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for an example
how to make homemade caustic soda or lye
which have chemical formula NaOH
( we need lye to convert fat or oil to become soap
or even diesel engine fuel / biofuel ) – See more at: http://community.shtfschool.com/forums/topic/starting-over-today-what-would-you-do-differently/#post-23768

you take ashes from fire drip water through that makes potash which gives you KOH which will work for diesel

For a capacitor you will need to find at best Nd… it is a REE rare earth element you can make into wafers/ metal sheets and isolate by using different metal a attached to each end you can charge and hold electrical current with the different meals acting as the poles. or you can go to clay pot full of piss or another acid and a copper rod seal with pitch. strong acids are easy to make but you need equipment and training which most lack even most modern chemists can make things they can only combine things to make other stuff… I think Renaissance chemist is closer to what you would need. There are a few around but will be worth more than most anyone else. You can learn stuff from you tube but really need at least basic organic chemistry + equipment+ training or you will hurt yourself. 4 things you should learn 1)(lye/potash/) 2)nitric acid 3)salt peter potassium nitrate from pee, lost of references during American civil war 4) antibiotic distillation and refinement.

But in most cases we will become scavengers of the old world not able to make most things…

Do not the errors define us more than the successes who would trade who they are not for an easier past? Not really a fair trade is it?