One of the most popular experiments cited in coursebooks is the lemon battery experiment. So, today you’ll learn how to make a lemon battery. In short, two metals are immersed in an acidic solution in it. The metals copper and zinc are good for the battery, and the citric acid in the lemon acts as an acidic solution. These batteries cannot power a motor or light bulb, but they can provide a weak glow in LEDs.
For instructional purposes, a lemon battery is a simple battery created from zinc metal, such as a galvanized nail, and a copper item, such as a penny. These are wired together and placed inside a lemon. Electrodes are zinc and copper, while an electrolyte is lemon juice. Many kids are unable to understand this project. Although once they try to make it on their own, it’s all clear to them.
For kids to understand, the lemon’s citric acid interacts with the zinc, releasing electrons. Because copper attracts electrons more aggressively than zinc, when the electrodes are linked by wires, loose electrons will gravitate toward the copper. Let’s give this project a try with these simple steps.
To make this Physics DIY project, we must have the following supplies ready beforehand.
- Copper wire
- Iron nail
- Metal clips
- Calculator (to check the battery)
To make a lemon battery, you are supposed to follow these steps.
Step 1: Take an iron nail and copper wire. Make sure to rub it on sandpaper.
Iron nail and copper wire
Step 2: Bring out a lemon. Then, take the iron nail and insert it on one side of the lemon. Once you’re done, take the copper wire and insert it on the opposite side.
Insert in the lemon
Step 3: Now, one is your ‘+’ side, and the other is ‘-‘.
Step 4: Use metal clips and attach them to both pieces. It’s time to check whether the lemon battery is working or not. Arrange the clips as shown in the image.
Step 5: Use a calculator to check the battery. How? Just remove the battery from the calculator. And attach the wire to metal clips.
Check with calculator
Step 6: And hurray, it’s done.
- Use sharp equipment carefully: Be careful while using the scissors and nails, as they can cause serious cuts and injuries.
Well, was that so hard? I guess not. The steps are extremely easy. Additionally, you just need a few basic materials, and you can give it a try. So what are you waiting for? I hope this guide on how to make a lemon battery would have helped you in understanding the concept.
An Indian nuclear physicist, founding director, and professor of physics at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.