A green battery by pot-plant power

Tomoyuki Yamaguchi*, Shuji Hashimoto

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    When a metal electrode is inserted into a part of a plant, and another metal electrode is placed in the soil, an electrical potential difference is generated between the two electrodes. The plant has a lower potential than the soil. The generated voltage from the electrical potential difference between one plant and the adjacent soil is small (several hundred millivolts), and the current is extremely low (several hundred nanoamperes). However, in order to boot up some electrical circuits, the voltage and current need to be in the volt and microampere order, respectively. If the electrical potential difference between one plant and the soil is used as a power supply, it is necessary to develop a nanoscale electrical device that can work with extremely low wattage. Here we report a novel green battery composed of 10 pot plants by serial-parallel connections. The developed battery could generate almost 3 V and 3 μA to drive electric devices. We designed an LED blinking circuit composed of discrete semiconductor parts, which was driven by the generated plant power, and confirmed its performance through the experiments.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)441-442
    Number of pages2
    JournalIEEJ Transactions on Electrical and Electronic Engineering
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jul


    • Green battery
    • LED blinking circuit
    • Pot plant battery

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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