Dutch Harvest Electricity From Living Plants To Power Streetlights, Wi-Fi & Cell Phones

A company has found a way to harness electricity from living plants. They are harvesting electricity from these plants to power streetlights, Wi-Fi, and cell phones.

A company that is based out of the Netherlands, Plant-e, has found an effective way to use the energy from living plants and turn it into electricity to power Wi-Fi hotspots, cell phone chargers, and streetlights. This project is called “Starry Sky” by the company. They lit up more than 300 LED streetlights at two different sites in November of 2014. Plant power is also being used to power the company’s headquarters in Wageningen.

The company was founded in 2009 and is a spin-off from the Department of Environmental Technology of Wageningen University. They develop products where living plants generate electricity. The technology they have allows them to produce electricity from practically every site where plants grow.

“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.” – buynongmoseeds.com

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