Sometimes science is simpler than it looks. With lemons, a little wire, zinc and copper, it is possible to generate electricity.
In college physics chemistry, many adolescents have discovered the properties of electricity. In particular that which can be made thanks to fruits of all kinds, lemons being the most commonly used example.
Thus it is possible to produce an electric current, of a few volts, thanks to lemons which serve as a charge. An astonishing way to make electricity and which indicates compared to our current batteries, and which is the proof, if one needed one, of the fascinating things that nature offers.
But this ability to make electricity from fruit interested a researcher at the University of Bath, England. Indeed, Saiful Islam had the funny idea of breaking the record for the largest electric current ever created with fruit.
A simple story of acid
In total, the professor used more than 2,900 lemons to achieve an incredible electrical voltage of 2307 volts. If this result may seem very impressive, it is good to qualify it a little. Indeed, the electric current recorded had a ridiculous intensity of a few milliamperes (0.84) and only managed to produce a power of 1.94W, not enough to be electrocuted.
But all the interest of this record is not in the power or the intensity of the electric current. The simple idea of successfully creating such a current with simple lemons is sufficient in itself. Scientists quickly understood what the mechanisms were in place at that time and all you need to do is add lemons to beat this record.
It is indeed a simple addition of the electric current produced by each lemon. By using 2923 lemons, it is therefore capable of producing 2307 volts, but if we imagine an experiment with more than 3000 lemons the result will surely be higher.
How to do it at home?
Before you jump on the first lemon you have in your kitchen, here are the few steps to follow to produce your own electric current with lemons.
You will need two rods, one in copper and the other in zinc, connected to each other by an electric wire. Then just plant the two electrodes at both ends of the lemon and you’re done. The little zinc bar will react to the acidity of the lemon juice, creating ions and electrons. The latter will then run through the wire before joining the copper rod and producing the famous electric current so much sought after.
This experiment, often carried out with the youngest, is without danger. It is a very good way to understand how electricity is produced and how the latter manages to circulate in matter.