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Living plants in microbial fuel cells might be integrated in wetlands to create large-scale green powerplants. How does that work? Plants photosynthesize organic matter using solar energy. A significant part of this organic matter is released into the soil. There electrochemically active micro-organisms break down the organic matter producing electrons which are transported to the anode of the fuel cell. The energy rich electrons flow through a load to the cathode to generate 24 hours per day electricity.
The idea for this technology came from Dr. ir. Bert Hamelers. In 2008 the proof-of-principle of the technology was published (Strik et al. 2008; De Schamphelaire et al. 2008). From 2009 to 2012 an European consortium explored new areas of science to develop the plant-microbial fuel cell. This project resulted in spin-off company Plant-e that develops and produces products in which living plants generate electricity. Currently world-wide research groups investigate the technology.
Project details, Proceedings PlantPower Symposia, Email, Partners, Weblinks, Peer reviewed publications
Title: PlantPower - Living plants in microbial fuel cells for clean, renewable, sustainable, efficient, in-situ bioenergy production
Grant agreement number: 226532
Start date: 01/01/2009
End date: 31/12/2012
David Strik & Bert Hamelers
Project details and reports: http://cordis.europa.eu/projects/226532
Proceedings 1st PlantPower Symposium: download
Proceedings 2nd PlantPower Symposium: download
Email contact:David Strik
This research received funding from the European Community Seventh Framework
Programme FP7/2007-2013 under grant agreement no.226532.
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