Royal Society of Chemistry and Professor Saiful Islam have set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the highest voltage from a fruit battery.
We used 2,923 lemons to generate an astonishing 2,307.8 volts, which smashed the previous world record of 1,521 volts, and launched a battery-powered go-kart race run by the Blair Project in Manchester. The electrifying feat was designed to highlight the importance of energy storage and the need for new innovations for a zero-carbon world against the backdrop of the COP26 Climate Change Summit.
“It was very exciting to regain our Guinness World Records title by squeezing the highest voltage from a fruit battery. It’s an amazing feat, but it’s still not an effective battery – the amount of electrical power would not be enough to turn on a smart television.
It's an exciting time to be a scientist in general and a chemical scientist in particular – as scientific research is crucial to understand how batteries work and to discover new materials that will give us technologies that can store more energy, are safer and recharge faster.
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“Batteries have a vital role to play in reducing carbon emissions – and have come a long way with modern lithium batteries helping to power the revolution in portable electronics and mobile phones.
“If we are serious about reaching net zero carbon status we need better batteries – to power more electric vehicles and to store the energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar.
"It’s an exciting time to be a scientist in general and a chemical scientist in particular – as scientific research is crucial to understand how batteries work and to discover new materials that will give us technologies that can store more energy, are safer and recharge faster.
“We also have to be able to recycle and reuse these batteries effectively to enable a truly sustainable energy future.”
Professor Saiful Islam, RSC trustee, professor of materials chemistry at the University of Bath and expert panel member of the Faraday Institution
After all that zest
Following the record attempt, the used lemons were responsibly processed by Refood in Widnes, who generate renewable energy from food waste using the anaerobic digestion method (similar to an industrial-scale compost heap) to produce biogas. After further refinement the biogas is pumped directly into the National Gas Grid. Any remaining liquid is transformed into bio-fertiliser for local farming and agricultural use.