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The electrical energy produced from chemical reactions

  1. Jul 10, 2013 #1
    Hi there, new member here
    (**TL,DR is available at the bottom of this post**)

    As you may or may not know, if you were to put in a plate of zinc at one end and a plate of copper at the other, put them in an acid solution, electricity will be produced.
    More of that stuff here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon_battery

    However, it doesnt necessarily have to be copper and zinc. You could use different metals (with different reactivity) including aluminum, lead, silver, etc;

    After some experimentation, I found out that different combinations of metals produced different voltages and current, thus different power output as well.

    But, do these different combinations of metals produce different amounts of total energy? Or is it that the total energy produce will be the same, and a lower power output results in the system lasting longer.

    TL,DR
    In the lemon battery (and most other metals), we can use different metals (with different re-activity) to generate electricity. Do all combinations result in the same total output of energy?

    Thank you very much for your time
    Any response will be appreciated
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 11, 2013 #2

    SteamKing

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    "After some experimentation, I found out that different combinations of metals produced different voltages and current, thus different power output as well."

    Congratulations! You have re-discovered the electro-chemical series for metals.
     
  4. Jul 11, 2013 #3
    Ok, sorry I guess I worded that wrong. It is obvious that this is true, so I apologize for that. I just wanted to point out that this indeed true, and that I have done some validation.
    But does the total energy output differ anyways?
    Thanks
     
  5. Jul 14, 2013 #4

    NascentOxygen

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    Hi longchair, [Broken]

    The voltage is dependent upon the chemistries in the cell. The energy available is dependent on the quantities of the active constituents. A cell made with larger sheets of metal and more acid can deliver more energy.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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