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Zinc Carbon Battery

Project 13 out of 20

Make your own batteries that can power a clock and an LED.

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Keep time and turn on the lights! Make your own zinc carbon batteries out of the supplies in this experiment. You’ll learn about generating electrical power through oxidation-reduction reactions, or when one molecule gives electrons to another. You’ll set up your experiment using the step-by-step instructions and diagrams in the Online Classroom and then start to assemble your batteries out of everyday items. These batteries work similarly to the typical alkaline batteries that you can find in the store, but the key difference is the type of electrolyte that they use. Learn how your batteries are generating power using the electrolyte ammonium chloride, which is a salt. You’ll discover that the salt batteries that you make can power most small electronic devices, and understand why they can’t generate enough electricity for bigger appliances. Let’s get started.

Milestones Unlocked

Introduction to Oxidation-Reduction (Redox) Reactions

Writing & Balancing Redox Reactions

Salt Batteries & Tin Electrolysis

Course Progression

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Lesson Preview

Time to explore oxidation-reduction reactions—the perfect example of chemistry’s importance in our everyday world. This lesson will show you how to generate electrical power by building a zinc-carbon battery and how to grow a “tree” made of metal. You’ll conduct essential chemical reactions and learn how they work in these fun experiments. While you already know how to write and balance chemical equations from the previous lesson, these two experiments and the Online Classroom will level-up your abilities, adding balancing redox reactions to your skill set.

    Chemistry Course

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    20 Experiments

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    Ages 10+

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