When life gives you lemons… make a clock! Construct this timber clock and watch as a lemon powers the LCD screen. This fully functional clock uses zinc and copper to draw power. To get more scientific, the lemon juice is an acidic electrolyte that is connected to a circuit with the zinc and copper.
Illustrated instructions will guide you through the process. If you want to get fancy, you can even paint your timber pieces in colours you love before you start. May we suggest, yellow?
Originally designed for the purposes of education about electrolytes and electrodes the lemon battery is a great way to illustrate the chemical reaction of oxidation and reduction. Place a lemon with a piece of zinc and a piece of copper inserted into its flesh, connected by wires to replicate this process. Hooked up to small device such as a clock face with an LED (light emitting diode) screen the lemon battery emits enough power to run it. The zinc and copper are the electrodes, the juice inside the lemon is the electrolyte – this is similar to the first electrical battery invented in 1800 by Alessandro Volta. You can use many different fruits or even liquids as the replacement for the electrolytes in this experiment. The zinc and copper can also be replaced by other metals.