Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Medical Potato battery

  1. Oct 2, 2017 #1
    If a potato ( or any other food, for that matter) is used as a battery by say, simply inserting two different metal pins in it and connecting it to a load, then does it reduce the nutritional value of potato ? or does it affect the potato negatively in any way ?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 2, 2017 #2
    If you connected say a copper and nickel rod into a potato and then allowed a current to pass, I would certainly expect to find copper and nickel salts in the potato.
    I wouldn't find that especially appetizing.
    It you used lead, that would be much worse.
     
  4. Oct 3, 2017 #3
    As @.Scott said they wouldn't make for the best dinner after putting metals in them. Then again it would depend how long metals would be in the said food. I know that if you would stick copper into fruit with low pH like lemons, you're asking for trouble.
     
  5. Oct 3, 2017 #4

    jim mcnamara

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    More generally, the addition of trace element metals to foods can cause problems. Median copper intake in the US 1. - 1.6mg/day. The RDA for Cu is 900μg (0.9mg). Which means most of us already get more than enough copper.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK222312/

    If you cook with copper pots or prepare acidic foods or serve them in copper, copper leaches into food. Way more than is required.
    Long term consequences are nasty.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper_toxicity

    Zinc and other trace element metals have similar issues when ingested at high levels, not to mention non-required elements like lead.
     
  6. Oct 3, 2017 #5

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    Most copper cookware is lined with something less reactive to prevent this.

    And it wouldn't be a potato battery thread without saying "The cake is a lie!"
     
  7. Oct 3, 2017 #6

    jim mcnamara

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

  8. Mar 12, 2018 #7
  9. Mar 12, 2018 #8
    Would the electricity alone affect the potato?
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted