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Electricity from potatoes: it is possible to prepare a battery at home and produce electricity from a potato or a lemon. Here's how.
In this article we will not talk aboutelectricityproduced by organic waste, nor by bacteria capable of producing hydrogen from onepotato; in this page we will see how to build a pile at home with a simple lemon or with a potato.
Potato energy, how does it work?
Let's hear aboutlithium accumulators, alkaline batteries, nickel batteries… all these technologies exploit the same simplified operating mechanism with the model of theVolta's stack. The principle is simple: two metals come into contact through a liquid called an "electrolyte". The electrolytic solution contains the charges that with their movement originate the electric current.
The two metal elements are called electrodes, they are connected to each other by a conducting wire while the metal component is immersed in the electrolytic solution, triggering a current flow. In our experiment to produceelectricity from the potato, this tuber will represent the electrolyte solution. We therefore need two electrodes to allow current to pass between two metals by means of an electrolytic solution.
What does it take to produce energy from potatoes?
Even if thepotato stackis the most popular, we recommend carrying out this experiment with other vegetables or fruit, lemon is perfect for this experiment because it has a relevant aqueous component. You can also use olives, an orange ...! Give free expression to your curiosity.
Here's what it takes for build a stack in the house
- Potato or lemon -> our electrolyte
- Two aluminum bars ->our negative electrode
- Two copper bar ->our positive electrode
- Copper wires -> for connection
- A voltmeter -> we will need it to detect the electric current produced, alternatively you can use a small electrical device to power
Instead of the electrodes mentioned, you can use a galvanized nail and a five cent euro coin. Five-cent coins are large enough to function as a positive electrode (cathode) because they are made from a copper alloy. In this case you will have to pay more attention to the connection made with the copper wires.
How to proceed for produce energy from the potato or from lemon
- Take the potato (or lemon) and split it in half.
- Connect two electrodes (one positive and the other negative) with the copper wire.
- Connect the other two electrodes (one positive and the other negative) to the voltmeter or alarm to be powered.
- Make sure you insert the two electrodes well into the sections of the vegetable as shown in my photo frominstagram.
- If you are using the voltmeter, lower the T key and you will notice, on the display, a value that indicates the presence of the voltage generated by yourDIY stack. If, on the other hand, you use a small alarm clock or a clock, you will notice that it will start working powered byelectric currentgenerated by lemon or potato.
Therepotato (or lemon) related by the electrodes, it works like a real battery. The copper metal rod acts as a cathode while the aluminum rod acts as an anode. The juice of the potato as well as lemon, olive or other vegetable juice, it behaves like an electrolytic solution and allows the flow of electrons which, moving from the cathode towards the anode, produce electricity.
The photo above shows the cover of an instructive experiment calledPotato Clock, literally "potato clock". The box includes all the components needed to make a clock powered by vegetables or fruits. The object in question is offered on Amazon at a price of 13.89 euros, with free shipping costs. For all product information, please refer to the official page: "Green Science Potato Clock". The package includes:
- a digital clock connected to the two cables
- 2 jars, transparent tape
- 2 copper bars
- 2 zinc bars
- connecting cables
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