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Living plants in microbial fuel cells for clean, renewable, sustainable, efficient, in-situ bioenergy production

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.




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FP7 PlantPower

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Title: PlantPower - Living plants in microbial fuel cells for clean, renewable, sustainable, efficient, in-situ bioenergy production

Call: FP7-ENERGY-2008-FET

Grant agreement number: 226532

Start date: 01/01/2009

End date: 31/12/2012

Project coordinators:

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


Wageningen University

Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH

Ghent Univerisity

Stichting Dienst Landbouwkundig Onderzoek

MAST Carbon Technology Ltd

Eisenhuth GmbH KG

Maris Projects B.V.

Monsanto Holland B.V.

Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen Deutschesforschungszentrum Fur Gesundheit Und Umwelt GmbH

Universite de Rennes 1


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International Society for Microbial Electrochemistry and Technology

Prof. Feng Zhao Lab


This research received funding from the European Community Seventh Framework

Programme FP7/2007-2013 under grant agreement no.226532.

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