A Simple Lemon Battery science experiment : Fizzics Education


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A Simple Lemon Battery

A Simple Lemon Battery

Follow FizzicsEd 150 Science Experiments:

You will need:

One lemon or orange

A copper coin or copper metal

A ‘silver’ coin or aluminium metal

One knife

A simple Homemade Lemon Battery - materials_ingredients needed
1 A simple Homemade Lemon Battery - wash the coins thoroughly

Wash the coins thoroughly and dry them.

2 A simple Homemade Lemon Battery - roll the lemon, lime or orange, juicing it

Roll the lemon or orange across a bench, pushing down to ‘juice’ the lemon.

3 A simple Homemade Lemon Battery - ask an adult to cut two slits

Ask an adult to carefully cut two small slits in the rind, fairly close together.

4 A simple Homemade Lemon Battery - place the coins into the slits close together

Place the coins into the slits, making sure they don’t touch each other.

What will happen if you touch your tongue to the coins at the same time? Try other foods!

5 A simple Homemade Lemon Battery - measure voltage with a multimeter

If you have a multimeter, try measuring the current created in the circuit.

Why Does This Happen?

The coins are made of two different materials, i.e. copper and zinc – not really silver! When you place two different metals apart in an acid, a current of electricity will flow if you complete the circuit. The acid in the lemon allowed the Copper atoms to travel to the Zinc coin, whilst electrons from the Zinc coin travel towards the copper coin via your tongue! You’ve made a simple Voltaic Cell.

The saliva on your tongue is electrically conductive, so touching the coins with your tongue completes the circuit. Don’t do this with batteries as it could be dangerous.

Variables to test

More on variables here

  • Try a lime, a grapefruit, a mandarin and other citrus fruits. Do they have any difference compared to the lemon?
  • What about trying a potato, a beetroot, pumpkin or any other kitchen vegetable or fruit!
  • Try different combinations of coins.
  • Try different metals in the fruit.

Learn More!


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