Make Sodium Hypochlorite AKA bleach

bleach making 2


Sodium Hypochlorite

bleach, it will damage the dye in fabrics but more importantly it will kill a wide variety of pathogens.
This makes bleach a very important substance for modern settled life. For any settled life the abilbity to create bleach could be a life saving skill.
Surprisingly beach is quite easy to make, the process does release some hazardous gasses such as Hydrogen gas and Chlorine gas, but if done in a well vested area this should not be a problem.

The basic chemistry

Chlorine gas if exposed to an alkaline solution will produce hypochlorites.

Cl2  +H2O  ==> ClO‾ + OH‾

NaCl + H20 ==>  Cl2 + H2 + NaOCl

For this reaction, where the chlorine is formed is important as we want it to have a long path to the surface to react with the water, so the chlorine producing electrode should be close to the bottom of the electrolysis container.
The hydrogen gas we don’t care about to much, so the negative electrode is close to the surface.

The container

<pic of chamber>

create chamber from plastic bottle

The electrode.

carbon graphite from a battery, larger in diameter is better.
wash to remove chemicals and plastics that may be on the surface, heating is an aceptable way to remove plastics.

Add to bottle cap by puncture. seal with candle wax.

The salt

the salt used should be NaCl, without added iodide which is common in some manufactured salt used for consumption.

some salt has anti caking agents, these should not cause a problem.

100 grams used

The water

avoid impurities
the water should be as clean as possible, distilled or rain water is preferred
1 liter used.

Impurities such as transition metals , copper, iron, manganese… will reduce the shelf life of the NaOCL

The power source

12V -24V DC
possible sources, car battery, solar panel, 8 x 1.5V batteries in series.

Time taken

1 hour


bubbles will form from both electrodes, a smell of chlorine will be detectable.

the water will become yellowish.


Use pool testing strips to test for chlorine levels.


2 to 3+ table spoons in 5 litres of water.
after about 20 minutes add another half a tablespoon of bleach to water.

1 part bleach to 100 parts water (up to 130 parts water) by volume.

Some slight smell of chlorine should be present in the water, a little stronger than domestic tap water smell.


addition notes:

pictures and experiment needed

citing and correcting source document. site owner has no operational email address

adapted from:

note the website link talks about charcoal , but actually means graphite.

Download a 2 page printable document  bleach making flyer

Bike power: version 2 – field test

Bike power complete. Bike, bike stand, 3 phase rectifier, capacitor,  6 Amp solar battery charge controller, 12V bulb.

Bike power complete. Bike, bike stand, 3 phase rectifier, capacitor, 6 Amp solar battery charge controller, 12V bulb.

The bike ( on a bike stand ) were attached to the 3 phase rectifier and the 1 Farad capacitor to produce 12V DC.

The wheel is a  200 W 36V wheel so the bike could only be operated at a low ( comfortable) speed to prevent too much voltage and too much current.

A 12V 50W dichroic light bulb was added to show it was really working.

capacitor at 13.6 Volts and 50Watt 12 Volt dichroic light working.

capacitor at 13.6 Volts and 50Watt 12 Volt dichroic light working.

PV charge controller added using the bike as the power input instead of the solar panel and battery charger was used.

Probably best for charging a small device unless you want to pedal the bike for a long time.

Future additions:

36 to 12 volt step down for a higher current lower voltage system.

replace the back tire with a smooth tread tire.

PV (solar panel) and charge controller with battery

Depending on where you are you might want electricity.

Solar power is a convenient, low maintenance way to get electricity if you have sunlight.

For this example I will consider a 80W 12 V solar panel and a charge controller capable of 6A at 12 Volts.

The panel

80 W  (maximum power)


P = VxI

P/V =I

80/12 = I

6.66 A =I (maximum current)


The charge controller



P= VxI

P = 12 x 6

P =  72W

Close enough to matched, remember the panel lists it maximum power not typical power rating.

A charge controller is a fancy battery charger which can put unused solar power into stored energy into a battery.

Usually there is a load circuit for things you want to run directly off the solar panel and a battery charging circuit. For this example there is a maximum load of 72 watts from the controller load wires.

For a larger load than the controller allows disconnect the battery from the charge controller and use the charged battery.

There is often a wet type battery for flooded lead acid cells check you documentation as to whether it is connected to the positive(+) or negative (-) terminal of the flooded battery.

A typical arrangement:

PV charge controller and battery wiring diagram.

For 12 Volt setups the car cigarette plug and socket system of connectors is a good idea, simple and common. There is also a wide variety of electrical items made especially for this connector format.


