|Who wouldn't be for using electricity produced by mosses to power a lamp or a laptop? Taken from http://inhabitat.com/moss-table-by-biophotovoltaics-generates-electricity-through-photosynthesis/|
This is an amazing concept, and honestly, I have been wondering where this technology has been hiding! Plants have an intricate and clean way of generating usable energy by the conversion of sunlight into sugars (photosynthesis), generating electricity in the process. Why has it taken so long for us to take a cue from nature?
The idea is similar to that of "traditional" photovoltaic cells (solar panels). I have known that the manufacturing of these light-capturing cells requires a cocktail of caustic chemicals, both in the product itself as well in the processing. I am surprised that this isn't talked about very often. Once the panels have reached the end of their lifespan, they need to be treated as hazardous waste and disposed of "properly". So why did we reinvent the wheel, when we have had living version of light-capturing cells growing under our feet all along?
|In the moss table concept, the electricity is taken from the bacteria as a byproduct of breaking down the organic compounds produced by the plants by way of photosyntheis. Taken from http://biophotovoltaics.wordpress.com/|
Mosses have lent their tiny selves to the development if this new technology. People have been able to sequester the (albeit small amount) of electricity generated by the photosynthetic process. Algae, cyanobacteria and even grass clippings could also be used. Perhaps as we shrink the required amount of energy needed to power our stuff and refine this biophotovoltaic idea, it will have a more prominent place in our alternative energy repertoire.