In the " Fruit Battery Project" where you are using copper and zinc wires connected to a fruit to generate power and transfer it over to a LED light. What happens once you connect the two wires to the fruit? Are electrical currents just automatically rushing through the wires? After that what happens once you connect the wires to a LED light? Are the currents flowing through the wires? Which wires holds what acids?
When you connect the wires to the fruit, oxidation and reduction "half reactions" start to happen. However, these reactions need to donate or acquire electrons in order to proceed. Electrons cannot flow because the circuit isn't closed. So the reactions push and push a small quantity of electrons from the wires, enough to build a potential difference (basically to charge the tiny capacitance formed by the wires). Once you connect the wires to a load (or each other), electrons start to flow, and the reactions can continue in full swing.
Note an important difference. Unlike in the Galvanic Cell, in the Lemon Battery, the copper is not being reduced. Rather, hydrogen ions get reduced to hydrogen gas.
The basic idea is that the lemon is acidic, meaning there is a higher concentration of hydrogen ions (
The metals don't need to be zinc and copper, and the solution doesn't need to be acidic, though these are often used for demonstration purposes because they're relatively easy/cheap to obtain and safe.
Incidentally this same process is sometimes used to protect metallic components. Ever seen galvanized nails/screws at the hardware store? These operate on a similar galvanic cell where the nail is coated with a zinc layer. As the nail is exposed to humidity/water the zinc will slowly dissolve into solution. The steel/iron core (as well as the copper) will not dissolve because it has a more positive standard electrode potential than the zinc. The zinc in this case is known as a "sacrificial anode" because it's being sacrificed to protect the other metal. It's not even necessary for the sacrificial anode to completely coat the hardware it's protecting, the only requirement is that there needs to be some electrically conductive path between the sacrificial anode and the element being protected. This usually works better than protective coatings which are ineffective when there is a small crack or chip in the coating.