Kyle Potato

POTATO POWER
BY: KYLE TORRES

Batteries can be run in many different ways. Batteries basically transfer chemical energy into electrical energy. The batteries that we are used to run with three parts in them: an anode which produces the negative side of the battery, a cathode which produces the positive side of the battery, and an electrolyte. An anode gets filled with electrodes, due to the chemical reactions in the battery, which causes an electrical difference between the anode and the cathode. In a sense, the electrons will see the difference, and change where they are to solve it. Since the anode has a lot of electrons, the electrons will go to the place with fewer electrons, which is the cathode. The only problem is that the electrolyte blocks the entrance. As long as there is a closed circuit, there is a path from the anode to the cathode. A brief summary of how batteries work is that it is basically electrons moving from a space where there are a lot of electrons to a space where there is very little electrons, which will power anything connected in the closed circuit.
One battery that has been used is a potato. Potatoes have a form of phosphoric acid content called H3PO4. You can create a battery by putting a penny in the potato for copper and aluminum underneath the potato for zinc/aluminum. The H3PO4 puts hydrogen ions into the final solution. The copper loses electrons, while the zinc gains electrons through the closed circuit. As you can see, the electrons have been flowing through, creating the final product: an electric charge.
My plan for this project is that instead of keeping the potatoes far away from each other; I am going to keep them close together, to possibly get a stronger signal from this, so the charge can be stronger. I have almost all the equipment so here is what I plan to do to make the project in my own creative way. I will start by cutting the potatoes just to the size so I can put a penny in it, so I can get more juice out of the potato’s H3PO4. Then I plan to use aluminum foil big enough for the potatoes so I can get the zinc I need. Then I will hook up the penny and aluminum to the battery part of the hotplate using alligator clips. Lastly, I will align the potatoes to be close together so I can try to get a better amount. What I mean by this is that if they are closer together, they might get more H3PO4 from each other. This is my plan to get a hotplate operated by potatoes, which is mostly about small differences, which will possibly produce more H3PO4 based on these small alterations.

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