Can Potato Power Your iPod?
Before we answer this question, let us first analyze the capacity of fruits and vegetables in powering any electronic devices. The idea is possible because you can make a battery out of few potatoes. Let us study the profile of the galvanic cells in a car battery.
There are batteries that utilize galvanic cells to transform chemical energy into electric energy. This process relies on 2 metals – the cathode or positive terminal like copper and an anode or negative terminal like zinc. These metals are put together in a solution that is an electrical conductor.
This acid solution induces the ions to travel in a free manner between the 2 metals. Car batteries require sulfuric acid while potatoes have phosphoric acid that can also be used. This acid produces a chemical reaction that results to the release of spare zinc electrons. These electrons then go together with spare hydrogen gas.
On the other hand, the copper is not activated until you connect it with a conductive wire to the zinc. The spare zinc electrons are now moving to form hydrogen gas and they move to compliment the hydrogen around the zinc anode. Thus, the electrons coming from the copper cathode go thru the wire to reach the zinc.
This flow of electrons is used in combined electricity for batteries. These batteries powered by potato utilize a zinc galvanized nail and a copper penny. These 2 metals are connected into the potato with a conductive wire. This process is not only applicable for potato.
Any fruit or vegetable can be used also as well as an electrolyte solution like Gatorade which also has phosphoric acid. You can connect your iPod to a battery powered by any fruit or vegetable then, get the charge that you require. If you had the chance to see the demonstration at You Tube regarding the use of onion to charge the iPod, you will be amazed about the whole thing.
The procedure goes like this. Make 2 holes in each side of the onion with a screw driver then, have it soaked for 30 minutes in Gatorade. When the onion is dried up, you have to plug the USB port into the iPod and the other end into the onion. But this procedure has been found by experts to be ineffective.
The device has no 2 different metals like zinc and copper to create a galvanic cell. Even if there are 2 metals however, the space will be limited for them. The method demonstrated has no complete circuit needed. The USB connector must be manually connected thru wires to 2 metals like zinc and copper.
Even if the onion is soaked in electrolyte solution, the result will only produce minimal voltage. Even if you use 5 volts needed to charge the iPod by using lemons, the charge will still be weak. In order to have a maximum charge for the battery powered by lemon, you need 5,000 hours to charge the battery. If you try this, the charge will not even last for 30 minutes.