Skip to main content

Green Electricity from plants’ photosynthesis

Article Category

Article available in the folowing languages:

Batteries made of soil could offer dirt cheap green energy

Fusing technology and nature offers innovative solutions to improve quality of life. It drives the shift towards a greener future, where sustainability is the central axis and technology the main tool for achieving it.

Energy

We’ve had the industrial revolution and the digital revolution, but now it’s time for the biotech revolution. When most people hear the word biotech, they think about the pharmaceutical industry, but biotech can help shape the future of the world. Imagine a world where everything from streetlights in major cities to agricultural technology runs 100 % on nature, without ever harming it.

Green electricity from plants

The EU-funded project BIOO Panel joined the green movement by developing an alternative energy source. This is achieved through bioelectrochemical batteries that exploit plant-microbial fuel cells to generate electricity by means of electrochemically active bacteria that consume organic matter naturally present in soil and produced by plants during their life cycle. “The Bioo Panel is a biological battery capable of producing electricity by feeding on natural soil and using plants to maintain the ecosystem without damaging it. We profit from specific organic substances naturally transported by water, being able to obtain energy from soil terrains and others,” explains Pablo Vidarte, CEO and founder of Bioo and project coordinator. Unlike other biological batteries, these panels are uniquely adapted to the external impact of the environment, providing an optimal atmosphere to the natural microorganisms living in it and ensuring 24/7 energy output throughout the year. Over the years, Bioo’s research and development team have created 11 different energy sources/batteries, all with different characteristics and focuses, including energy generation, improved terrain resilience and cost-efficiency. The Bioo Panel is a 30x30 cm panel that can be placed below the surface of a natural environment (for example a yard, garden or park) to generate electricity. Currently, its power usage is focused on obtaining energy for powering self-irrigation systems but, in the future it is expected to be applied to power light points in parks and gardens.

New energy source revolution

Vidarte elaborates: “We have successfully produced scalable and industrially replicable biological batteries. We’ve seen a variety of problems globally with this issue, ranging from cost to difficulty to maintain. However, our cost-efficient biological batteries are adaptable to the environment versus others that are just adapted to wastewater treatments and not designed to deal with harsh environments.” Bioo has achieved a presence in the market and worldwide recognition for its Bioo Panel. The European Parliament named Bioo the most innovative company in Europe, and it was included in the 30 Under 30 Europe 2017 Forbes list. The company’s next financing round of EUR 1.5 million invites global venture capitalists and investors to join the new energy source revolution. “In addition to Bioo Panel, we’ve also created Bioo Living Installations, which transforms plants into biological switches to activate music, lights and even screens all from nature,” concludes Vidarte.

Keywords

Bioo Panel, energy, plants, electricity, environment, biological batteries, renewable energy, green electricity

Discover other articles in the same domain of application