The connectors on solar panels are waterproof, the connections on the charge controller are not, make sure they are waterproofed or kept away from water.

12 Volt DC car adapter plug


The 12 Volt car adapter is a very popular source of DC power so its worth knowing more about its parameters.

12V adapter. positive and negative contacts labeled. Red arrow shows direction of rotation for access to the fuse under the positive contact.

20-25mm in diameter and 50mm long.

Positive contact at the tip and negative contact on the side.

The negative side contacts are usually attached to springs to hold the device secure.

Frequently one of the negative side contacts may be not electrically connected and simply to help hold the device in place.

Under the positive contact there may be a spring and a fuse, which is normally a 2Amp fuse.


Some adapters in this format may support 24 volts as some truck electrical systems are 24 volt.

12 Volt Sealed Lead Acid battery

Also called the SLA.

Very similar to the flooded battery except the acid has had a gel added to it to make it more or less solid and the pressure release lids are no longer needed.

A wide variety of capacities.


Update there is a thory that a SLA battery can be reconditioned by charging and then discharging (fast) about 10 times.

I have tried this technique with a few 6 Volt batteries with variable success, some batteries recharge and then begin to hold charge others are simply to damaged internally.


This became relevant for me as i recently found a large capacity 12 volt SLA and I’m attempting to recondition it using a battery charger and a 50W halogen bulb for discharging and I’m currently at the second discharge cycle.


So with a 50W bulb how much current will I be using?

P= V x I

50W = 12 V x ?A

50/ 12 = ?A

4.16 = A

Wires rated for 10A so no problem.



<pictures of SLA and cross section diagram>

A more portable version of the car battery weighing in at 1.5 Kg for a 7.2 amp hour battery.

Cost $25 for 7.2 Amp hour battery

12 Volt DC charger for laptops and other devices

This device will allow you to charge devices in the 15 -24 volt range at around 3 Amps.

12 V DC-DC charger with adapters for laptops and other devices 15-24 volts

This is a much more efficient way to convert stored energy in a battery to stored energy in you laptop( or to run another device) rather  than through an inverter.

When looking for one of these adapters  (which there are many designs)  look at the adapter tips to make sure they will fit the devices you intend to use it to power.

Make sure the voltage is switchable and matches the voltage you need for your devices.

Not every possible voltage is supplied, common voltages are:  15 16 18 19 20 22 24

Many devices are voltage tolerant to some extent, if need be 1 or 2 extra volts work, if you cannot supply the exact voltage.

Make sure the power rating of the adapter is more than the power rating of the the device.

Check the polarity of the device and charger, usually the outside shaft of the adapter is negative (-) whereas the tip or inside is positive(+). Some adapters allow polarity changes on the tips.

The rating for the adapter can be between 80 and 150 watts.

The easy way to determine the power rating is to look at the AC adapter of the device and multiply the DC voltage and current together and that will be the power rating.

Cost 80W  $25

Cost 150W $120

Cost of an obscure tip $3, time to find one, up to 6 months (be warned).

The sensation of success after a long determined hunt, priceless?

Car battery 12V lead acid flooded

You probably didn’t realize just how specific you must be to define what type of battery you are talking about.

12 Volt car battery with cutaway showing lead plates and cell connections

12Volt : This is the voltage, some batteries similar in appearance are 24V (common in trucks for example).

Lead acid: (sulfuric) is the internal chemistry of the battery, sometimes this term is chemistry or battery chemistry.

Flooded: means the acid is liquid rather than as a gel or an electrolyte in a solid or granular substance.

Capacity: Generally has  a capacity of 42 amp hours. batteries will discharge most efficiently if discharged at a rate less that one tenth (1/10) of the amp hour rating. This is also called the C10 rating

CCA: Cold Crank Amps, the level of current the battery can produce at 32F (0C) for 30 seconds. An older term popular in north America and Canada where cold starting is critical.

Converting Cold Crank Amps (CCA) into Amp hours

Amp hours = (CCA /10) +16


Reserve capacity (RC): This is sometimes listed as well as or instead of CCA.

RC ≈ CCA / 5

≈ means approximately equal to.


So for a battery listed as having 330 CCA.

Amp Hours = (330 / 10) +16

Amp Hours = 33 +16

Amp hours = 49


Danger! This battery produces enough current to kill a human. Do not touch both terminal at the same time. Do not allow a metal or conductive object to touch both terminals at the same time. If the battery came with a plastic cap to cover one of the terminals, use this cap when the battery is not is use for safety purposes.

