Follow and learn how a 10 year old girl builds her first serious science project, "The Bio-Battery."

See how this young lady, my daughter, astounds her 5th grade class with her project constructed from simple parts from a local electronics store, some instruction from her father, and some house hold edibles and powers a light with it all. Warning! You may become enlightened.

Submitted to the "Science Fair Contest" which is sponsored by AMAZON.COM You will see some AMAZON.COM promotions that I put in. This is part of the requirement for the contest and a thank you to Amazon for supporting it. Thanks for reading. Enjoy.

Step 1: Consumable Materials

The follow materials were used to complete this project.

(1) Plastic Project box Purchase on Amazon.com
(1) Momentary Push Switch Purchase on Amazon.com
4 Copper Pennies
4 Lemons (or other citrus)
4 Potatoes
(4) Galvanized( Zinc) Cotter pinsPurchase on Amazon.com
A length of 18 Gauge telephone wire Purchase on Amazon.com
(1) 3 volt 5mm Blue L.E.D. light (Light Emitting Diode) Purchase on Amazon.com
(1) 5mm L.E.D. light mount/holder Purchase it here (Sorry Amazon)
(2) 2 Inch x 4 inch PVC pipe coupling or PVC pipe -----(Purchase at local hardware store)
(1) Acid brush Purchase on Amazon.com
(1) Project board (plywood or even cardboard)
Small amount of Bernzomatic Rosin Core Solder Purchase on Amazon.com
Small amount of "Elmer's Blue Bull Polly Glue" Purchase on Amazon.com

