Electric ...
Ben Franklin

The Lemon Battery

Lemon Battery

Did you know you can make electricity without a battery or a generator? You can make a small amount of electricity with a lemon. To make a lemon battery and feel the electric "juice" flow, just read the materials and procedure. Materials.


You'll need these materials to make the bottle pipes:

  • 1 fresh lemon
  • 1 sharp knife (make sure to have adult help with the knife)
  • 1 dime and 1 penny (clean them well - or you can use zinc or copper strips)


  1. Shake and roll the lemon on a table to "activate" the juices in the lemon.
  2. With the help of an adult, cut two small slices in the lemon about 1/2 inch apart. The penny and dime will go in these slits.
  3. Place your penny into one slot and your dime into the other slot.
  4. With your tongue touch both the penny and the dime at the same time. Can you feel anything? Maybe a tingling?

How it Works

The acid in the lemon reacts differently with each of the two metals. One of the coins contains positive electric charges, while the other contains negative electric charges. These charges create current, which will flow if the battery circuit is complete. Your tongue acts like a wire and conducts the charges, making the circuit complete. The complete electric circuit causes a small amount of electricity to flow, which causes the sensation on your tongue. Regular batteries are very similar to your lemon battery. Good Job!


Fun with Franklin is a great opportunity to learn and have fun, but if you are conducting an experiment you should be careful. Although the experiments on Fun with Franklin are relatively safe, you should make sure to do the following:

  • Dispose of the lemon and clean the coins upon completion of the experiment.
  • Follow all directions carefully and work in a clean, safe area.
  • Tell your parents/teachers you are conducting an experiment and ask if they want to help.
  • If you have questions or problems, feel free to ask an adult for help.
  • Don't do any experiment that you feel is too complex.