Free Electricity from Compost – DIY Earth Battery.
The lab called ‘Earth’ has been researching & perfecting how to harvest solar power for over 3 billion years. The best way was found to be: bacteria & plants.
A teaspoon of soil can contain upwards of 50 billion microbes (for comparison, there are about 7.3 billion humans on our entire planet).Larry Cooper, with Rita Abi-Ghanem, PhD
So, where do we find bacteria?
COMPOST…GARDEN SOIL…POTTED PLANTS…WORMFARMS…GREYWATER SYSTEMS…BLACKWATER SYSTEMS…AQUATIC PLANTS…so many places!
HOW IT WORKS…it’s commonly known that the digestive system of humans (& other animals) contain bacteria which decompose food (organic matter) into nutrients, before absorption through the gut wall. Large macro-molecules are broken down into much smaller units as bacteria fuel themselves via an electron-transport chain. The end result, is the smallest unit possible – basic molecules, most of which have either a positive or negative charge. Whether it is within the gut of an animal, or in the soil beneath our feet – bacteria generate electricity.
- A zinc screw* acts as the negative anode to attract electrons generated by anaerobic bacteria in the rhizosphere.
- Electrons flow through the electrical device to charge/power.
- Copper wire* acts as the positive cathode to emit electrons in the top of the soil to produce water (H+ + O2-) & biomass.
*other metals can be used for the anode & cathode.
To boost output = multiple the current by a number of consecutive circuits, add worms (^800%) organic fertilizer (^45%) & molasses (^38%).
- Sustainable electricity generation.
- Power monitoring equipment (ie. nutrient loading in blackwater system).
- Power lighting (ie. driveway, attract insects over water to feed fish etc.)
- Rapid recycling of used water (greywater & blackwater systems).
- Degradation of pollutants (including phenol, petrol & oil).
- Rapid growth of bacteria (conditions soil, compost booster).
- Mitigation of methane (a strong greenhouse gas).
- Mitigation of carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas).
- Production of water.
- Evolution of oxygen.
Want to know more? Search…
Plant microbial fuel cell (PMFC)
Constructed wetland microbial fuel cells (CW-MFCs)
- FertilGold / Larry Cooper, with Rita Abi-Ghanem, PhD. 2018. Microorganisms: The Living Engine of Soil—Part 1. [ONLINE] Available at: https://fertilgold.com/2018/04/04/microorganisms-the-living-engine-of-soil-part-1/. [Accessed 4 December 2019].
- Science Direct. 2019. Chapter 3.8 – Plant-Microbial Fuel Cell Technology. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780444640529000224. [Accessed 3 December 2019].
- Inhabitat. 2009. Soil Powered Lamp: A Fresh Take on “Dirty Energy”. [ONLINE] Available at: https://inhabitat.com/soil-lamp-is-powered-by-dirt/. [Accessed 3 December 2019].
- YouTube / North Carolina Prepper. 2013. Make a simple Earth Battery. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrkW4dj_6jM. [Accessed 4 December 2019].