The Google Potato has a big future. The humble vegetable is about to get a much-needed boost from the power of the internet. As a battery substitute, the potato acts as a salt-bridge between metals and allows an electron current to move freely. This power source is much cheaper than a conventional AA battery, making it a great option for remote areas and poor, underdeveloped communities. It could even provide power to a small, mobile phone.
The potatoes are boiled for eight minutes and produced ten times the power of a raw potato. The researchers built small units that consist of a quarter-slice of the potato sandwiched between a zinc anode and a copper cathode. Each unit is connected by wire. The battery has enough power to provide LED lighting for 40 days. This technology could be used to power a car or light a home.
Using the technology behind the potato, researchers were able to produce an efficient battery that can last up to four days. The scientists developed a grafting method to transfer DNA between potatoes. The resulting crop had the ability to grow more than twice as much food as a raw potato would. The new technique is aimed at using science to improve the efficiency of agricultural production. While it might not sound as exciting as the Google-Potato, it’s likely to inspire many others.