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With the following setup: plastic container, water (impure), pencil (anode), tin foil (aluminum, cathode) and solar panels supplying electrical charge (roughly 36v at about 400-800ma), with the intention of producing lye via electrochemistry:

1) Would it be possible to produce the right kind of lye to a level sufficient to produce handsoap with this current setup?

2) How would you test the lye quality to be sure?

If not possible to make the right quality lye, is there a way to modify the setup so it's able to produce suitable quality lye for soapmaking?

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    $\begingroup$ You can purchase Red Level lye in a supermarket. $\endgroup$ – Uncle Al Mar 14 '14 at 21:24
  • $\begingroup$ A common way outside the lab to test if the strength of the lye before soap-making is to put an uncooked egg in the lye; if around 1/4 inch sticks out floating at the top, it's fine $\endgroup$ – rch Mar 14 '14 at 21:35
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    $\begingroup$ @UncleAl I want to see if I can produce reasonable quality lye for free. $\endgroup$ – user4838 Mar 14 '14 at 21:40
  • $\begingroup$ @UncleAl Also if you mean "red devil" lye, it's apparently been discontinued: candleandsoap.about.com/b/2005/09/19/its-not-a-lye.htm $\endgroup$ – user4838 Mar 14 '14 at 21:41
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    $\begingroup$ Knowledge would be a better reward than convenience for me. $\endgroup$ – user4838 Mar 15 '14 at 13:01

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