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Thermodynamics/Electrochemistry- Electroplating


Hello, I was wondering how much voltage from a homemade battery would be needed to electroplate the copper of a penny on to zinc.  I would be willing to use any amount of zinc necessary for any amount of pennies, I just want to know the proportion of zinc to pennies I need to have.  Here is a link to the video of the design of the homemade battery I'm using:
Do you have any suggestions on how I should set it up when I electroplate?

Hi Sarah,

The voltages required to zinc plate copper are relatively low. Almost any voltage will do.

The proportion of zinc to pennies will depend upon the time spent under the applied voltage.
As the zinc layer just builds and builds.
Experimentation is the key. Connect up a weighed penny and take it out at intervals of one minute when you are happy with the result dry and weigh the penny again to see how much weight of zinc you have used.
Keep checking the battery(s) so that you know you have current.

I hope this helps.
Best wishes.


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Thermodynamics, chemistry, chemical reactions, kinetics, chemical reaction safety, dust explosion technology, static electricity. General science.


Over 40 years experience as a practicing thermochemist in industry. Head of the fire and explosion laboratory of a major European chemical company (Ciba-Geigy). Now retired.

Institute of Chemical Engineers. Royal Society of Chemistry.

Chartered Chemist, Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (C.Chem MRSC). Msc Sheffield.

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