The quest for alternative and sustainable sources of energy takes a truly green twist with the creation of the moss table. The moss table has been designed in the University of Cambridge by Carlos Peralta and Alex Driver in collaboration with scientist Paolo Bombelli who has been responsible for its scientific development.
This concept product is actually a Bio-Photo Voltaic device – generating electricity from light energy by exploiting the photosynthesis of living organisms such as moss, algae, cyanobacteria and vascular plants. In simple terms using these types of organisms as biological fuel cells in order to generate energy!
Currently the table produces about 520 Joules (J) of energy per day; Since s typical laptop requires about 25J per second the application of this technology still has a long way to go (the moss table can currently supply 20 seconds of charging…) – but as this technology evolves and with new, low energy consumption laptops are being developed (such as the XO-1 by Quanta Computer) that might be able to operate on as little as 1W, we might see a new generation of moss powered laptops and electric devices, Sun light and water not included in the packaging….
Research into Biophotovoltaics involves collaboration between the departments of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Biochemistry and Plant Sciences at Cambridge University, and the Chemistry department at Bath University. The research is jointly led by Doctor Adrian Fisher, Professor Christopher Howe and Professor Alison Smith in Cambridge, and Doctor Petra Cameron in Bath. This research project is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).