Pine Sap electrodes

This week I began testing mixtures of carbon and the pine resin:


My first test uses activated carbon from an aquarium filter ground in a coffee grinder. I mixed this with melted pine resin. The resin starts to liquify with a small amount of heat. A hair dryer will cause it to bubble. I mixed in the carbon dust and spread the hot mixture on a stainless steel mesh.

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The result was an electrode with too high of a resistance. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 25KOhms between the surface of the mix and the steel mesh.

I then found mixing full carbon granules into the pine sap resulted in a lower resistance. I went ahead and tested several mixtures of pine sap and carbon. I also tried some graphite dust mixed with the sap, and two commercial carbon based paints applied to steel mesh as well. Here are the two products:

I tested each electrodes resistance by pressing them down onto a copper plate wired to one side of my multimeter, and wired the other side to the stainless steel mesh in each sample. I took care to make sure the mesh did not contact the copper plate directly.


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The large granules mixed with the pine sap seem to perform pretty well. My next step is to build an electrode with a larger surface area in order to increase the voltage and current output. I might try building the water container entirely out of the carbon electrode. I also want to try and eliminate the steel mesh. Im not sure if the resistance is low enough across mixture to just attach a lead on one side without an added conductive plane.

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