Starry Sky: Photosynthetic Electricity

I recently read about Starry Sky, a product from Dutch company Plant-e that harnesses electricity from plants to power streetlights, wi-fi hotspots, and cell phone chargers.

This is how they do it:

“Via photosynthesis a plant produces organic matter. Part of this organic matter is used for plant-growth, but a large part can’t be used by the plant and is excreted into the soil via the roots. Around the roots naturally occurring micro-organisms break down the organic compounds to gain energy from. In this process, electrons are released as a waste product. By providing an electrode for the micro-organisms to donate their electrons to, the electrons can be harvested as electricity. Research has shown that plant-growth isn’t compromised by harvesting electricity, so plants keep on growing while electricity is concurrently produced.” 

Here’s more information, if you want to learn in detail how it’s done.

And, it looks great too: trays of plants growing around you. We are still not at the point where a product like this can power an entire home, but wow, is this promising biomimetic technology or what? Bravo!

The future of electricity: humble plants

The future of electricity: humble plants

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