Details activity Length 15 mins. Topics chemical ReactionsElectricity Activity type Discrepant occasion (Investigatable) Language English publish

You can make a battery using a item of fruit?

Yes, technically, but not a very strong one!

The source of electrical energy in this demonstrate is the mix of copper and zinc strips in the citric acid of the lemon.

The citric acid of the lemon reacts v the zinc and also loosens electrons. Copper traction electrons an ext strongly 보다 zinc, so loosened electrons will move towards the copper as soon as the electrodes are connected by wires. Moving electrons are dubbed an electric current, which is what lamp up the bulb.

You are watching: Can a lemon power a light bulb

Teacher Tip:This is a classic electricity activity, but it have the right to be really frustrating if girlfriend don"t have the best equipment. We recommend having actually a multimeter or voltmeter top top hand to test the voltage.


describe the relationship in between an electron and also current electricity.


Per Pair of Students:lemon (and various other fruit, optional)1 copper strip1 zinc strip (you can use a galvanized nail, i beg your pardon is coated with zinc)knife2 copper wire leads (each about 20 cm long) with alligator clips top top both endsLED bulb with a rating of no more than 2 volts (the smaller sized the voltage, the better)wire cutterswire strippers

Per Class:multimeter or voltmeter (optional)

Key Questions

What happens when you connect the cable to the bulb? What is the strength source? What role does the lemon pat in lighting up the bulb? when we use two strips the the exact same metal, go the pear light up? Why? Is water a good conductor of electrical current? Is salt a an excellent conductor of electrical current? exactly how do friend know?

What come Do

role the lemon steady on a counter to release some of the juices.Insert the one copper strip and one zinc piece vertically right into the lemon, with one end sticking out.Connect one wire lead to each steel strip (electrode).Connect one of the free ends the the wire leads to one of the wires attached to the LEDConnect the remaining complimentary end the the wire cause the remaining totally free wire top top the bulb. Don’t be surprised if the pear doesn’t light!
Hint: If you’re using an LED, the will just light if it’s linked in the best direction. Try switching direction.Hint: Don’t try to test your LED through hooking it approximately a advertising battery. A advertisement battery will be too an effective and will wreck the LED.Use the voltmeter or multimeter come check the voltage between the 2 electrodes. It will most likely be much less than 1 volt! That’s not sufficient to irradiate the LED, i m sorry needs about 2 volts. Sign up with together in teams of three or 4 lemons. Attach the lemons together in series (connect copper come zinc together with wire) and also attach the ends to ONE bulb. Usage the voltmeter to check the voltage between the totally free wires in ~ the ends that the series.

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​Teacher Tip: The voltage will be extremely weak. You may need at the very least 3 lemons every battery for any type of visible activity to occur on the voltometer.


Experiment with various other fruits (e.g. Oranges, grapefruits, apples, peaches, pears). I m sorry ones produce the highest possible voltage? Why? Experiment v replacing the electrodes through two copper strips or 2 zinc strips and shot to light the bulb. Measure up the voltage and also explain the results. Experiment v replacing the electrodes with different metals (e.g. Iron and also magnesium). Which combine of electrodes give the highest voltage?