Microbial fuel cells generating electricity from rhizodeposits of rice plants.

  • De Schamphelaire L
  • Van den Bossche L
  • Dang H
 et al. 
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Living plants transport substantial amounts of organic material into the soil. This process, called rhizodeposition, provides the substrate for the rhizospheric microbial community. In this study, a laboratory-scale sediment microbial fuel cell, of which the anode is positioned in the rhizosphere of the rice plants, is used to microbially oxidize the plant-derived organics. An electrical current was generated through the in situ oxidation of rhizodeposits from living rice plants. The electrical power output of a sediment microbial fuel cell was found to be a factor 7 higher in the presence of actively growing plants. This process offers the potential of light-driven power generation from living plants in a nondestructive way. Sustainable power productions up to 330 W ha(-1) could be attributed to the oxidation of the plant-derived compounds.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Bioelectric Energy Sources
  • Electricity
  • Electrochemistry
  • Oryza sativa
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Plant Roots

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  • Liesje De Schamphelaire

  • Leen Van den Bossche

  • Hai Son Dang

  • Monica Höfte

  • Nico Boon

  • Korneel Rabaey

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