Pure Imagination is a garden where almost everything you see is electric.
is a garden where almost everything you see is electric.
I have a vision of bio/technologically literate people who live in symbiosis with nature and machines. Their living vessels harvest and provide electricity, water, food, clean air, and comfort. In exchange, these people do people stuff: breathe, wash clothing/ dishes, excrete things and their vessels love them for it…
On my journey to resolve this vision, I would like to investigate low-cost biological approaches for energy production. That starts with the Sun. The Sun is the ultimate source of energy for almost all life on Earth. Solar energy is carbon-free, everywhere, and abundant. Nature demonstrates the potentials by utilizing solar energy through the process of photosynthesis. Indeed, that potential has been developed into a number of synthetic techniques, i.e. solar cells, to emulate photosynthesis to generate electricity, often to greater efficiencies. One branch of this research seeks to develop similarly efficient light harvesting bioelectrochemical processes replete with interesting advantages over synthetic approaches in that the photosensitive components are assembled and maintained by living organisms that self-repair, reproduce and store energy for power generation in times without sunlight. Among the forms this research has taken is biophotovoltaic devices, i.e. algae based solar panels, and microbial fuel cells. "Life depends on the transfer of electrons between different biochemical intermediates to discharge or capture energy, or drive chemical change. The ability of certain microbes to facilitate the direct and/or indirect transfer of electrons outside of the cell (exoelectrogenic activity), which can then be harvested for reductive power, has driven the development of a variety of devices in which living organisms directly generate electrical power, which may also be coupled to separate reductive processes in the devices (collectively known as bioelectrochemical systems)."-Energy Environ. Sci., 2015, 8, 1092. Exoelectrogens metabolize organic substrates (released by the plants) and donate electrons to conductive materials (ie electrodes). The captured electrons are then directed through an electrical circuit to reduce an electron acceptor (i.e. O2) in the cathodic region and used to power pocket devices, mochas and other critical human things.