Fruit Batteries and fuel cell construction

Useful information
Kit List: 

Fruit, something to power, zinc rods/nails, copper rods/nails, electrical tape

Packing Away: 

Has a mini box

Frequency of use: 

1. Connect the red wire on the LCD to a copper and the black wire to a zinc. Secure wires in place with electrical tape.
2. Get another copper and zinc and connect them with the connection wire using adhesive tape.
3. Insert the forks and zinc plates into the fruit halves to get power

How does it work?
The copper acts like the positive electrodes of a battery, being less reactive than zinc. When the copper and zinc plates are inserted into the lemon, a chemical reaction takes place. Electrons (extremely small particles with negative charge) move from the zinc plates to the copper to form a current, thus activating the LCD. The lemon juice helps to conduct electricity. You can replace the lemon with a potato, a grapefruit or use soft drinks and see what effect this has.

Fun Facts
The development of the battery started in 1775 when a scientist called Alessandro Volta invented a machine that produced and stored static electricity by rubbing cat fur across a metal plate. A few years later, a doctor called Luigi Galvani noticed that dissected frogs' legs twitched when they were in contact with two different metals. Volta realized that the electricity came from the metals and began doing experiments with different types of metal. In 1800, he made the first ever battery which consisted of copper and zinc strips separated by a piece of paper soaked in salt water and dipped in diluted acid.

Extra points to get across... talk about circuits a bit, why does it all have to be connecting in a circuit, how does the electricity travel through the fruit!

Risk Assessment
Date risk assesment last checked: 
Mon, 04/02/2019
Risk assesment checked by: 
Josh Garfinkel
Date risk assesment double checked: 
Mon, 04/02/2019
Risk assesment double-checked by: 
Polly Hooton
Risk Assessment: 



Hazard Risk Likelihood Severity Overall Mitigation Likelihood Severity Overall
Sharp plates/nails/forks Could hurt people/cause cuts 3 3 9 Monitor kids when they are using metals, and make sure metals are not too sharp 2 2 4
Fruit juice Irritation if it gets in eyes. 3 3 9 Encourage metal rods to be put carefully into fruit to prevent squirting of fruit juice.
Call a first aider if fruit juice gets in eyes, who may perform an eyewash if trained and confident to do so.
2 2 4
Fruit juice Juice is acidic and can cause damage if in contact with cuts. 3 1 3 Clean rods between use so not covered in juice when children handling them.
Check that children don’t have uncovered cuts before starting demonstration.
In case of accident, wash the affected area with clean water.
2 1 2