What is a Lemon Battery

Lemon battery project is a very common project among the kids. Creating a battery from lemon does not turn any motor or something but it just helps in demonstrate the concept behind the batteries. It is not an easy task to successfully create a battery from lemon. Batteries consist of two different metals suspended in an acidic solution. Lemon battery changes chemical energy into electrical energy i.e. it is a voltaic battery. Copper and zinc are usually used for this purpose and the citric acid of the lemon provides the acidic solution. The zinc and copper used are called electrodes and the lemon juice is called electrolyte.

A fresh and good juicy lemon works best with this experiment. A shallow slit is cut in one side of the lemon and a copper wire or a copper coin is placed into the slit and in the other side, insert a zinc metal or a nail. The copper wire or coin is the positive (+) electrode and the zinc nail is a negative (-) electrode. The electrodes flow from the negative side to the positive side thereby creating the electric current. The acid in the lemon reacts differently with each of the two metals. The positive and negative charges create current, which will flows when the battery circuit is complete. The complete electric circuit causes a small amount of electricity to flow. Regular batteries are also very similar to the lemon battery as all the batteries also have ‘+’ and ‘-‘terminal. These metals are good conductors of electricity that’s why they are used. The force which is moving the electrons is measured in Volts (Voltage).

A single lemon battery does not produce a significant amount of voltage, but with the help of a sensitive voltmeter, it can be detected. The positive clip, the red casing, is connected to the copper coin or wire and the negative clip, the black casing, is connected to the zinc coated or galvanized nail. The voltmeter will show the deflection and shows a small voltage number, usually less than one tenth of a volt. It is just use to demonstrate that an electric current can be generated through a chemical reaction.

The experiment is able to light up a small LED light or a device which require only a small amount of voltage.

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