Why do citrus fruits produce electricity?

Written by sunny griffis
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
Why do citrus fruits produce electricity?
(Lemon Batteries by Gilgongo)

In order to generate electricity, there must be a power source and a complete circuit. When using a citrus fruit to create electricity, these rules still apply. In a simple experiment using a citrus fruit, the components of the circuit include: a lemon or other fruit, wire, two different metal elements and a small light bulb. The lemon in this circuit serves as the battery and power source.

Two metals often used in this demonstration are zinc and copper. The acidic juice of the lemon dissolves small amounts of the two metals and their electrons react with each other. The negatively charged ions travel through the wires, creating an electrical current. (Electricity is the movement of electrons.) This demonstration is a closed circuit, which allows electrons to flow from the power source and back again, with no breaks.

Other People Are Reading

Complete Circuit

In order to generate electricity, there must be a power source and a complete circuit. When using a citrus fruit to create electricity, these rules still apply. In a simple experiment using a citrus fruit, the components of the circuit include: a lemon or other fruit, wire, two different metal elements and a small light bulb. The lemon in this circuit serves as the battery and power source.

Two metals often used in this demonstration are zinc and copper. The acidic juice of the lemon dissolves small amounts of the two metals and their electrons react with each other. The negatively charged ions travel through the wires, creating an electrical current. (Electricity is the movement of electrons.) This demonstration is a closed circuit, which allows electrons to flow from the power source and back again, with no breaks.

Battery Properties

At first glance, it appears this circuit lacks the crucial component of a battery or power source. The lemon, with the zinc and copper, becomes a battery. A battery is composed of two metals and an electrolyte. An electrolyte is a conductive liquid; here, the lemon juice performs this function. A chemical reaction takes place between the metals within the citrus fruit. This creates voltage, which pushes the electrons through the circuit.

A common misunderstanding is that citrus fruits create electricity. What happens is the electrolyte (the citrus juice) combined with the zinc and the copper form a battery, which in turn completes an electrical circuit.

Multi-Cell Battery

Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons are excellent conductors. They don't produce much energy on their own, but if you utilise a few of them in a series within the circuit, you can produce enough electricity to power a light bulb. This creates a multi-cell battery, which makes the citrus fruit electricity more powerful and practical.

Variations

Citrus fruits are not the only sources of electrolytes. Other juicy fruits, like apples, can be used. Potatoes are good conductors, too. Vinegar is also a viable conductor.

Many small items can be powered using an electrical circuit with citrus fruits, such as penlight bulbs. LEDs can be powered with citrus fruits; they use less electricity than light bulbs. Calculators are a useful tool that can be powered by this method, too.

Don't Miss

Filter:
  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
Sort:
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the eHow.co.uk site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.