Electricity from living plants
by Tim Willmott : Comments Off on Electricity from living plants
Plant-e is a young Dutch company that focuses on creating products that generate electricity from living plants. This super innovative way of power production is not only environmentally responsible, it is also of the moment and can be used virtually anywhere.
Plant-e products – based on technology developed at Wageningen University – were patented in 2007, and Plant-e is now the patent holder.
The technology enables the production of electricity with living plants to practically any location where plants can grow and where water is present. The technology is based on natural processes and is safe for both the plant and the environment.
Photosynthesis produces organic material in plants. A portion of this organic material is used for the plant’s own growth but a large part can not be utilized and is excreted in the ground via the roots, where live bacteria that break down organic matter. This decomposition process releases electrons as a waste product.The Plant-e technology ensures that these electrons can be used as electricity. Research suggests that plants are unaffected by harvesting electricity, which means that the plant can grow normally while generating electricity.
The current products with Plant-e technology are modular configurations of varying sizes, from a home tester configuration to a 100m² system. Also in development is an underground tubing system that can be used in existing natural wetlands
With the modular system nature is joined with the technology and with the hose system the technology is brought to nature.
Plant-e was founded in 2009 as a spin-off company of the Environmental Sub-Department at Wageningen University by Marjolein Helder and David Strik, and in 2012 Nanda joined the company. Following funding for a major research project, the core team was established. David works as an assistant professor at Wageningen University and is still an important link between scientific research and research and development at Plant-e.
6708 PA Wageningen