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Plant-Microbial Fuel Cell Produces Power from Plants

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Researchers at Wageningen University have developed a fuel cell that runs off electrons present in the soil around living plants' roots. During photosynthesis, organic material is produced that the plant can't use, which is then secreted through the roots. Bacteria in the soil break down this organic material, which releases electrons. All that's needed is an electrode to capture those electrons and you've got electricity.

This is not a new discovery, of course. Plants have been used to power LED lamps, clocks and even as an interactive computer tool. What the Plant-Microbial Fuel Cell does is improves upon these ideas in size and efficiency.

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