Electric Power Generated by Plants – Electric Power Generated by Trees;
In the Netherlands, a group of researchers found that a number of microorganisms that live around the roots of plants; begins to investigate whether it has the capacity to generate electricity within a special fuel cell.
Classical fuel cells, such as hydrogen, combine their fuel with oxygen to generate water and electricity.
Such systems need expensive metals, e.g. platinum electrons, to pull electrons out of fuel.
Bert Hamelers of wageningen university in the Netherlands and his team are in the ground to do the same with these expensive metals; decides to use enzymes formed by bacteria that live among the roots of plants.
What the team needs: green plants (grass, water cane, etc.), sunlight and wet soil saturated with water, whose roots don't go too deep.
Electric Power Generated by Plants – Placement of Electrons
Thriving in wet soils; working with short-established plants, it is easy to place cables and electrons.
In addition, the oxygen element is found in the wet soil at limited levels.
This is an important issue because bacteria in soil that normally have plenty of oxygen; When it breaks down carbohydrates, the electrons released combine with oxygen to create water and carbon dioxide.
But in wet soils that are too saturated with water, oxygen is either none at all or very limited.
In these conditions, anaerobic bacteria are used in addition to carbon dioxide; free electrons and protons.
Electrons normally affect sulfate and nitrate in the soil; however, the researchers solved this problem by placing the appropriate electrodes in the soil to attract electrons formed by bacteria.
Materials made of graphite were used for cathode and anode.
To sum up the event briefly, it all starts with solar energy and photosynthesis.
Plants convert the energy they get from the sun into organic matter. Almost half of the organic matter formed is also transmitted to the soil through plant roots.
When bacteria break down organic matter in the soil; protons and electrons are exposed as waste material.
These electrons are collected through the appropriate electrodes and both water and electric current are obtained as by-products.
And does this system do any harm to plants?
Studies have been carried out for the time being in the development of plants; it shows that there is no regression.
Even wired plants are more than other plants; it's even been observed to develop better.
But there are some who argue against it. It is thought that the effect of photosynthesis will be reduced by taking away some of the electricity produced by plants in order to photosynthesthesis, resulting in less food being produced.
In order to generate this electricity, a 16 m2 grass area was installed on the roof of the building where the research was carried out.
In the five years since the work began, the energy generated has been increased five-fold.
The amount of energy is not enough to pull a house around for now, but work is continuing rapidly.
The research team is based on physicists, environmental biotechnologists, environmental technology experts, electrical engineers, botanists and microbiologists.
The same team received 4m euros in support from the European Union project "Plant Power"; He also set up a company called "Plant-e" to turn plant fuel cells into commercial products.
Their goal is to generate 3.2 W/m2 of herbal electricity in the near future. It's not that easy to hit that goal.
There are a few important things to focus on. First of all, plant species that give more organic matter to the soil need to be used.
Sugar beet, for example, is very effective in this regard.
The mixture of bacteria that best breaks down organic matter in the soil and exposes electrons needs to be adjusted very well so that the amount of energy produced will increase.
The fuel cell, and especially the electrodes that will capture the electrons, need to be very well designed.
The Dutch team used graphite granules as positive anode in the part where the roots of plants develop.
However, this anode transmits electrons very quickly in the catalyne, resulting in loss of efficiency.
Experts believe this problem can be solved by adding an effective mixture of bacterial culture to the soil.
In this way, electrons, protons and oxygen combine faster to form water molecules.
Finally, this technology needs to be enlarged and implemented.
Only half (1.6 W/m2) of the targeted production can be reached when the currently used and trial system is practically used.
Wind Turbines and Solar Panels
However, the electrical power of plants was found to be more effective than the power generated from biofuels.
There is also no need for high-tech products and complex engineering knowledge needed for solar panels or wind turbines to build plant-centric generators.
One of the most remarkable aspects of this system is that it continues to generate electricity in the dark as opposed to solar panels.
Plant generators installed on the horse are thought to generate 14 kilowatt hours/m2 of electricity in a year.
The average house in Holanda uses about 3,500 kW of electricity a year, or a roof covered with 50 m2 of grass, which can meet almost 20 percent of that need.
The creators of the system think that plant generators on the roof will not only generate electricity, but also provide other benefits.
Electric Power Generated by Plants – Green Roof
What other advantages can a house with a green roof have?
Let's just say what comes to mind first:
It's a beautiful image that rests as opposed to the one that didn't seem to be in the first place, extra insulation, rainwater storage system and a natural habitat for wildlife.
In the later years, this system can be moved to the river shores where the meadow areas are located, and to the agricultural land planted in rice and water cane.
It is thought that the production capacity of lice on such land will be much more if the infrastructure suitable for electricity generation is prepared.
Plants that develop especially in wetlands such as rice and water cane cause a lot of methane gas to be released into the environment as a result of the activities of anaerobic bacteria.
This increases the proportion of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. About 20 percent of the world's methane is from rice fields.
By placing the appropriate anode in the soil, electrons will start to produce electricity instead of producing methane gas, offering a useful service to our world.
Nevertheless, this system, where electricity is produced from plants, needs to go a long way to meet the global electricity needs to compete with other renewable green energy sources.
Journal of Science and Technique, July 2012 Year 45 Issue 536 Page 44 Green Electricity,Electric Producing Plants