Israelis Develop Boiled Potato Batteries

Published: June 17th 2010
in News » Israel

Potato battery

According to a study conducted by a technology transfer company from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, an electric battery using a boiled potato as its base could provide a cheap source of energy, particularly in developing countries.


The potato battery can generate energy five to 50 times less expensive than commercial batteries,   Yissum Research Development Co. said on Thursday.


"The ability to provide electrical power with such simple and natural means could benefit millions of people in the developing world, literally bringing light and telecommunication to their life in areas currently lacking electrical infrastructure," the chief executive of Yissum, Yaacov Michlin, said in a statement.


The study findings have been published in the June issue of the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy.


It was discovered by Haim Rabinowitch and research student Alex Golberg at Israel's Hebrew University, together with Boris Rubinsky at the University of California at Berkeley, that a battery could be constructed using simply zinc and copper electrodes and a regular slice of potato.


Haaretz reported that the team found that boiling the potato before implementing it electrically increased its power up to 10 times over the unboiled potato, allowing the battery to last for days or even weeks.


Potatoes are internationally available year-round, able to grow in a variety of different climates, and are one of the cheapest sources of non-grain starches available.


Now, not only do potatoes provide energy to our physical bodies, but they have the potential to provide energy for the use of electrical implements, as well.

Related articles: (Potato, batteries, Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
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