Sauer Power
Amy Li
David Thompson Secondary
Floor Location : M 058 E

What if waste could be power? The purpose of this project was to produce energy from fruit and vegetable food waste. Different types of food wastes were fermented using lactic acid fermentation, converting sugars to acid. The fermented samples were then used as electrolytes in copper-magnesium battery cells.

The results of the fermentation process revealed that the type of food waste with the greatest change in pH was the kabocha squash peel, followed by daikon radish peel, green cabbage, honeydew peel, banana peel, and ambrosia apple peel/core. Fermented apple was used as an electrolyte in copper-magnesium batteries, producing and average of 0.186 watt-hours or 628 joules over a period of eight days. Using fermented honeydew as a electrolyte, and average of 0.317 watt-hours or 1141 joules were produced over eight days. A LED light was lit up using three fermented honeydew battery cells in a series.

The data suggests that this design could have the potential as a source of power, especially in a mass production system where many battery cells could be joined in series. A blueprint for a household generator was designed, including systems to shred, ferment, and react the food waste. Further research would include testing a greater variety of food waste, as well as experimenting with different metals for the reaction. Food waste has the possibility to power our future.