Solving Lemon Battery Issues: Cu/Zn, Voltage, Current

In summary: from one electrode to the other due to diffusion. this occurs as a result of the ions moving back and forth between the electrodes due to the electrochemical reaction. in a lemon battery, this leakage is exacerbated by the presence of a salt bridge. because the salt bridge is in the same solution as the anode and cathode, it increases the distance between the two ions and makes the leakage more likely.
  • #1
gfisanick
2
0
I am demoing a lemon battery made with a copper sheet electrode and a galvanized nail for the Zn electrode. I get a voltage of 0.954 volts from the battery which slowly decays over time.
Why is my voltage this close to the 1.1 V expected value if my concentrations of copper and zinc ions are so far from standard conditions?
Does anyone know the actual half reactions at work?
How can I increase the current from the cell other than placing several lemons in series? In other words, what is likely to be limiting the current?
Why can't I hook up multiple electrodes in series in the same lemon and get a higher voltage?
Why do texts make it seem like a salt bridge is mandatory in electrchemical cells when this example proves it clearly is not?
 
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  • #2
gfisanick said:
I am demoing a lemon battery made with a copper sheet electrode and a galvanized nail for the Zn electrode. I get a voltage of 0.954 volts from the battery which slowly decays over time.
Why is my voltage this close to the 1.1 V expected value if my concentrations of copper and zinc ions are so far from standard conditions?
Does anyone know the actual half reactions at work?
How can I increase the current from the cell other than placing several lemons in series?In other words, what is likely to be limiting the current?
Current will be limited by the size of the electrodes and the resistivity of the lemon.

Why can't I hook up multiple electrodes in series in the same lemon and get a higher voltage?
You can do just that.

Why do texts make it seem like a salt bridge is mandatory in electrchemical cells when this example proves it clearly is not?
The lemon is the salt bridge.
 
  • #3
I thought the salt bridge was used to separate the anode and cathode so they could be in different chemical environments. In that case the lemon is not a salt bridge since the anode and cathode are in the SAME solution.
 
  • #4
a salt bridge is used to separate the cathode and anode, but it can be in the same solution as well as different solutions also acting as a spacer between the two to keep them from shorting out like in conventional electrolytic capicitors
all batteries have "leakage" of current
 
Last edited:

Related to Solving Lemon Battery Issues: Cu/Zn, Voltage, Current

1. How do I know if my lemon battery is working?

The easiest way to tell if your lemon battery is working is to use a voltmeter. Connect the positive and negative ends of the voltmeter to the copper and zinc electrodes, respectively. If the voltmeter reads a positive voltage, then your lemon battery is working.

2. Why is copper used as one of the electrodes in a lemon battery?

Copper is used as one of the electrodes in a lemon battery because it is a good conductor of electricity and is less reactive than other metals. This means that it will not easily corrode when in contact with the lemon juice, allowing for a more stable and longer-lasting battery.

3. What is the ideal voltage for a lemon battery?

The ideal voltage for a lemon battery can vary depending on the size, acidity, and freshness of the lemon, as well as the materials used for the electrodes. On average, a lemon battery can produce a voltage of 0.8-1.0 volts, but this can be increased by connecting multiple lemon batteries in series.

4. How can I increase the current output of my lemon battery?

The current output of a lemon battery can be increased by using larger or more acidic lemons, increasing the surface area of the electrodes, and using materials with lower resistance for the electrodes, such as copper and zinc. Connecting multiple lemon batteries in parallel can also increase the current output.

5. What are some common issues that can affect the performance of a lemon battery?

Some common issues that can affect the performance of a lemon battery include using old or dry lemons, using materials with high resistance for the electrodes, and poor connection between the electrodes and wires. Low acidity in the lemon juice and insufficient surface area of the electrodes can also impact the battery's performance.

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