Hmmm, what we are doing to plants at the moment could very well be what machines do to humanity in the future – that is, just as the Matrix trilogy depicts, use us as batteries. Well, a team of scientists have done some research into how plants work apart from the usual photosynthesis process, and managed to find a method that will allow us to harvest electricity that has been generated from plant roots.
Plants, as with any other living thing, is guaranteed to generate waste, but thankfully, plants deposit their into the soil as well as surrounding water where their roots have painstakingly searched out for throughout its growth. Bacteria which feed on such waste will leave spare electrons, hydrogen ions, and carbon dioxide behind, which is why Bert Hamelers and his team from Wageningen University in the Netherlands intends to make use such ions by sending them to a cathode, while the electrons remained behind, creating an electric potential difference – or in common parlance, voltage. Basically, a test system showed that it could generate 0.44W per square meter after being fitted with such plant-based fuel cells. Perhaps there are ways to increase the production of electricity by a massive amount sometime down the road?