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ERIC Number: EJ860306
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
The Salty Science of the Aluminum-Air Battery
Chasteen, Stephanie V.; Chasteen, N. Dennis; Doherty, Paul
Physics Teacher, v46 n9 p544-547 Dec 2008
Fruit batteries and saltwater batteries are excellent ways to explore simple circuits in the classroom. These are examples of air batteries in which metal reacts with oxygen in the air in order to generate free electrons, which flow through an external circuit and do work. Students are typically told that the salt or fruit water acts as an electrolyte to bring electrons from the anode to the cathode. That's true, but it leaves the battery as a black box. Physics teachers often don't have the background to explain the chemistry behind these batteries. We've written this paper to explore the electrochemistry behind an air battery using copper cathode, aluminum anode, and saltwater.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A