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Lemon battery experiment

Learn how to make battery from lemon

Successfully creating battery from a lemons is not easy.
Batteries consist of two different metals suspended in an acidic solution. Copper and Zinc work well as the metals and the citric acid content of a lemon will provide the acidic solution.
Lemon batteris will not be able torun a motor or something liek that, but it would be able to produce a dom glow from an LED.

What you need?  Lemon (fresh, juicy works best), nail (I used a 2″ galvanized common nail) and the penny.

lemon battery

Creating the battery: First insert a penny into a cut on one side of the lemon. Push a galvanized nail into the other side of the lemon.
Watch that naild and penny dont touch.

lemon battery

This is a single cell of a battery. The zinc nail and the copper penny are called electrodes. The lemon juice is called electrolyte.
All batteries have a “+” and “-” terminal. Electric current is a flow of atomic particles called electrons. Certain materials , called conductors, allow electrons to flow through them. Most metals (copper, iron) are good conductors of electricity. Electrons will flow from the “-” electrode of a battery, through a conductor, towards the “+” electrode of a battery. Volts (voltage) is a measure of the force moving the electrons. (High voltage is dangerous!)

lemon battery

Voltmeter tell me that lemon battery is creating a voltage of 0.906 volts. But thats not enough to light a blub.

lemon battery

To solve this problem we need more lemon batteries and connect them with a metal wire from “+” to “-“. That would add voltage from each cell.

lemon battery

The two lemon batteries above, combine to produce a voltage of 1.788 volts. This combination still does not create enough current to light a small bulb. Note the red wire connecting the batteries is joined from “+” (penny) to “-” (galvanized nail).

lemon battery

Four lemon batteries create a voltage of 3.50 volts. Now we should be able to light up a small device like an LED (Light Emitting Diode).
Note the connecting wires go from “+” to “-” on each battery.

lemon battery

To turn on an LED you must determine the “+” and “-” connections. If you look closely at the red plastic base of an LED you will notice a “flat” spot (indicated by arrow above). The wire that comes out beside the flat spot must connect to the “-” side of a battery, the other wire to the “+” side.

Important information about LEDs: LEDs are designed to work at very low voltages (~ 2V) and low currents. They will be damaged if connected to batteries rated at over 2 volts. LEDs require resistors to control current when used with batteries rated at over 2 volts. Lemon batteries produce low current. It is OK to connect an LED to a lemon battery.

lemon battery

In the above image, electrons flow from the “-” (nail) end of our lemon battery through the LED (making it glow) then back to the “+” (penny) end of the battery. This is an electronic circuit. The LED glows dimly with this configuration.

lemon battery

Improving your battery.
The quality of the copper and zinc can be a problem for a battery like this. Pennies in particular are rarely pure copper.
Try substituting a length of 14 gauge copper wire (common house wire) for the penny. Experiment with different lengths and configurations of electrodes. Other sources of zinc and copper may be found in the plumbing supply department of a hardware store.

So I hope this article helps you to learn how to create lemon battery.

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