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Carter Yost, Nate Paras

Miss Miller

Chemistry

8 May, 2018

Electrical Conduction of Citrus Fruit

In 1879, Thomas Edison was the first known person to successfully light

an electric bulb. Electricity is the electrons and protons in matter. When

subatomic particles flow, they create what is called an “electric current”. This

current is harnessed and used to provide a power source to modern essentials

such as lights, heating systems, electronic devises and just about every other

modern invention. Power companies burn fossil fuels and harness nuclear

activity to sustain these amenities; but there is a simple and rather untraditional

source, citrus fruit.

Italian physicist and chemist, Alessandro Volta was the first person to

discover the electrical current found in citrus fruit. He did so in an attempt to

discover a practical method of storing power. By 1800, he created the first

battery with a lemon.

The conductivity of fruit seems almost fictional, but it couldn’t be anything

less than factual. Citrus fruits like lemons contain particles called “electrolytes”.

They have an electric charge that produces electricity when paired with two

metal electrodes. The metal completes the circuit making electric power

production feasible.

Work Cited

“CONTRADICTORY DEFINITIONS.” WHAT IS ELECTRICITY? Scientists'

Definition of Electricity, 2009, amasci.com/miscon/whatdef.html.

education.com. “Fruit Battery | Science Project.” Education.com, 15 Nov. 2013,

www.education.com/science-fair/article/which-fuit-produce-electricity/.

Deziel, Chris. “Why Do Citrus Fruits Produce Electricity?” Sciencing, 17 Apr.

2018, sciencing.com/do-citrus-fruits-produce-electricity-5167602.html.

Buddies, Science. “Generate Electricity with a Lemon Battery.” Scientific

American, 23 July 2015, www.scientificamerican.com/article/generate-

electricity-with-a-lemon-battery/.

Question

• Will a lemon or a lime produce more electricity?

Hypothesis

• The amount of power conducted from the fruit will is fully dependent on the

acidity of the fruit. If I compare a lemon and lime, then lime will most likely

produce more electricity. This is because Limes have a pH level of 2.40

compared to lemons which have pH 2.30.

Material List

• Lemons and Limes (3 of each)

• One Paperclips (per fruit)

• Copper Wire

• One 2 by 3in. Piece of Aluminum (per fruit)

• Scissors

• Plastic Knife

• Disposable Plate

• Ruler

• Multi-Meter

Procedure

1. Place the lemon/ lime on a plate sideways

2. Make a vertical incision in the middle, 2cm wide and 1cm deep

3. Make a second incision parallel to the first one about 1cm to the side

4. Insert a copper wire in first incision

5. Insert a piece of aluminum into the second incision

6. Secure a copper wire to the aluminum with a paperclip

7. Attach both copper to the multi-meter to complete the circuit

8. Record and average the finding of the lemons as well as the limes

9. Create a graph to prove or disprove the hypothesis

Results

• Lemon

- 0.53 volts

- 0.51 volts

- 0.54 volts

- Average: 0.523 Volts

• Lime

- 0.62 volts

- 0.62 volts

- 0.63 volts

- Average: 0.623 Volts

Analysis and Conclusion

The conductivity of fruit seems almost fictional, but it couldn’t be anything

less than factual. This experiment proved the legitimacy of this theory. I chose to

examine three lemons and three limes. After doing this, I was able to determine

that Limes conduct slightly more electricity than lemons. This proved my

hypothesis that limes contain more electricity than lemons due to their pH levels.

The average pH level of the limes was 0.1 volts higher than the lemons. One

possible error could be how fresh the fruits were. This could be corrected by

buying them from a fresh grown farmers market.