How to Make a Battery from a Potato

July 23, 2008

To make a clock run with the power of potato is very easy. You may think its difficult but its not. This unique and bizarre scientific technique is very simple and also helps in creating sweet science or chemistry projects for college students.


Now what are the apparatus needed :

  1. Below are the ingredients required :

  2. 2 potatoes,

  3. 2 very short pieces of copper wire (preferably heavy in size),

  4. 2 commonly galvanized nails,

  5. 3 alligator clip and make sure that they are connected with each other with the wire or you can use wire units,

  6. 1 simple low-voltages LED clock which works from 1 to 2 volts button type battery

Steps :


1) First remove the battery of the clock from the battery compartment. \

2) Keep a note of the positive (+) and negative (-) points of the battery.

3) Then number the potatoes as 1 and 2.

4) Now insert 1 nail in each potato.

5) Insert one short piece of copper wire into both potatoes as far wway from nail as possible.

6) Now, take one alligator clip to connect the copper wire into the first potato till the positive (+) point in the clock.

7) Then, use the 3rd alligator clip to connect the next nail into the potato number one to the copper wire in second potato and set the  clock.


Now how does this potato clock work ????


The potato battery is a electrochemical battery, also known as an electrochemical cell. An electrochemical cell is a cell in which chemical energy is converted into electric energy by a spontaneous electron transfer. In the case of potato here, the zinc in the nail reacts with the copper wire. The potato then acts as a sort of buffer between both the zinc ions and the copper ions. The zinc and copper ions would still react if they touched within the potato but they would only generate heat. Now, since the potato keeps them apart, the electron transfer has to take place over the copper wires of the circuit, which channels the energy into the clock. TADA! Now you can see the potato power.