Fungus on your bread, or bread mold, can produce electricity

Electricity from bread fungus or mold
Electricity from bread fungus or mold

Bread mold, or the fungus on your bread, can produce energy just like a few days ago you read that rotten tomatoes can be a good source of electricity. According to this Science Daily report, fungus growing on red bread can be a good source of electrochemical materials that can be used in rechargeable batteries.

The above-linked report refers to a paper printed in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on March 17, 2016 that suggests that a red bread mold can be the key to producing more sustainable electrochemical materials for using rechargeable batteries.

Joffrey Gadd of the University of Dundee in Scotland says, “We have made electrochemically active materials using a fungal manganese biomineralisation process. The electrochemical properties of the carbonized fungal biomass-mineral composite were tested in a supercapacitor and the lithium-ion battery, and it (the composite) was found to have excellent electrochemical properties. This system therefore suggests a novel biotechnological method for preparation of sustainable electrochemical materials.”

But how come they zeroed in on bread fungus to produce electricity? Gadd says they already had an idea that the decomposition of such biomineralized carbonates into oxides might provide a novel source of metal oxides that have significant electrochemical properties.

Do you know that the bread fungus was at the heart of one of the most revolutionary medical discoveries in the human history? Alexander Fleming found that the fungus that grows on bread produces a chemical that has bacteria killing properties. This discovery later on lead to the invention of penicillin.

So the next time your bread goes bad and begins to show that greenish hue, don’t just throw it away. You might be able to charge your smartphone with it.

About Amrit Hallan
Amrit Hallan is the founder of He writes about technology not because "he loves to write about technology", he actually believes that it makes the world a better place. On Twitter you can follow him at @amrithallan

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