Generation of electricity

Some sources can generate electricity by chemical reactions. Examples are Dry cells, simple cells, and car batteries.

Let’s make a simple cell.

You will need

A small beaker, copper, and zinc sheets, a torch bulb, a center-zero galvanometer, dilute sulphuric acid, and pieces of connection wire.


  • Thoroughly clean the copper and zinc sheets and attach a piece of wire to one end of each sheet.
  • Half-fill the beaker with dilute acid.
  • Dip copper and zinc sheets into the acid without allowing them to come into contact.
  • The positive and negative terminals of the galvanometer should be connected to the copper and zinc sheets respectively.
  • The copper sheet is considered positive and the zinc sheet is considered the negative terminal of the simple cell.


  • The indicator of the galvanometer deflected

  • The evolution of gas bubbles neared the zinc sheet.


  • The generated electric current is shown by the indicator of the galvanometer.

Weaknesses of a simple cell

Simple cells are not in daily use due to the disadvantages in them. Some of them are,

  • The difficulty of using them – because it contains liquids.
  • Inability to obtain current for a longer period.

Nowadays, there are cells and batteries that can produce more current and last longer. They have replaced the simple cell in daily use.

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About Author

Anuradhika Lakmali

Anuradhika Lakmali is a co-founder of Science A Plus learning network. She is working as a government teacher and has interest in chemistry, biology, phisics and self development.