Spinach just got way more exciting. That bland side salad or garnish eaten when coated with a hip dressing is a powerhouse of nutrients and minerals, including iron. It’s cheap and easy to grow and ticks all the boxes for a non-controversial renewable source of energy.
And I don’t mean human energy.
Chemists from the American University have created a working fuel cell from spinach. Yep, that green stuff you try to hide under your toast crusts. The research team were looking for a sustainable source of nitrogen and iron to develop an alternative to platinum catalysts used in fuel cells.
While platinum has been the benchmark for efficiency; it’s scarce (meaning it is expensive) and has issues with long-term stability and vulnerability to chemical poisoning.
Because of the range and relative quantity of the right minerals in spinach, the team not only created a working fuel cell; they demonstrated it was more efficient than the platinum benchmark.
OK, we’re still a long way away from a car powered by a can of greens; but it turns out that Popeye was right about spinach being an exceptional source of energy.
If you’re scratching your head about why this little nut might have woken my instinct for garnering strange and novel ideas, then consider how hard a fossil fuel lobby group might try to shut down this literally green technology.
What could possibly go wrong when you try to commercialise a cheap, renewable, plant-based fuel source?