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Jeffrey R. 03-25-2015 12:23 PM

Re: Using NaOH for electrolyte
2 - 1/2" thick brush hog blades. I will look later at how they look. Part of the stove is in for a swim.

ShawnE 03-25-2015 12:32 PM

Re: Using NaOH for electrolyte
Great, I'm curious. BTW, what strength NaOH electrolyte are you using?

Another thought, and one I might try is to have two tanks. The 1st one would be a lye tank, but I would also run it as an e-tank also. This should help the removal of grease and carbon through the mechanical action of the H2 bubbling. The 2nd tank would be just for rusty parts only. I did notice that the rusty and greasy lodge created a "soap scum" flecked with carbon and converted rust during the 1st 15 minutes or so. I just skimmed it off. I guess that lye and fat does indeed make soap:mrgreen:

Jeffrey R. 03-25-2015 12:50 PM

Re: Using NaOH for electrolyte
I will stay with my 2 tanks. Clean only in the lye tank. Rust only in the E-tank.
I am at around 4 lbs. to 55 gals. There is a lot of H2 bubbling going on. I put part of the wood stove in at 1:00, I will look at it at 2:00

Trying to play catch up today. Seasoning 6 pieces of iron, playing with the E-tank, and making a beach cutting board. :shootself:

Jeffrey R. 03-26-2015 03:12 PM

Re: Using NaOH for electrolyte
Update. First I filled my 55 gal barrel with cold well water, after the first night I had ice on the top. The outside temp has not risen above 48 deg. But the temp in my E-tank is 60 deg. I did smell a slight odor. Make sure that you do this outside. So a few photos.

1) My E-tank burping

2) The outside tin cover to my stove top oven, rusty. ( note, Lyle will take off some plated metals, so I had to watch this. Time left in 15 min. not heavy rust.)

3) 15 minutes later and a cold water and soap wash.

4) 2 cast iron shelves for the stove top oven. I did not take a before photo. They were rusty, rust free after30 minutes.

4 photos to the right;

ShawnE 03-26-2015 05:00 PM

Re: Using NaOH for electrolyte
Good deal. How are your anodes holding up? The higher ph that you are using should help protect them better. At your concentration you have a ph of about 12 vs 11 for 1 Tbl Na2CO3 / gal that has been recommended here. I'm running about 12.4 and my anode stays pretty clean.

You are right about having good ventilation, as you evolve H2 at the cathode (work piece) and O2 at the anode. Doing this in a sealed room is just asking for it. BOOM :shootself:

Jeffrey R. 03-26-2015 05:02 PM

Re: Using NaOH for electrolyte
So, I just came from taking my BSR stove out of my E-tank. It came out very nice. The only thing that I did was take a small SS wire brush and brush off the heavy rust. I think if I had my pressure washer set up that would have done a better job.

Also my anodes are Clean.

I think the stove was in the E-tank for around 8 or 9 hours.

ShawnE 03-26-2015 08:34 PM

Re: Using NaOH for electrolyte

Thanks for running an independent test. It confirms what I'm seeing. I know how I'm going to proceed from now on. NaOH is the way to go for me. It runs faster, little to no anode cleaning is required and I can use any scrap iron or steel that is laying around instead of having to screw around getting graphite. I also like the results better as it seems to do a better job on the fine features like the stamped markings.

I'm going to run 2.5%, but it is good to know that 0.9% works for you.

I'm not saying that it is for everybody. I'm sure many, if not most, will stay with what they know. To each their own. You do have to treat strong bases (and acids) with respect, but I wear gloves and eye protection with either system.

Since I'm not doing this commercially, I'll probably just run a single tank. This is effectively a lye tank and an e-tank combined. When it gets too filthy, I'll neutralize it with HCl to turn it into rusty salt water before disposing.

Jeffrey R. 03-26-2015 09:49 PM

Re: Using NaOH for electrolyte
Hi ShawnE.

I did you the NaOH to 5 lbs. I am thinking about 1 more lb.?:covri:

Everything is staying clean at this time.

I will like to note. I set up an E-tank late last summer using the 2 brush hog blades. I had just replaced them off my brush hog, so they were nice and shinny with no pitting. I had them in the E-tank for 3 weeks. I took them out to clean them, they were all rusty and pitted. I do not see that happening at this time. All is a GO.:icon_thumbsup:

ShawnE 03-26-2015 10:51 PM

Re: Using NaOH for electrolyte
From the research that I've been doing, the sweet spot seems to be between 2% and 5%. But as I said earlier, one good test is worth a thousand expert opinions. i.e. "trust but verify" ;-)

I'm running 2.5%, so for 55 gal, that would be 11 Lbs. That would take your pH to 12.4. A 10% solution would have a pH of 13, but that's 44 Lbs. and probably excessive for most things.

If it were me, I'd probably go to around 2%. 8 or 9 Lbs total. This would up your pH to 12.3

Nice not having to clean anodes isn't it? Do you know how much current you are running? What really matters is current density, I shoot for .01A / cm2 to .02A / cm2, but I can only run 20A with my current power supply.

Jeffrey R. 03-27-2015 07:01 AM

Re: Using NaOH for electrolyte
I am going about this as if I was walking on ice. One step at a time. Just like to play it safe. I will be going up to 6 lbs. today. We had snow last night with temps as low as 27 deg. Time to melt some ice.

[SIZE=1]---------- Post added at 08:01 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:00 AM ----------[/SIZE]

I am going about this as if I was walking on ice. One step at a time. Just like to play it safe. I will be going up to 6 lbs. today. We had snow last night with temps as low as 27 deg. Time to melt some ice. :chuckle:

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