• Question: can you still eat a potato after you used it to power soemthing

    Asked by the big farmer to Karla on 15 Nov 2017.
    • Photo: Karla Dussan

      Karla Dussan answered on 15 Nov 2017:

      I think it would be best not to. When you use the potato to power, for instance, a light bulb, it works as a battery where a coin (source of copper as cathode) and a nail (source of zinc as anode) are the ones providing the flow of electrons that give rise to the electricity used in the bulb. The potato provides a medium in which some mild acids it contains change the electron configuration of the zinc to release its electrons… The electrons are then conducted from the anode to the cathode giving rise to the electrical current… These electrons are also transferred to the acid in the potato releasing some gases (hydrogen). In overall, the process reduces the amount of acids in the potato, but it certainly adds zinc and copper ions into the potato, which may be harmful for consumption when in large quantities… And well, we would need to check how much zinc and copper there is in the potato after use to check if it’s safe to consume or not đŸ™‚