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The Department's buildings are currently open for wet laboratory work only. We have carried out a comprehensive COVID-19 risk assessment process and have introduced a number of new measures to ensure the safety of our staff, including reduced building occupancy, strict social distancing, 'family'-based working, and increased cleaning and hygiene regimes. All staff who can work remotely will do so for the foreseeable future. Please continue to contact us by email until further notice.

Department of Biochemistry

 

Plant-BES is a plant bio electrochemical system that harnesses solar light and generates electrical current. In the P2P this technology has been housed inside the living wall.

Plant-BES exploits micro-organisms living in symbiosis with the plant roots to generate electrical current. This new technology is carbon neutral and combustion emission-free, and so it could potentially be used as a source of electricity in rural areas that have no access to electricity.

By using the local landscape, including food crops, to generate electricity through Plant BES, standard electricity infrastructure could be reduced and energy requirements brought into balance.. In the system described here, a plant harnesses light energy to power the photosynthetic machinery and releases organic compounds from its root system as by-products. Bacteria living in the soil consume the organic compounds to generate electrons. An anode in proximity with the soil bacteria collects the electrons.  A cathode, wired to the anode by an external circuit, receives the protons and consumes the electrons by recombining them with oxygen to form water. To be recombined with protons, electrons travel  through an external circuit where the electrical current is made.

 Plant BES