The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Could we power cars and lorries with fruit-generated electricity?  (Read 11447 times)

paul.fr

  • Guest
we all know that fruits and vegetables can power a simple electrical circuit.







now if you could substitute a cars battery or better still a HGV lorry's, how much fruit or vegetables would you need? Could you get enough inside a 40 foot trailer attached to the truck to run in place of the battery?
« Last Edit: 03/05/2007 08:24:05 by chris »


 

Offline eric l

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 514
    • View Profile
It is not so much the fruit that powers the circuit, but the electrodes.  They are made from different materials (e.g. graphite and zinc); the fruit is merely a reservoir for the electrolyte (role played by the fruit juice, which should be sufficiently acid).  Electrical current is created by the reaction of the metal with the acid.  Your cell stops working when most of the acid is used up by reaction with (in this case) the zinc.
 

paul.fr

  • Guest
so, could we line tonnes and tonnes of fruit up in a parallel circuit to make a sufficient current?
 

Offline eric l

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 514
    • View Profile
so, could we line tonnes and tonnes of fruit up in a parallel circuit to make a sufficient current?
Not sure we could create enough current to get all those tonnes of fruit (+ the weight of the truck) on the move.  Actually, I haven't even seen it work on a scale model. 
We could someone to make a toy electric train along this lines (less rolling resistance).  Would be great for the show !!!
 

paul.fr

  • Guest
so, could we line tonnes and tonnes of fruit up in a parallel circuit to make a sufficient current?
Not sure we could create enough current to get all those tonnes of fruit (+ the weight of the truck) on the move.  Actually, I haven't even seen it work on a scale model. 
We could someone to make a toy electric train along this lines (less rolling resistance).  Would be great for the show !!!

yes, good idea. i would have loved a potato powered scalectric set. (spell check) or tomato powred hornby train set.
 

Offline Pumblechook

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 569
    • View Profile
Fruit or Veg cells can generate 1.5 Volts but the available current is quite small so you might you need hundreds of thousands or millions of them so they would never fit in a vehicle and if they did it would be so heavy it wouldn't move.
 

Offline syhprum

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3823
  • Thanked: 19 times
    • View Profile
As eric I states the electrical power comes from the consumpsion of the metal electrode most commonly Zinc,
Electricity has been generated in this manner for at least 200 years by the Leclanche battery but it is an exceeding expensive way of the producing power, the power in your flashlight costs about 1000 times as much as the same amount of power from the grid 
 

Offline Don_1

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6890
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • A stupid comment for every occasion.
    • View Profile
    • Knight Light Haulage
There is also the problem that some greedy git might eat your battery
 

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8670
  • Thanked: 42 times
    • View Profile
There is also the problem that some greedy git might eat your battery
And, in todays society you would be held liable for him getting zinc poisoning.
 

Offline peppercorn

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1466
    • View Profile
    • solar
You'd be better off converting the fructose into demethylfuran and pouring it into your petrol tank...
 

Offline Pumblechook

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 569
    • View Profile
Better converting to alcohol and then you wouldn't care less.
 

Offline Supercryptid

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 606
    • View Profile
    • http://www.angelfire.com/sc2/Trunko
You could also burn the fruit in a furnace and use the thermoelectric power to charge up your car battery.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum


 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums