People are quite familiar with a few fun-filled experiments that we’ve done during our school days. At the same time, the children love to do experiments that have both fun and knowledge and the most familiar experiment that people have ever done or will ever do is “Lemon Battery”. We can see batteries everywhere like in car, toys, lights, mobiles, laptops and so on. And how the batteries are working really astonishes the minds of the children. Children are the most curious one than the adults and such experiments will not only help them to gain knowledge but also how it can be used in life.
In this article, you guys will learn how to make a lemon battery with simple steps and how it works to bring out the current from Hank, from SciShow YouTube Channel. Here he further tackles about the science behind the lemon battery experiment.
- A nail coated in Zinc
- Copper wire
- Volt Metre
HOW TO MAKE A LEMON BATTERY?
To begin with, the experiment, take a piece of zinc galvanized nail and a copper wire. Then take a lemon and roll it around on the table to break or open the juice compartments inside. Next, take the copper wire and the zinc nail and push it into opposite ends of the lemon. Make sure that they don’t touch each other inside. These two metals create positive and negative terminals like in batteries. And then connect the terminals to the volt metre to test the lemon battery.
SCIENCE BEHIND IT
We used to think that, in this experiment, electricity is from the lemon but the fact is, the electricity is not in the lemon. You’ll be unsurprised to discover that when you connect the volt metre to the copper and zinc, it will show some electric current. It is because there are electrons flowing from one metal to the other and this will prove the fact that the electricity from the lemon battery is not from the lemon.
Electric Chemical Cells or Batteries require three things and they are two electrodes and one electrolyte. One of the electrodes has to have the strongest desires for electrons than the other and in Chemistry, it is said that it has Higher Electro-Negativity.
The electrode that wants more electrons is called Cathode and the electrode that gives up electrons is called Anode.
In our lemon battery, we have both the copper and the zinc. Copper likes having electrons more than zinc, so it’s more electro-negative and thus, it is a cathode. But it is not possible for electrons to make the metal all positively charged on one side and the negative on the other. Since zinc is losing all its electrons,
it has to lose protons too. To make it happen, the electrolyte has to be used. The wire that connects the copper and the zinc allows electrons to flow freely, but protons are huge compared to electrons and cannot be moved through wires. Yet, protons can move into an ionic solution like dilution of citric acid which is used as our electrolyte. When zinc is exposed to the acid in the lemon juice, the acid oxidises or removes electrons from the zinc resulting in positively charged zinc ions move in the solution. The resulting electrons in the metal will be collected by the copper. The electrons in the copper will pull a couple of protons or hydrogen ions out of the acid and reduce them by adding electrons. The result is hydrogen gas, which are tiny bubbles forming on the copper electrode.
The summary of this article is that the electricity from the lemon battery is not from the lemon but the chemical reaction resulting from the differences in electronegativity between zinc and copper. The actual power is from the zinc, not in the lemon. And we hope you are clearer with the idea and the science behind the lemon battery. If anyone says lemon has electricity, just clarify them with the help of this article.