How Do Citrus Produce Electricity?
Remember that potato battery experiment you did in school when you were a kid? That also works with citrus fruit! It’s true – apart from tasting great, juicy oranges, fresh limes, and tart lemons can also serve as power sources in a pinch. It may not be the most efficient – or desirable – way to use up your sweet oranges, but if you’re out of batteries and the power goes out, you may just be able to use your gifts of fruit to illuminate an LED bulb!
Why Do Citrus Fruits Produce Electricity?
Grapefruit, oranges, limes and other citrus fruits contain citric acid, an electrolyte that conducts electricity. Electrolytes contain free ions, which gravitate toward a source of opposite charge and toward a source of like charge. If you insert a pair of electrodes in the pulp of a lemon or other citrus fruit, the electron exchange between them can produce a charge.
How to Make a Battery Out of Citrus Fruits
Building an electro-chemical battery with a lemon, grapefruit or potato is a classic science fair experiment – all you need (apart from the fruit, of course) is a galvanized nail and a copper penny. Insert the nail in one side of the fruit, and the penny in the other (make sure they don’t touch inside the fruit), connect them to a complete circuit, and you have a battery!
The reason this works is because the electrolyte is already present in the fruit, so all you have to add is a pair of electrodes and some conducting wire to connect them. Your “electrodes” need to be made from opposing metals in order to create the difference between them. A copper penny and zinc nail make a good pair of dissimilar metals. The copper penny will produce extra electrons in the fruit which will flow through the electrolyte to the zinc nail, building up a charge. By connecting your electrode with a piece of 12-guage wire or a penny, you complete the power circuit.
We Recommend Saving Your Citrus Fruit Basket for Eating!
Making a citrus battery is a fun experiment to do with the kids, or even as a low-level power source in a pinch, but we at Pittman & Davis recommend you save your fresh fruit gift boxes for culinary uses! When you order citrus from Pittman & Davis, you know you’re getting the best-tasting, freshest, highest-quality fruit available. That’s because we leave it on the tree until it reaches its full flavor, then hand-pick it for quality before carefully packing it and rushing it right to you. And if your citrus gift box isn’t all you feel it should be, please let us know so we can make it right as soon as possible!
Citrus fruit produces energy in all kinds of ways, and the best energy it produces is for your own body. Order your fresh, healthy and delicious citrus fruit from Pittman & Davis and see the difference for yourself!
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