Our world is in the midst of a much-needed energy revolution. With our increased reliance on technology, energy consumption is at an all-time high. And as we look to the future, toward the growth and expansion of developing countries, our demand and reliance on energy will become greater.
The energy revolution aims to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, like coal, oil and gas, and replace them with more sustainable yet efficient forms of alternative energy. One of the newest concepts in development in Barcelona is a living power plant. Yes, you read that correctly — living plants producing energy and powering the world. Read more about these sustainability efforts under way around the world.
Can Plants Generate Electricity?
Developed by Arkyne Technologies, the technology behind Bioo Lite harvests the energy generated from a plant during photosynthesis and makes it readily available for use. Engineers and researchers at Arkyne Technologies created a binary biological cell with a solid biomass layer in the pot that holds the plant. Around this binary cell, these scientists created a biological mico-organic solution that activates when you water a plant. In the center of the pot, the scientists placed an internal electrical circuit that houses the cavity to create an oxygen flow inside, which stores the energy created by the system.
Above this you’ll find a semi-permeable grill that contains the soil, allowing the filtration and purification of the water.
This system is ideal for charging smaller electronics that require a USB cord, including:
Before you start using your new charger, remove the USB cord and water the pot to activate the system, allowing the microorganisms to distribute throughout. Then, add any plant of your choosing into the planter and cover the gaps with more soil to ensure effective and efficient charging.
The process of photosynthesis generates organic substances that are drawn downward and nourish the bacteria found in the binary cell. Once the bacteria breaks up the waste, electrons are set free and travel through the nano wires from one electrode to the other, thereby generating water due to excess hydrogen. This current drives toward the accumulator that stores the energy to then be harvested through the USB connection that charges your electronics.
How This Technology Could Impact Us
With the capability of holding two to three full charges at a time, Bioo Lite has the capability to replace our standard USB chargers that require a traditional electrical source. If your smartphone has a long-lasting battery life, like the Samsung Galaxy S7, you’ll be able to charge it and other electronics once a day, all through the power of a living plant. This green energy is renewable, effective, and most importantly, doesn’t rely on fossil fuels. Bioo has announced its product should be available as early as December, and those interested in the technology can sign up for the company’s newsletter to receive more information.
Harvested Energy on a Larger Scale
Researchers are working to take the science behind Bioo Lite and apply it on a larger scale. Projects under way include a tubular system prototype that would roll through a field filled with plants, allowing the system to harvest more energy without needing space for more greenery. In the future, companies experimenting with living-plant energy production will strive to generate electricity from wetlands or wet areas, like rice paddies, salt marshes and mangroves, to target assisting developing countries, as well as remote and rural communities.
As our world changes we need to find new ways to produce green energy that is safe for humans, animals, all living things, and the planet so that we can ensure a healthier environment and world for our children and all future generations.
What are you doing to make the world greener and safer?