Energy From Potatoes / Light A Room For Over A Month

A Potato Battery Can Light Up a Room For Over a Month

Posted on December 16, 2013


Here are some good news: Researchers have discovered that a potato boiled for eight minutes made a battery that produced ten times the power of a raw one. Haim Rabinowitch, an agricultural science professor, and his team found that using small units made up of a quarter-slice of potato set between a copper cathode and a zinc anode connected by a wire can provide a room with LED-powered lighting for as long as forty days. A potato could supply power to personal electronics at around one-tenth the cost of a typical AA battery. Wow, just think of all the opportunities this could offer to people in the underdeveloped and remote regions of the world.

“Potatoes were chosen because of their availability all over including the tropics and sub-tropics,” Rabinowitch told the Science and Development Network. “They are the worlds forth most abundant food crop.”

While the potato itself is not the energy source, it helps conduct the electricity by acting as a salt-bridge between the two metals, allowing the electron current to move freely across the wire, creating the electricity. Besides being an abundant crop, the potato was chosen because of its sturdy starch tissue, which allows it to be stored for months without attracting insects. Boiling the potato breaks down the dense flesh so that electrons are able to flow more freely, creating more of an electrical output. The researchers also found that cutting the potato into four or five pieces made it even more efficient.

The potato battery kit includes two metal electrodes and alligator clips and is easy to assemble. Certain parts, such as the zinc cathode, can be inexpensively replaced. Alligator clips that transport the current carrying wires are attached to the electrodes and the negative and positive input points of the light bulb. Kerosene lamps used in many developing parts of the world are approximately six times the costs for equivalent lighting provided by the potato battery.

Despite the advantages of this new system, food-based energy systems are only able to work as long as they do not cut into the needed food supply and will not compete with the farmers who grow them for market. No commercial investors or non-profit organizations have stepped up in order to try to expand or distribute Rabinowitch’s prototypes. It has also had a difficult time establishing a niche amongst the more well-known alternative energies such as solar and wind power, where the infrastructure and investments are most likely headed.

Thanks to its simplicity, the potato has been shown to be a durable and long-ranging crop and potentially striking new technological innovation:


A Potato Battery Can Light Up a Room For Over a Month VIDEO The …

Jan 3, 2014 – Uploaded by Siddhartha Ghosh

A Potato Battery Can Light Up a Room For Over a Month VIDEO The Collective … Up next. DIY Potato

Source: [smithsonianmag]



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.

This was discovered by Luigi Galvani in 1780


[Another way to brighten up a dark room is to:

“…Use Plastic Water Bottles and Bleach to Create LIGHT!”]

“How to Use Plastic Water Bottles and Bleach to Create LIGHT!”

By: Amanda Froelich

The invention of electricity transformed the lives of many. No longer were work days limited to the sun’s rays, and with longer hours to work with creative inspiration, inspired dreams could become reality.

But in many areas of the world, conveniences common to the Western world are still foreign. For example, 1 billion people currently experience energy poverty and have no means of illumination during the day or after dark. Thanks to Brazilian mechanic, Alfredo Moser, however, this can be changed.


The innovative mechanic has been using plastic water bottles filled with water and a splash of bleach to light up dark rooms since 2002, and now the idea has spread across the world. It is predicted that by the end of the year, over a million homes will be fitted with the invention and be lit up – without any electricity!


Moser’s method works using refraction of the sunlight. His secret is two capfuls of Bleach added to water in normal plastic bottles, which are commonly thrown away. While some may argue that Bleach is not the most environmentally friendly product, it stops the solution from turning green with algae when exposed to sunlight. From this simple combination, millions of homes may become illuminated.


By drilling a hole in a roof tile and then pushing the filled bottle in from below, the bottle can be kept in place with plastic resin and the new ‘window’ can be made waterproof.



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