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In this science fair project,construct batteriesfrom various fruits and testthem to see which one will producethe most electric current. Then, determine if it would be practical to use fruit as a natural source for generating electricity.An electric current is a flow of electronsand is measured in units calledamperesor "amps."Voltageis the force that pushes the electrons through a circuit (likethe pressure on water in a pipe)and is measured involts.When two dissimilar metals are placed in a common conducting solution,electricity will be produced. This is the basis of the electro-chemical cell, or wet cell. In the early nineteenth-century, Alessandro Volta used this fact of physics to invent the voltaic pile and discovered the first practical method of generating electricity. Constructed of alternating discs of zinc and copper metals with pieces of cardboard soaked in a salt solution between the metals, his voltaic pile produced an electrical current.Alessandro Volta's voltaic pile was the first "wet cell battery" that produced electricity.A wet cell consists of a negative electrode,a positive electrode and an electrolyte, which conducts ions (atoms with an electric charge). In this science fair project, copper and zinc metals will be used as the electrodes and the citric acid found in fresh fruit is the electrolyte. The chemistry behind the fruit cell is that zinc is more reactive than copper which means zinc loses electrons more easily than copper. As a result, oxidation occurs inthe zinc metal strip and zinc metal loses electrons which thenbecome zinc ions. The electrons then flow from the zinc strip to the copper strip through an external circuit. Inthe copper strip, reduction occurs and the hydrogen ions in the fruit's critic acid juice accept these electrons to form hydrogen gas; this explains why the investigator may observe bubbling of gas produced at the copper strip when the two metals are connected by a wire.

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Fecha publicación: 12.5.2016

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