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How to Use Lemon to produce Electricity:
Introduction: The construction and working of the lemon
experiment can be compared to a conventional
battery having electrodes and electrolyte. “Lemon
battery”, as the experiment is popularly known,
requires two external metal electrodes in the same
way; however the electrolyte is supplied by the
lemon itself.
MATERIALS NEEDED:
Two electrodes ( a zinc nail and a Copper Coin ),
A Juicy Lemon , which serve as Electrolyte,
A Voltmeter to measure the Current generated,
And a Wire.
HOW IT WORKS:
In a conventional battery, the two electrodes are
two different metal pieces (Usually copper and
zinc), submerged in an acidic solution (electrolyte)
and connected through an external wiring to a
voltmeter or a small bulb. Similarly, for a “lemon
battery” experiment, two different metals in the
form of a zinc nail and a copper coin are inserted
into a juicy lemon. The lemon battery is also
known as a voltaic battery which produces
electricity by converting chemical energy to
electrical energy.
The juice of lemon is acidic in nature
and works as a powerful electrolyte. The lemon
itself serves as a reservoir for transfer of electrons
to and from the electrodes. When the two
electrodes, copper and zinc, are suspended in the
acidic lemon juice, the atomic structure of the
atoms of both the electrodes starts breaking,
resulting in production of individual electrons.
Note that electricity will be
generated only when the battery circuit gets
completed by external wiring. Also, it is not the
lemon which is the source of energy, but the
chemical change in the zinc that produces
electricity. The zinc electrode, when inside the
lemon, gets oxidized by releasing electrons and
goes to a lower energy state. This leads to the
transfer of electrons from a high energy state
electrode to a low energy state electrode. Thus,
lemon just serves as an environment for the
generation of electricity; however doesn’t produce
any electrons on its own.
Key Note: The voltage produced by a single lemon is very
small. However, a series of lemons can be used to
increase the voltage of the whole battery. A series
involving four lemon batteries can easily light an
LED.

SIMPLE DIAGRAM OF A LEMON JUICE WITH ELECTRODES.

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LEMON JUICE CONNECTED TO A VOLTMETER.

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DIAGRAM SHOWING SERIES OF LEMON JUICE USE TO INCREASE THE VOLTAGE.

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