These researchers are taking this development so seriously we can’t help but be suspicious that, perhaps, they are all deeply embroiled in a bet to see who could get funding for and complete research in the most absurd technological advancement.
Most of us have had a science teacher desperately try to alleviate the drudgery of standardized test centric science education by dramatically putting a copper nail and a zinc nail into a potato or lemon. “Behold, we can measure a voltage with this voltmeter. If you get asked what a voltmeter is on a test, here is a definition none of you have enough experimental basis to understand,” the teacher would say as their dreams of being a true educator were crushed a little more.
Anyway, using their
beer grant money, these researchers found that the efficiency of a potato based battery can be increased by boiling it for eight minutes which drops the internal resistance of the potato. We’re not sure if dramatically staring at a boiling potato while wearing a lab coat is necessary, but it appears to help.
Of course, this is no different from Volta’s original cell, except for the researchers going on about how they hope this “potato-based energy technology” will help the Third World light their homes. Volta just wanted to impress his cool science friends. Aside from the fact that people who are impoverished are likely to eat the potato and sell the pure copper and zinc plates for more potato, it will at least provide an interesting classroom demonstration of what exactly a battery’s internal resistance is — if we can somehow translate the resulting understanding into a multiple choice scantron sheet. Video after the break.