Ermi Van Oers - Living Light
Quite a successful story this, of a designer collaborating with bio-scientists and “the market”. Van Oers, intrigued by potential power within natural processes, found a way to generate electricity through photosynthesis. Not a new thing, but with her team called Living Light and a company called Plant-e she took her bio-design project to a next level.
In 45 pages, this beautifully designed little book (14,3 x 21 cm) tells you all about the project with the help of many photographs. Van Oers received a research award from the Willem de Kooning Academy in 2017.
Curious? Here is the technology step by step:
- Under the influence of sunlight, plants make organic material (sugars) and oxygen from water and CO. This is called photosynthesis.
- This organic material is transported throughout the plant.
- Part of this organic material is not used by the plant and secreted by the roots.
- Bacteria that naturally surround the roots break down this organic material, releasing electrons and protons.
- The electrons are collected in the anode (the minus pole) of our plant battery.
- The electrons flow through the wire and can be used as electricity. A smart chip enables us to increase the voltage and, for example, to keep lights on!
- To make electrons flow, you also need a plus pole, the cathode. There they come in contact with oxygen from the air and protons from step 4 and react to water.