You have probably heard that a battery can be made of potato. See, for example, A. Golberg, H. D. Rabinowitch, and B. Rubinsky, Zn/Cu-vegetative batteries, bioelectrical characterizations, and primary cost analyses. Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy 2, 033103 (2010).
However, potato is expensive in Sri Lanka. Prof. K.D. Jayasurya at Kelaniya University (Sri Lanka) suggested to use plantain instead.
Plantain is cheap and available everywhere in the island. Following Prof. Jayasurya, one of my students made a plantain battery today:
It’s just the beginning. Let’s hope that soon we’ll make similar batteries that will power our laptops.
The goal is to make a battery that is reasonably efficient but cheap enough to be affordable even for the poorest people of the country.
1. N. Jayashantha, K.D. Jayasuriya and R.P. Wijesundera, Biodegradable Plantain Pith for Galvanic Cells, Proceedings of the Technical Sessions, 28 (2012) 92-99 Institute of Physics – Sri Lanka