See all of the pictures below.
<p>1 diode must have 1,5 v ,but how many mA must have this diode ? :D volta baterry and organic baterry dont have many mA :/ maby if you take 10 lemon parallel... chip faker :)</p>
<p>1 diode must have 1,5 v ,but how many mA must have this diode ? :D volta baterry and organic baterry dont have many mA :/ maby if you take 10 lemon parallel... chip faker :)</p>
<p>For batteries working, Configration and Wiring totrials, Check this</p><p><a href="http://electricaltechnology.org/2014/06/batteries-wiring-connections-diagrams.html" rel="nofollow">http://electricaltechnology.org/2014/06/batteries-...</a></p>
<p>Nice formation about Batteries. For Batteries Configuration and Wiring diagram, Check our Tutorials </p>
<p>Nice Post, That's What i was search for in Google. by the way nice and good information about &lt;a href=&quot;<a href="http://www.newslobby.net/2014/08/16/bio-batteries-how-does-it-work/" rel="nofollow">http://www.newslobby.net/2014/08/16/bio-batteries-how-does-it-work/</a>&quot;&gt;Bio Batteries&lt;/a&gt;</p>
don't underestimate those 10 year olds. =P<br />
im ten<br /> thanks :}
uhh call me unsafe, but i dont realy think that you NEED safety glasses when soldering, i dont...when you useing drills,dremels,sanders,routers,jigsaw ECT ECT yes you should use them then but gawd, soldering??? anyway good instructible very well writen, only thing is mayby you should "make" a battery out off it, like get a pvc pipe of something and make it look like a battery, becaust i dont think that many people would carry lemons around, like not many people would carry battery acid around with them......hmm meyby i should make a lemon flavord (and that works) battery lol.....that got me think'n.....MUAHAHAHA!
if you havent had solder 'spit' at you (especially when cleaning the tip on a slightly wet sponge/steelwool right before making a new solderjoint) then you havent soldered much. i worry about one hitting my eye one day and have considered starting to wear glasses when soldering, but yeah in the past year i have been hit by at least 5-10 solder 'spits' usually on the hand or forearm. but now i use steel wool not a wet sponge so the chances are drastically lessened.
Yes, you should. Although, a respirator would make a lot more sense....
Maybe Building a joule thief would have been a bit better, and it would require less lemons, Well i don't know, Its probably a bit too late now XD
The moving force is called Current and we measured it with Amperes... Volts is the strength of that current.
My understanding is that voltage (which is AKA EMF or electro-motive force) is the "moving force". Current is the flow of electrical charge.
OK lets say we have 1V and 200A with this source we can melt an electrode of 5mm and in reverse we have a source of 200V and 1A what we do with that? just a spark well now, what in this two sources is the one with the more force?
let's assume it's water... voltage is the pressure at any given time. and Current is the amount of water in at any given time you can fill a bucket (capacitor) hour glass shaped pipe (resistor) transistor or vacuum tube or a switch (valve) fountain (antenna) a overhead tank (power supply) a sea wave could be (AC current) hydro pump/motor/tubine piston as a (solonoid)
Nice approach!
The ability to melt an electrode is not the definition of force. In your example, you're helping show why voltage used to be called EMF. In a 1V/200A scenario, the voltage will not arc noticeably because there isn't enough &quot;moving force&quot; or &quot;pressure&quot; to jump gaps. Voltage is required to push through resistances.<br/><br/>Notice also that the same amount of power exists in both cases. (When I studied EE in college, we used the formula p = i e where p is power, i is current, and e is EMF (voltage).)<br/><br/>insomartin's water analogies describe it well, though it might be easier to think of current as the flow rate.<br/>
Reading all the comments, no one mentioned the use of the scientific method. # Ask a Question # Do Background Research # Construct a Hypothesis # Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment # Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion # Communicate Your Results I couldn't quite see all your display board to see all the steps, but it look svery well done. As a home school parent and 4-H leader, Good job!
"So easy even a caveman can do it" it just comes to mind
very interesting. great experiment! one of the coolest experiments I have ever seen. 5/5
What a compliment. Thank you!
hey great instuctible, and why is your penny silver??
coll like really. good job. hope u get many more good ideas
good work on the project. im into alternative fuels my self. did you know a can of pop can have some voltage output? quick idea for your next science fair project. Reading the voltage produced by light! i believe there is an instructable onhow to do this, but it would be fun to get creative with. Basic thought. rig an led to the leads on your multimeter. tape up the cord so you have a hand free from holding it. Set the multimeter to the lowest voltage possible. start going up to lights and seeing how much voltage you read. use your free hand to cover up the led to make comparisons. try it out sometime! although not practical for alternative fuel may be able to help recharge small batteries. this is also what a photo diode is based off of. only tweaked out a little more. keep up the good work and for the love of all that is good and great don't smoke, drink or even attempt to think about trying or getting hooked on drugs!!!!! have a nice day!
Thank you. Those are cool projects you mentioned I will have to try them out, byt not the drugs of course.
Great instructable, and a good experiment. I have to ask though, doesn't smaller diameter wire have <em>higher</em> resistance than larger? If you think about a pipe full of water, (using the water analogy), it is easier for water to flow through a larger pipe than a narrower one. Isn't that why larger gaged wire is used for higher power applications? I think the phone wire is perfect for this experiment, but I would stop short of saying it had less resistance than thick wire. Just sayin'<br/>
Actually, larger wire is used for higher power so the power lines don't burst into flames due to the huge amperage. larger wires (smaller guage) are needed to carry higher current.
Actually, the power company cheats this by sending the power at an extremely high voltage, then using a transformer to convert it to 115v. The extremely voltage gives you the same power as your home voltage, but 20,000v @ 1 amp will be the same as 173 amps at 115 vac. If they transported the power at 115 v on all the power lines, the wires would have to be 6 times bigger to avoid bursting into flames. Now I hope life starts throwing me lemons.
Exactly right. But my original comment was aimed at the assertion that smaller wire has less resistance. Not an entirely accurate statement.
Hey Poppa thanks for the comments. I used phone wire because it is a solid core instead of a wrapped core. I have always been told this provides better flow. It was used for efficiency, the lemons only produce so much power so to balance out power to resistance I used the solid core wire. Perhaps next time I will look into it further. Thank you for the info.
I'm not sure, so do your own research, but it might be illegal to drill the holes in the pennies. It's defacement of currency, and carries a fine. I know there are exceptions, and this may well be one of them, but just a head's up. Does anyone who knows more than I do have any further information? Either way, great Instructable!
Cameron, You are correct you are not supposed to deface currancy. I think pennies are so useless as money though, they cost more to make than they are worth and I find them more valuable as science material :) Thank you for the positive comments.
Yes! It costs 180 million to produce 80 million worth of pennies. It's a useless coin and they need to stop producing them.
I remember watching a video from the Make Magazine blog about making rings from coins... it said that it is legal to deface currency <em>as long as</em> you are not trying to defraud the government in doing so (like melting coins to find out the different amounts of various metals inside them).<br/>
I'm not sure if the material is still worth more than one cent, I think that they use two copper shells with zinc inside which brings the value down to about 0.8 cents I think.
iv filed pennies,hammered and drilled quarters and now i learn its bad
LOL Quarters? Those are still worth to much to me to drill on :-)
my friend drills 1/2 dollars
Hmmm... I just found <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.usmint.gov/pressroom/index.cfm?flash=yes&action=press_release&ID=724">this</a> on the US Mint web site. They say that the &quot;melting or treatment&quot; of pennies and nickels is illegal, but they never define &quot;treatment.&quot;<br/>
Can we just plug-in to a bunch of lemon on a tree so we can get a 'living' battery??
It would work, I don't know how long it would work for though or how long the lemons would last.
hypothetically,if we have a grove of lemon trees ,with a computerized monitoring system (to monitor the amount nutrients in soil/sunlight/electrical output/etc),we can have our own self-sustain power supply,can we?
mmm... finaly a way to power my lab all thoes lemon tees in th back
Technology for the future isn't what I'd call it, this won't last forever, the lemon will lose it's charge eventually. It's a great project, but I think it could be better with a little tweaking.
Well nothing last forever and it is renewable energy, plug in new lemons and keep going. You are only thinking short terms anyway. If you don't know what bio-fuels are conduct some research. Bio-fuels don't just have to be combustable. Thanks for saying it is a great project, but you say it could use some tweaking, please provide some suggestions. Thanks
Awesome! I can add some more lemons, and it would be perfect for my mp3 player! [/sarcasm] :p
Actaully that is a great idea for the next time, sarcasm or not.
Yes you are right
It may or may not be technically illegal to fiddle about with US coins, but since I doubt that anyone in US history has ever been prosecuted for it, unless they were attempting some fraud, I wouldn't be concerned about it. I've used pennies as backup washers for my .22 ca;powder-actuated tool (for attaching wood studs to concrete walls), since the washers cost a lot more than a penny. And I also get a lot of satisfaction from punching a hole in Lincoln's head, since he's probably the most overrated President in history. Unless the Feds catch you shaving silver coins, or counterfeiting, or otherwise trying to defraud someone (or the government), the issue of legality is only academic.

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Bio: I like to build, create, and invent new things to use in life. Sometimes I like to share them with others, that's why I ... More »
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