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How to Make Lemon Batteries!

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Channel: Branch Education
Categories: Chemistry   |   Science  
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Got some lemons? Let's make a lemon battery! With just a few household items, you can generate electricity and light an LED. Join in this hands-on activity to learn about electricity. It is great for all ages and cheap to build. You need 3x lemons, copper pennies, galvanized nails, copper wire, and an LED to light up.

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Twitter: @teddytablante
Made by Teddy Tablante

Table of Contents:
00:35 Section 1: Lemon Battery Build Steps
04:10 Outro: Questions & Branches

FAQ, Tips & Issues building the Lemon Battery:

Top reasons why it doesn't light up an LED:
1) Your coins really should be made of 100% copper, meaning they should be minted before 1982. Coins minted after 1982 are copper plated zinc (2.5% copper, 97.5% zinc). I have had success with these current coins, however very unreliable success.
2) The copper pennies should be clean. Use steel wool or a brillo pad, or the rough side of a sponge and some vinegar to clean them.
ALTERNATIVELY: You can just use a good amount of copper wire inside the lemon instead of the copper pennies, but if you aren't using enough copper wire, your lemon battery won't generate enough current.
3) Your LED legs are facing the wrong direction.
4) Inside the lemon the copper pennies and zinc nails are touching.
5) The connection from copper wire to zinc nails isn't good.

Background Understanding: Lemons & Activities

Key Branches from this video are: Exploring Lemon Batteries, Voltage & Current, Li-Ion Batteries, Understanding Electricity


Animation built using Blender 2.79b
Post with Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects
Sound editing with Reaper

Work Cited:

Goodisman, Jerry (2001)."Observations on Lemon Cells".Journal of Chemical Education.78(4): 516518

"Lemon Battery". Pembroke, Ontario: Hila Science Camp.

Wikipedia contributors. "Lemon Batteries." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, March 3rd, 2019.

Music Attribution in Order:
Easy LemonbyKevin MacLeodis licensed under aCreative Commons Attributionlicense (

Away by Geographer from YouTube Audio Library

Lightning Bugs by Geographer from YouTube Audio Library

Water Lillies by Density & Time from YouTube Audio Library

Wind Marching For Rain by Puddle of Infinity from YouTube Audio Library

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