Once we thought that batteries were made of corrosive chemicals and heavy metals. But what happens when you can grow e-plants that store solar energy like super-capacitors?
Back in 2017, scientists discovered they could grow nanowires inside a red rose, using the plant’s own capillary system to create an internal network, and absorb electrolyte. It’s a little like that old school lab experiment, where you run an LED off a potato – natural, organic electricity.
Except that, in the case of e-plants, it’s a whole lot more powerful and efficient. Combined with solar leaves, which harvest the sun’s energy, the e-plants can charge up in the daytime, and provide power long into the light. And if you need more storage, just plant some more flowers!
This eco-friendly technology is set to disrupt traditional batteries in a big way. Batteries using rare chemicals like lithium are expensive and require mining and transport, both damaging to the environment. E-plants actually contribute to a healthy living environment, as the basic plant functions remain intact, cleaning the air and providing an attractive vista.
The one drawback of e-plants is that they are not portable. You can hardly walk around with a pot plant to power your phone! But for homes and small businesses, especially those running on low-voltage USB power, e-plants are the clean, and green, batteries of the future. Even if they’re red or yellow.