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Photo of the day: brussels sprouts power Christmas lights

Posted at 4:30 pm, December 9, 2013 in News, Technology
Sprout Power

It’s always difficult to know exactly what to do with leftover sprouts at Christmas. Do you go all Ottolenghi and disguise them with fancy condiments to feed to your relatives on Boxing Day? Or give them to the dog and hope it doesn’t squit in front of the fireplace? How about using them to light up your Christmas tree instead? Unlikely as it seems, you may be able to do just that very soon. Because clever clogs from The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair have built the world’s first ‘Brussels sprouts battery’, which was used to illuminate an eight-foot fir on the South Bank for 24 hours last week. Here comes the science bit: copper and zinc electrodes pierce 1,000 sprouts, creating a chemical reaction that generates a 63-volt current – enough to make the LED lights twinkle with sprout goodness. But what will the creators do if it ends up breaking down? Not a problem: they can just eat them all and create their own wind turbine instead. Alexi Duggins

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