The Lemonade Clock

A variation of the lemon battery

This might be the most cliché experiment for science right after Elephant’s toothpaste. If you know how both works – congratulations, you are probably pretty nerdy. Honestly, I have seen both experiments and they are both incredibly entertaining. And since I got the Lemonade Clock for my birthday, I thought I’d show you this cool variation of the lemon battery. Especially since it does not only make a lightbulb light up but we can use the actual clock that comes with the materials of the Lemonade Clock Box.

Let’s take a look at the Lemonade Clock first, before I explain how the lemonade battery works. In the box, we have the following tools:
A plug-in plate with a digital clock, cups for liquids, fitting lids, two copper sheets, and two zinc sheets.

Materials in the box to build my own lemonade clock.
Filling the lemonade into the cups and clipping it onto the board.

After filling in the lemonade into the cups and securing the cups with the fitting lids, I can stick the copper sheets and the zinc sheets into the accurate slots. The lemonade acts as the electrolyte, the substance that is capable of transporting electric charge. When the electric wires are connected, the clock begins to work.

The clock works!

Zinc and copper act as electrodes in this battery model. As soon as they are emerged into the lemonade, the metal reacts with the acid from the lemonade. Zinc atoms dissolve into the lemonade as positively charged ions, leaving negatively charged electrons behind. These electrons are now free to move around in the metal.

Connecting the electric wires closes the electric curcuit. These freely moving electrons move from the zinc eletrode to the copper electrode and we have an electric current that runs the clock!

Do you see the bubbles? Not all of this is from the lemonade, some bubbles are hydrogen molecules that come from the reactions.

On the copper sheets, the zinc ions in the liquid react with the electrons there. This is why, with some time, there will be a zinc layer over copper sheets. The clock is reusable for some time when the copper sheets are cleaned with some sand paper from time to time.

Overall, this was a nice gift and I really enjoyed it. I had the thought of trying the lemon battery for some time now. Unfortunately, I don’t have galvanized nails at home and these are coated with zinc.

One thought on “The Lemonade Clock”

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