A Single Boiled Potato Can Power A Light For 40 Days

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We all know how delicious potatoes are, but did you know that potatoes can power a lightbulb? Potatoes really are the best thing out there!

A research team at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has been experimenting with something called “potato power” for quite a few years. Their plan is to eventually make potato-powered energy and send it to people in rural communities who don’t have access to power otherwise.

Haim Rabinowitch, one of the researchers, claims that just one potato can power enough LED lamps for an entire room for 40 days.

However, they are still trying to figure out how to make this available to these communities in an easy and effective manner.

This concept is taught in high school science classes. BCC explains, “To make a battery from organic material, all you need is two metals – an anode, which is the negative electrode, such as zinc, and a cathode, the positively charged electrode, such as copper. The acid inside the potato forms a chemical reaction with the zinc and copper, and when the electrons flow from one material to another, energy is released.”

Potato Electricity
image via haryigit/Shutterstock

These researchers aren’t the first ones to discover this though. Luigi Galvani in 1780 first found out this power, but this team of researchers in Jerusalem took it even further. They boiled the potatoes for eight minutes which broke down the organic tissues. This allowed for the electrons to move around more, which created more energy!

“It’s low voltage energy, but enough to construct a battery that could charge mobile phones or laptops in places where there is no grid, no power connection,” says Rabinowitch.

Why hasn’t anyone else done something about this yet? There are lots of possible reasons, but one idea is that some people are worried it would limit our food supplies. Another idea is that not enough people know about this type of energy.

Whatever the case may be, what side are you on? Do you want potato energy, or do you simply want to keep eating french fries, mashed potatoes, and tater tots?

You can read more about this research here.

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