Lemon Battery

A lemon battery is a simple battery often made for the purpose of education. Typically, a piece of zinc metal (such as a galvanized nail) and a piece of copper (such as a penny) are inserted into a lemon and connected by wires. Power generated by reaction of the metals is used to power a small device such as a light emitting diode (LED).

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Detailed Description for Lemon Battery

           

       A lemon battery is a simple battery often made for the purpose of education. Typically, a piece of zinc metal (such as agalvanized nail) and a piece of copper (such as a penny) are inserted into a lemon and connected by wires. Power generated by reaction of the metals is used to power a small device such as a light emitting diode (LED).

       The lemon battery is similar to the first electrical battery invented in 1800 by Alessandro Volta, who used brine (salt water) instead of lemon juice. The lemon battery illustrates the type of chemical reaction (oxidation-reduction) that occurs in batteries.The zinc and copper are called the electrodes, and the juice inside the lemon is called the electrolyte. There are many variations of the lemon cell that use different fruits (or liquids) as electrolytes and metals other than zinc and copper as electrodes.

 

         

            There are numerous sets of instructions for making lemon batteries and for obtaining components such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs), electrical meters (multimeters), and zinc-coated (galvanized) nails and screws.Commercial "potato clock" science kits include electrodes and a low-voltage digital clock.

            Zinc and copper electrodes are reasonably safe and easy to obtain. Other metals such as lead, iron, magnesium, etc., can be studied as well; they yield different voltages than the zinc/copper pair. In particular, magnesium/copper cells can generate voltages as large as 1.6 V in lemon cells. This voltage is larger than obtainable using zinc/copper cells. It is comparable to that of standard household batteries (1.5 V), which is useful in powering devices with a single cell instead of using cells in series.

 

 


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