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2,923 lemons and a Guinness World Records® title!

  • Date 29 Nov 2021

Guinness World Records title showcases chemistry as a catalyst for change and drives enhanced education on sustainability and the impact of climate change.

Survey of young people shows 81% think that climate change should be taught in schools, with 74% actively looking for ways to combat it
We worked with our trustee, University of Bath battery expert Professor Saiful Islam, to set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the highest voltage from a fruit battery.

We used 2,923 lemons to generate an astonishing 2,307.8 volts, which smashed the previous world record of 1,521 volts, and launched a battery-powered go-kart race run by the Blair Project in Manchester. The electrifying feat was designed to highlight the importance of energy storage and the need for new innovations for a zero-carbon world against the backdrop of the COP26 Climate Change Summit.

Alongside the record title, the RSC has undertaken research to understand awareness and attitudes around sustainability and climate change amongst young people, to provide critical insight into the teaching of sustainability-related topics in schools .

The results show young people are extremely engaged in issues related to climate change and sustainability. More than three-quarters noted that they feel climate change is an urgent priority to solve, and that responsibility for doing this must be shared (both 78%). Three-quarters (75%) of respondents stated that they feel anxious about the future of the planet, while 74% are actively looking for ways to help combat climate change.

Responses also demonstrate young people see an urgent need for education and information on climate change issues. Just under two-thirds believe schools, colleges and universities have the greatest role to play (59%), followed by governments (50%) and scientific societies (49%).

Together with existing teacher research, the organisation says the findings will inform recommendations to the UK Government about its future education policy and curriculum improvements.

Dr Helen Pain, Royal Society of Chemistry CEO, said: “Public concern around climate change is at record levels. Succeeding in our Guinness World Records attempt to squeeze the highest voltage from a fruit battery has been tremendous fun, but the sustainability message underpinning it is incredibly serious and important”.

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