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Fruit Battery

Use Fruit to Generate Electricity for a Light Bulb

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Don't have a battery? Try using a lemon.

Don't have a battery? Try using a lemon.

kotz, stock.xchng
If you have fruit, a couple of nails, and wire then you can generate electricity to turn on a light bulb. Learn how to make a fruit battery. It's fun, safe, and easy.

Here's What You Need

  • citrus fruit (e.g., lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit)
  • copper nail, screw or wire (about 2" or 5 cm long)
  • zinc nail or screw or galvanized nail (about 2" or 5 cm long)
  • holiday light with 2" or 5 cm leads (enough wire to connect it to the nails)
Make a Fruit Battery
  1. Set the fruit on a table and gently roll it around to soften it up. You want the juice to be flowing inside the fruit without breaking its skin. Alternatively, you can squeeze the fruit with your hands.

  2. Insert the zinc and copper nails into the fruit so that they are about 2" or 5 cm apart. You don't want them to be touching each other. Avoid puncturing through the end of the fruit.

  3. Remove enough insulation from the leads of the light (about 1") so that you can wrap one lead around the zinc nail and one lead around the copper nail. If you like, you can use electrical tape or alligator clips to keep the wire from falling off the nails.

  4. When you connect the second nail, the light will turn on!
Learn More
  • Citrus fruits are acidic, which helps their juice to conduct electricity. What other fruits and vegetables might you try that would work as batteries?

  • If you have a multimeter, you can measure the current produced by the battery. Compare the effectiveness of different types of fuits. See what happens as you change the distance between the nails.

  • Do acidic fruits always work better? Measure the pH (acidity) of the fruit juice and compare that with the current through the wires or brightness of the light bulb.

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