Powering electric cars with … spinach?

Spinach really is a powerhouse in the vegetable family. Packed with an assortment of vitamins and nutrients, it’s easy to understand why spinach has become such a popular choice in a variety of dishes and smoothies to give them an added health boost.

Aside from being a phenomenal choice when it comes to greens, as it turns out, spinach has more versatility than we may realize, according to an article from The Good News Network.

“In a statement, researchers at the American University’s (AU) Department of Chemistry explained that spinach, when converted from its leafy, edible form into carbon nanosheets, acts as a catalyst for an oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells and metal-air batteries.

“An oxygen reduction reaction is one of two reactions in fuel cells and metal-air batteries and is usually the slower one that limits the energy output of these devices.

“Researchers have long known that certain carbon materials can catalyze the reaction. But those carbon-based catalysts don’t always perform as good or better than the traditional platinum-based catalysts.

“The AU researchers wanted to find an inexpensive and less toxic preparation method for an efficient catalyst by using readily available natural resources. They tackled this challenge by using spinach.

“Spinach is a good candidate for this work because it survives in low temperatures, is abundant and easy to grow, and is rich in iron and nitrogen that are essential for this type of catalyst.

“The next step for the researchers is to put the catalysts from the lab simulation into prototype devices, such as hydrogen fuel cells, to see how they perform and to develop catalysts from other plants,” the article explains.

We already knew spinach is a pretty incredible vegetable, but the information in this article demonstrates just how much potential this source of nutrients has to offer.

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