an easier way for easy lead

  10. Taste one of the lead ingots I heard they taste like mint and will give you super powers like telekenesis ?

  11. OK, you might not want to melt your lead in a teflon pan. I couldn't tell if it was steel or aluminum, but if it wasn't steel, you will be getting close to softening the aluminum to the point it won't stay as structurally strong as it should be. Also heating a teflon pan to high heat will give off some additional toxic fumes too. Now to find a large glass container so I can break down my store of dead batteries.

  12. So you have just show how you can get strong acid which normally is restricted so you can bypass the restrictions and use it to throw at someone…..GJ

  13. You and your brother have similar facial features, but different enough that a stranger might not know you are brothers, but yet you sound THE SAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (almost)

  14. Hi I would like to know if it is possible to melt aluminum with an cooker or microwave .love you video keep it up ??

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