Plant-e develops products in which electricity is generated with living plants. The products are based on a technology that was developed at Wageningen University. In 2007 the technology was patented, and Plant-e was able to get the patents from the university in 2009. The technology enables us to generate electricity with living plants at practically every location where plants can grow and water is abundantly available.
The technology is based on natural processes and is save for both the plant and the environment.
Through photosynthesis a plant produces organic matter. Part of this matter is used by the plant for its own growth, but a large part of the matter can’t be used by the plant and is excreted into the soil via the roots. In the soil, naturally occurring bacteria break down the organic matter, and release electrons in the process. The technology that Plant-e is working with, makes it possible to use the electrons for electricity. Research has shown that the plants are not compromised by harvesting the electrons, so the plants can keep on growing while electricity is produced.
Plant-e’s products are currently built up as modular systems. You can find this construction in the Plant-e modules and the DIY boxes (large and small). Besides this, Plant-e is developing a system that can be applied in existing wetlands; a tube system that is placed beneath the surface of the ground, in the root area of plants.
In the modular system we bring nature to the technology, and with the tubes we want to bring the technology to nature.