I finally found out how to recharge a disposable alkaline battery. I knew it could be done!
Get almost 95% usage, again from the same old dead battery.
Warning: Adult supervision recommended!!!!!!
A friend of mine, who passed away recently, was a genius with electronics. A ham radio expert and a Veitnam war veteran. He was going to show me some day on how to revive those old alkaline batteries. Unfortunately that day never happened.
After some research, I actually have re-used alkaline batteries. Manufacturers say NEVER RECHARGE THIS BATTERY. IT IS DANGEROUS. Well, they are right. But they never say it can't be done. It can be done quickly with 110/120 volts, but that is extremely dangerous, so I'll tell you how to do it safely with low voltage.
First, it may help by explaining what is happening when a battery dies. Every time you use an alkaline battery, the chemicals inside become more and more exhausted, and crystalize. When the crystalization becomes too much, the battery starts to short itself, rendering it useless.
What we want to do is, "un-crystalize" the battery. Practice with a recently dead AA alkaline battery. Use a hammer or hard surface, to tap the flat end of the battery. You don't want to dammage the battery, or disfugure it. Do the same for the opposite end. Your goal is to disturb and loosen the crystals. Get some pliers and slightly squeeze the outer casing of the battery evenly, but don't disfigure it. A few more taps and the battery should be ready.
Next, you need a DC power source (train transformer works well). Apply about 3 volts, and no more than 1 amp. Make sure that you apply the POS and NEG on the correct ends of the battery.
This process will heat the battery and help dissolve the crystals. This is very dangerous, so wear safety glasses. While the battery is heating up, it is also charging. About 3 minutes is good enough, or until the battery is very warm, but not very hot! Which ever comes first! (I have exploded a few batteries, even when they are just warm).
If the battery gets very hot in less than a minute, then you need to reduce the voltage and or amps. If too hot, you MUST LET IT COOL DOWN for no less than a half hour.
This next step is extremely important. Let the battery cool down. A very warm battery can explode, even minutes after the first time it is heated up (or charged) and disconnected from the power supply. About one half hour cool down time is needed. Even if the battery "feels cool", it needs to chemically cool and balance itself. A chemical reaction is going on. Kind of like epoxy. Two chemicals need to balance. Natural heat is involved.
After cooling down, give the battery another 3-4 minute charge. And another half hour cool down time. Do this a few more times. Larger batteries will need more recharge sessions than smaller ones. You'll need to experiment.
After the FINAL charge of the battery, let it settle for a few hours (over night, if possible). Then the battery is ready for use. Like brand new!
NOTE: Do not waste your time recharging this battery again, when it dies again. You'll probably get 10% usage out of it. Also, your chances of it exploding during a second revival increases dramatically.
AGAIN, use caution when trying this dangerous proceedure!! Doing this is at your own risk. Never recharge a battery in this manner unless you do it under adult supervision or have an experienced person with you. Never recharge batteries unless you are too cheap to buy new ones, or if you own a digital camera manufactured before 2000.