Can we use acids as a power source?

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jvsib

Joined May 23, 2021
5
Hello, everyone! If I'm not mistaken, acids can become a source of power (for example is the acid from lemon), right? If my understanding is correct then I would like to ask if we can use all kind of acid as power source? And if we use acids as power source, what will happen to its pH level?

In case that my understanding is wrong, can you help me understand the reason why lemon acids can light up small LED? Thanks in advance for answers. :D
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
8,909
Acid is an electrolyte for a possible electrochemical cell that converts chemical energy into electrical energy.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrochemical_cell
The cell potential depends on the concentration of the reactants, as well as their type. As the cell is discharged, the concentration of the reactants decreases and the cell potential also decreases.

https://www.solarschools.net/knowledge-bank/energy/types/chemical

https://www.smc.edu/academics/acade...riments/Electrical_Conductivity_procedure.pdf
 

Ian0

Joined Aug 7, 2020
3,773
The zinc reacts with the citric acid to make zinc citrate. Unfortunately, the lemon isn't the only source of power - the zinc electrode is also used up, so even if you have a huge surplus of lemons you are not going to turn it into a useful power source unless you also have plenty of zinc metal.
 

Deleted member 115935

Joined Dec 31, 1969
0
Hello, everyone! If I'm not mistaken, acids can become a source of power (for example is the acid from lemon), right? If my understanding is correct then I would like to ask if we can use all kind of acid as power source? And if we use acids as power source, what will happen to its pH level?

In case that my understanding is wrong, can you help me understand the reason why lemon acids can light up small LED? Thanks in advance for answers. :D
If you have a car petrol / diesel
then you have such a power source,
the battery in your car has H2S04 acid and lead plates, to provide power,
as the battery discharges ,the acid gets weaker, moving towards "neutral" water

An acid is known as a hydrogen doner,
each hydrogen having an electron charge of "2"

https://van.physics.illinois.edu/qa/listing.php?id=567
 

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
3,759
It is a mistake to think of acid as a "power source". It is part of an energy storage system that includes electrodes and gets its energy from somewhere else. It is no more an energy source than a spring (which must be wound, and that's where the energy is consumed and stored), or gravity (which required raising an object, which is how whatever is the source is used).

I think you may really want to ask, "can acid be used as a fuel?". That is, in the way, say, gasoline is. The answer to that is no, as above, but even in the case of gasoline, it is effectively an energy storage system having converted solar energy into chemical energy which we can use.

In fact, there are only two sources of energy available: solar and nuclear. The solar energy is often stored organically, as in food or oil. Then we use that stored energy to power something. In the case of acids, they have some chemical energy to offer in the context of a battery, but unlike fuels they can't be directly converted in a heat cycle efficiently.
 

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
3,759
It is a mistake to think of acid as a "power source". It is part of an energy storage system that includes electrodes and gets its energy from somewhere else. It is no more an energy source than a spring (which must be wound, and that's where the energy is consumed and stored), or gravity (which required raising an object, which is how whatever is the source is used).

I think you may really want to ask, "can acid be used as a fuel?". That is, in the way, say, gasoline is. The answer to that is no, as above, but even in the case of gasoline, it is effectively an energy storage system having converted solar energy into chemical energy which we can use.

In fact, there are only two sources of energy available: solar and nuclear. The solar energy is often stored organically, as in food or oil. Then we use that stored energy to power something. In the case of acids, they have some chemical energy to offer in the context of a battery, but unlike fuels they can't be directly converted in a heat cycle efficiently.
I am replying to my own post to make a clarification so others don't have to.

Of course there is stored chemical energy in various compounds that we can liberate and use, but when you look at what we use as actual sources to power things, practically, they are either some form of stored solar energy or nuclear energy.

So practically speaking it makes sense to talk about fuels and storage systems.
 
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