This is one most interesting fire starting techniques we have ever seen.

If you want to build your own lemon fire starter you will need the following materials.

  • A lemon or similarly acidic fruit
  • Galvanized nails, or another source of zinc
  • A Copper source
  • Wiring
  • Steel wool and some tinder

If that seems like a difficult list to pack for a survival situation that’s because it is. This is mostly a very interesting proof of concept and there are many easier fire starting methods.

The energy used to start the fire comes from the chemical change in the zinc when it dissolves into the acid. The energy does not come from the lemon or potato. The zinc is oxidized inside the lemon, exchanging some of its electrons with the acid in order to reach a lower energy state, and the energy released provides the power. When the lemon battery is providing an electric current the metallic zinc at the surface of the zinc electrode is dissolving into the solution. This means you won’t be able to keep your lemon generating electricity for ever.

Image from NorthSurvival on YouTube

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6 thoughts on “Strange Survival Tip: Start a Fire With a Lemon

  1. Does the extra nails and clips actually help?

    Theoretically they shouldn’t (you still only have one cell), so the only ones doing the work should be the ones in the beginning and end (and the other ones are shorted in pairs).

    1. Actually it functions as 6 cells in series, making 6 times the power as one nail and one clip…. follow the path.

      1. The lemon is a cell and it’s shorted inside (through the acid=electrolyte), so unless you have 6 lemons you don’t get 6 cells. (Or if you somehow manage to isolate the lemons into partitions, but I think not in how it is in the video.)

    2. Wiring all the nails together, and wiring all the clips together would be a parallel circuit, not increasing voltage but increasing amperage. One voltage cell, either single or parallel, might not produce enough voltage to overcome the internal resistance of the steel wool, therefore no current flow and no red hot wool.

  2. Does no one here recognize that this is FAKE??? For the love of God, someone (perhaps the author of this article) go back to junior high school and learn some basic science.

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