Why Does Citric Acid Produce Electricity?

Citric acid can conduct an electrical current between metal terminals.
••• lcsatlos/iStock/Getty Images

Citric acid does not produce electricity by itself. Rather, this weak acid turns into an electrolyte -- an electrically conductive substance -- when it's dissolved in fluid. The charged ions of the electrolyte allow electricity to travel through the fluid.

Citric Acid Conduction

Acids are electrolytes because they break into negatively charged anions and positively charged cations when they're placed in solution. The electrolytic solution then conducts electricity when the anions migrate toward a positive terminal, made of a positively charged metal, that's placed in the solution and the cations migrate toward a negative terminal, made of a negatively charged metal. When they reach the terminals, the anions take electrons from the positive metal and the cations lose electrons to the negative metal. This electron exchange produces the electrical charge. The terminals must be made of two different types of metal, such as steel and copper, for the reaction to occur.

Related Articles

Batteries Rely on What to Separate Positive & Negative...
What Is Output Voltage?
How Does a Potato Clock Work?
Describe the Process of Electrolysis in the Production...
The Different Parts of an Electromagnet
How to Make Electricity for a Science Fair Project...
What Are Three Important Parts Needed to Make a Battery?
Raw Materials Used in the Manufacture of Electronic...
Types of Metals That Attract Magnets
How to Make Your Own Battery
How to Measure Wattage With a Multimeter
Parts of a Battery
How Are Magnets Used to Generate Electricity?
How to Store Energy by Using Dynamo
Difference Between 6011 and 7018 Welding Rods
The Properties of Acidic Substances
Nucleic Acid Facts
How to Calculate the Henrys in a Coil
Transition Metals & Their Uses
What Is a Flyback Diode?

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!