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Fruit Battery

Batteries are devices that store chemical energy and convert it to electrical energy. Consisting of one or more
voltaic cells, batteries come in various sizes and forms and are integrated into most electronic and portable
devices.

Electrical current is the flow of electrons (movement) of an electrical charge and is measured using an ammeter.
Solid conductive metals contain large population of free electrons, which are bound to the metal lattice and move
around randomly due to thermal energy. When two terminals of a voltage source (battery) are connected via a
metal wire, the free electrons of the conductor drift toward the positive terminal, making them the electrical current
carrier within the conductor.

Purpose
To demonstrate how an electrical current can be generated using fruits such as lemons or limes.

Required materials
• Citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes, grapefruits, or oranges.
• Copper plate approximately 2 inches in length
• Zinc plate approximately 2 inches in length
• Crocodile clip with wire
• Micro Ammeter - a measuring instrument used to measure the electric current in a circuit
• Small colored LED (optional)
Procedure
1. Prepare your fruit for the experiment by squeezing it on all sides with your hands. Make sure not to squeeze
too tightly and break the skin! The idea is to soften the fruit enough so that the juice inside are flowing.
2. Insert your metal plate into the fruit, approximately 2 inches apart from one another. The ends of the plates
should be in the center of the fruit, but not touching one another.
3. Connect one of the Micro Ammeter's terminals to the copper plate and attach with a Crocodile clip.
4. Connect the other Micro Ammeter's terminal to the zinc plate and attach with a Crocodile clip.
5. Read the reading from the Micro Ammeter.
Note: Try using different kinds of fruits. You may want to consider tomatoes (yes, they ARE fruit) as they have
one of the highest pH levels of fruits, making them perfect for this experiment.

Result
The zinc plate and copper plate is an active metal, which reacts with the acid in the fruit. The active ingredient in
the fruit is positively charged ions. A transfer of electrons takes place between the zinc pltce, copper plate and the
acid from the fruit. The metal plate act as poles for the battery, one positive and one negative. Electrons travel from
the positive pole to the negative pole via the wire (the conductor), generating electricity that can be detected
through Micro Ammeter.

Discussion
1. Do you think another kind of fruit would work with this experiment? How about a vegetable? Which fruit
has the best conductivity?
2. Do you think moving the plate further apart will change the current?
3. If the fruit battery is connected to LED do you think your fruit battery will
continue to power the LED after a few hours?
4. Do you think the size of the fruit would affect the voltage?