This design of battery is very old ( from 1913) almost 100 years old as I write this. Prior to car batteries being used in cars the driver was required to actually hand crank the car to make it start. You many have seen this in very old films.

The battery is made from pure lead plates suspended in (30% by volume) sulfuric acid mixed with distilled water. Tap water  river water or boiled water cannot be used. if the wrong type of water is used or hard water salts (calcium) enter the battery it will cease to charge or hold charge. the outer case is acid resistant plastic.

This battery or one very similar will be in almost every car on the road, so know about how it work would be good an in the future there will be less cars and a lot of these batteries, at least for a while.


<need a charging/ discharging chart for lead acid>

There are many option for charging a car battery, an AC charger, a solar panel with or without charge controller, or the most obvious, a car alternator that is turning, rectified and charging (may or may not be part of a working car).

Having more than 40 Amp hours of capacity means in most cases they don’t need a charge controller for charging from 12 Volt solar PV. If you are able to measure the actual voltage of the battery you should be advised that 12 volts is a misnomer. The battery is fully charged at 13.8 volts when the battery is at 12 volts its actually getting quite flat. Most 12 Volt inverters will shut down if running from 11 volts. If using Solar PV it is actually possible to charge the battery to a float voltage of 14.4 volts but this voltage is not able to be stored long term, its effectively floating on top of the 13.8 volts and drains away quite quickly under load.

The small screw top lids on the battery (there will normally be 6, 2 for every volt a battery produces) are for releasing pressure that might  occur as the battery charges and for adding distilled water if the acid dries out too much. This pressure is caused by the release of Hydrogen gas (H2) and is explosive. So while a battery is charging you should treat it as explosive. Never use a cigarette lighter to look in side a battery. If you leave the lids on a battery as it charges it may swell dangerously and even fracture the casing, destroying the battery and spilling toxic and acid contents everywhere. The production of hydrogen gas is usually a sign or result of overcharging, charging too fast or calcium/scale buildup on the plates.

12 Volt car battery diagram with cutaway and labeled components

It is possible to recondition a battery from calcium build up which requires the use of washing soda and fresh or cleaned sulfuric acid.

1) Discharge the battery. Take the pressure release lids off and empty the fluids from the battery, attempt to estimate the volume of fluids removed. Make note of this volume.

2) Make a solution of washing soda (NaHCO3) in distilled water and pour this into the battery.

3) Wait at least 48 hours. The battery will make a fizzing or bubbling noise, this is normal and safe, the gas released will be CO2.

4) Empty out he battery again and rinse out with distilled water.

5) Make a up a 30% volume sulfuric acid (H2SO4) solution with distilled water and fill up battery.

6) With lids off, attempt to charge the battery.

Charge a phone virtually anywhere kit.

well you’ll need a power supply like a 12V battery or a solar panel but with this equipment you have a lot of options.

12 Volt car socket from alligator clips.

iLuv USB car adapter

USB with 10 different phone charger connectors. ‘The octopus’

Make sense? I hope so.

so with these 3 items you are able to convert any 12 Volt battery (or 12 Volt solar panel) into a phone charger in a less than a minute.

cost of items about $25,being able to make that call or access that data, priceless?

Universal 12 volt car socket electricity

This device will allow you to connect to any battery with terminals and start extracting electricity and provide it in a relatively convenient and familiar 12V DC format.

The current rating of the car socket will be the bottleneck in this system 4 Amps(?) but it will allow you to tap into car batteries that you may encounter.

Black is negative (-) and red is positive (+), connect the negative terminal first. Do not allow the clips to touch each other one connected to a battery, even if it it through some other metal, conductive or wet material.

Any device that could normally be connected to a car socket can be connected to this. the car socket 12 volt connected is a very popular DC power format being able to access this format is very useful. A lot of household electronics is designed to run from 12 or less volts.y rule of thumb, if you can lift it easily by yourself its probably 12 volt capable.

cost about  $8 at better electronic shops and possibly some car accessory shops.

12 Volt car socket from alligator clips.

Universal USB power

iLuv USB car adapter

If you need USB power and you have access to a car or a car cigarette lighter plug that has power, this is precisely what you need.

I really liked how this example appears to be thumbing its nose at copyrights of Apple and Microsoft XboX.

Some models are tolerant of input voltages from 12-24 volts some are not.

Some models advertise what level of current they supply, 1 Amp is common.

Input 12V-24 DC output 5V DC 500-2100mA

these devices only supply power to the USB device not data, this device will not allow you to ‘download a car’ or some other wizardry.

Cost: about $10 for electronics and car accessory shops. Cheaper models may be available with lower output current.

Wizardry sold separately*