JERUSALEM — israeli scientists from the University of Tel-Aviv were successful, at the end of several years of work, to produce electricity from plants, showing that these plants can be a source of “clean”energy.
This study, published in the scientific journal, british Energy and Environmental Science, was conducted by professor Iftach Yacoby, director of the laboratory of renewable energies, Faculty of life Sciences of the University of Tel-Aviv, in collaboration with professor Kevin Redding of the University of Arizona (southwest United States). It shows that plants have power generation capacity to be particularly effective, based on the process of photosynthesis.
According to Mr. Yacoby, all green plants, leaves, grass or seaweed, contain genuine “solar panels” and know how to take a ray of light to transform it into a current of electrons. The task was to extract this current from the plant, according to this professor. “To connect a device to the electricity, just plug it into a power outlet. In the case of a plant, we didn’t know where we connect. We looked for a nano-outlet, working on micro-algae”, in which we injected using a bio-reactor, an enzyme that produces hydrogen, ” he says.
The micro-alga was then developed of the cells containing the new enzyme, and researchers concluded that it produced a lot of energy. At the age of 42, professor Yacoby said he was convinced that he could be “a new era in agriculture which, after helping to feed people for thousands of years, will be able to be used to produce energy. We thought it had potential but we didn’t know if it would work and it worked”, after a work of almost six years.
“There are many things one can consider doing with the results of our research,” he added, as, in the long term, “reduce pollution in the transport sector and heavy industry”. But, according to him, it will be necessary for it still to wait between 10 and 20 years.