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Italian scientists use plants to generate electricity to light LED bulbs


According to reports, scientists have developed a method that uses live plants to generate electricity to illuminate LED bulbs, providing a “green” solution for sustainable power generation. This power-generating plant is made of natural and man-made leaves that produce electricity when the wind blows the plants and moves the leaves.

Interdisciplinary robotics experts and biologists from the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT-Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia) in Pisa, Pontedera, Italy, found that living plants can help generate electricity. And the results of the study have been published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

The research team led by Fabian Meder found that living plants can generate more than 150 volts from a single leaf, enough to illuminate 100 LED bulbs simultaneously. The researchers also showed that "hybrid trees" made from natural and artificial leaves can be used as an innovative "green" generator to convert wind into electricity.

It is reported that in the last study, the team studied plants and found that leaves can produce electricity when exposed to different substances or winds.

Most plant leaves naturally provide specific ingredients, so some leaf structures are capable of converting mechanical forces applied to the surface of the leaves into electrical energy. Specifically, the blade is capable of collecting power on its surface due to the process of electrification. This power is then immediately transmitted to the internal tissues of the plant. Plant tissue acts like a "cable" and delivers the generated electricity to other parts of the plant. Therefore, by simply connecting the "plug" to the plant stem, the generated electricity can be collected to power the electronic device.

In this paper, the researchers also first described how to use this effect to convert wind into electricity. Therefore, the researchers modified an oleander tree and used artificial leaves to touch the natural oleander leaves. The "hybrid tree" produces electricity when the wind blows on the plants and moves the leaves. The more electricity you generate, the more leaves you touch. In this way, it is easy to scale up by developing the entire surface of a tree or even a leaf in a forest.

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