Why Does A Potato Battery Work Better Than A Lemon Battery?

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The formula for a weak electrolyte:

i=1+αi=1+α

You can figure out the dissociation factor, αα, from the dissociation constant:

K1=[H2A][H+][H3A]=(αCH3A)2(1α)CH3A=α21αCH3AK1=[H2A−][H+][H3A]=(αCH3A)2(1−α)CH3A=α21−αCH3A

where CH3ACH3A is the formal concentration of the acid.

2) If you have more species in solution, it will depend on the pH of the solution. In general, you’ll have this expression:

i=[H3A]+[H2A]+[HA2]+[A3]+[H+]CH3Ai=[H3A]+[H2A−]+[HA2−]+[A3−]+[H+]CH3A

After some tedious substitutions you get

i=1+K1[H+]+K1+K2[H+]+K2+K3[H+]+K3i=1+K1[H+]+K1+K2[H+]+K2+K3[H+]+K3

Some relevant values:

pH=0i1pH=0→i≈1

pH=pK1i=1.5pH=pK1→i=1.5

pH=pK2i=2.5pH=pK2→i=2.5

pH=pK3i=3.5pH=pK3→i=3.5

pH=14i4pH=14→i≈4

and it changes logarithmically in between.Van't Hoff factor for citric and phosphoric acid

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Chase Wiley is a 14 year-old from Florida who loves science and fishing.

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