Can You Generate Electricity From Plants?

Energy from plants

Should We Forget Glass And Look To Grass For Our Energy In The Future?

A University of Cambridge scientist Dr Paolo Bombelli is using moss to generate electricity.

He has demonstrated a patch of moss the size of a smart phone running an electric clock.

Now you will have another reason for going with a green roof.

energy from moss

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An A4-sized area of leaves – about 93 square inches (600 square centimetres) – could charge four AA batteries in one hour on a typical sunny day.

Dr Bombelli said his inspiration came from the movie The Matrix.

‘In that movie, they try to generate electrical energy, power, from humans,’ he explained.

‘And although it was a bit crude, the concept is actually correct.

‘But there are perhaps less ethical issues if you take electrons from photosynthetic organisms than humans.’

The apparatus required is also relatively simple – cables, some water and a plant.

At the moment, Dr Bombelli is trying to find a way to increase the ‘flux’ of electrons emitted by a plant, making more energy available.

‘If we can crack this, we can get a very large flux of electrons coming out, then we can build a biological solar panel,’ he told MailOnline.

The goal is to generate up to five watts per square metre (11 square feet).

By comparison, a solar panel generates 150 to 200 watts per square metre.

So as you can see plants will not likely replace solar panels any time soon, but they could have their place in the renewable energy mix.

For more info on these plant cells go to this article.
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