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Soil-Powered Fuel Cell

Soil-Powered Fuel Cell:

A team from Northwestern University has developed a soil-powered fuel cell that harvests energy from microbes in the soil.

  • This small fuel cell, about the size of a book, could be used to power underground sensors in applications like green infrastructure and precision agriculture.
  • The researchers tested the fuel cell by using it to power sensors detecting touch and measuring soil moisture.
  • The new fuel cell’s design, with a perpendicular configuration of anode and cathode, performs better in dry conditions, making it more suitable for low-moisture environments.
  • The researchers claim it can generate power indefinitely as long as there are microbes and carbon in the soil.