Vinegar Battery

The kids have been having lots of fun with their lemon batteries.  To expand on the learning experience, we decided to use a different type of acid for the electrolyte portion of the battery.   In our previous battery experiments the citric acid in the lemon juice of the lemons served as the electrolyte.  Instead of the lemon, today we opted for some vinegar.

We filled a glass half full with vinegar.

We used the same anode (negative terminal) and cathode (positive terminal) as before  -  a galvanized nail as anode and a copper penny as cathode.

The next step was to attach the nail and penny to our alligator clip wires, and submerge each in the glass of vinegar.

The resulting current was very weak and could not light an LED, however when we attached the multi-meter, we discovered that our Vinegar Battery generated 0.081 Volt.   

How does it work?

A battery consists of 3 components:
Negative terminal or anode  ->  Galvanized nail
*  Positive terminal or cathode  ->  Copper penny

*  Electrolyte or acidic medium  ->  Vinegar

The moment the wires are connected to form a complete circuit, a chemical reaction begins to take place between the vinegar and zinc that covers the galvanized nail.   Electrons then start to travel from the negative terminal (nail) through the wires to the positive terminal (penny).

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