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May 18, 2014 AT 12:00 am

Planter Table Uses Photosynthesis to Power Electronics

biophotovoltaic-moss-table-537x430

Check out this cool moss table that harnesses energy from its growing plants to power small devices.

Photosynthesis is a process by which plants and algae convert carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into organic compounds using energy from sunlight. The plants use these organic compounds (like carbohydrates, proteins and lipids) to grow. When the moss photosynthesises it releases some of these organic compounds into the soil, which contains bacteria. The bacteria break down these organic compounds, which they need to survive, liberating by-products that include electrons. These electrons are captured by conductive fibres inside the Moss Table and put to use. In this way the devices harness energy which would otherwise be wasted. This is achieved using an array of 112 ‘moss pots’, which are bio-electrochemical devices. This means that they convert chemical energy into electrical energy using biological material. Each one generates a potential of about 0.4-0.6 volts (V) and a current of 5-10 microamps (µA).

Currently, the table is in a conceptual phase and mostly serves to demonstrate potential, but it is capable of producing enough energy to power small devices like digital clocks. The team of researchers are working to try to increase its efficiency to power devices like laptops and lamps for future use.
Read more.


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1 Comment

  1. Dennis Mabrey

    Should call it the “Moss Matrix”.

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