Bunsen battery, 1840s

Bunsen battery, 1840s

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Bunsen battery. Historical illustration of a series of zinc-carbon cells (batteries) invented in 1841 by German chemist Robert Bunsen (1811-1899). This battery type used two liquids. The anode was made of zinc, which was immersed in sulphuric acid. A porous divider separated this from the cathode, made of carbon and immersed in nitric or chromic acid. A disadvantage of the chemical reaction providing the electrical power was the production of fumes of the toxic gas nitrogen dioxide. It was used to extract metals. Artwork from 'Electricite' (1911) by Max de Nansouty, part of the 'Les merveilles de la science' series of 1867-1891 by Louis Figuier.

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Keywords: 1800s, 1841, 19th century, acid, apparatus, artwork, battery, black-and-white, bunsen battery, carbon, chemistry, chromic acid, electric, electrical, electricite, electricity, electrochemical cell, electrochemistry, electrodes, electrolyte, energy, equipment, european, german, historical, history, illustration, les merveilles de la science, louis figuier, marvels of science, max charles emmanuel champion de nansouty, max de nansouty, monochrome, nitric acid, no-one, nobody, physical, physics, power, robert bunsen, storage, sulphuric acid, technological, technology, zinc

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