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The Center for Synthetic Organic Electrochemistry is involved in a variety of outreach efforts.

We have developed fun and educational electrochemistry kits using easily obtainable items in order to engage audiences at various in-person events.  These kits consist of three different experiments:  the cola battery, the electrolysis of water, and the voltaic pile.


Cola Battery


The first experiment in the kits is the Cola Battery.  In this experiment, a simple galvanic cell is constructed using cola as an electrolyte, a strip of copper, and a strip of zinc.  Each galvanic cell produces about 1 volt of electricity.  The voltage can be increased by linking multiple cells together in series.  The current of the system can also be increased by connecting multiple cells in parallel.



The second experiment in kits is the Electrolysis of Water.  In this experiment, carbon electrodes (pencil lead) is connected to a 9 volt battery.  The carbon electrodes are then immersed in an electrolyte solution in order to separate the water in the solution producing Hydrogen and Oxygen gas.  A pH indicator can also be added to monitor the production of Hions in the electrolyte solution.


Voltaic Pile Picture


The final experiment in the kits is the construction of Voltaic Piles.  In this experiment, small stacks consisting of a penny, a lemon juice soaked piece of construction paper, and a zinc washer are created.  When the bottom of the penny and the top of the zinc washer are connected using a wire, a small  electrical current is created.  Multiple stacks can be stacked on top of each other to increase the voltage.



Image of Outreach event at library


We have partnered with the Teens Programs at various branches of the Salt Lake Public Library to educate kids and teens about electrochemistry.


presentation at library


The CSOE partnered with the Salt Lake Public Library to do a series of presentations analyzing the science behind popular TV shows and Movies!!!  The first presentation of this series is titled "Dragons, Bloodlines, Death:  The Science of Game of Thrones."




Last Updated: 5/5/21