What are Soil Batteries?

soil batteries illustration

I find this absolutely fascinating. The idea that soil could be used as a medium to store surplus energy generated from solar panels. 

The Government’s UK Research and Innovation team is investing £15 million into this experimental project. Lead researcher, Dr Harbottle from Cardiff University, explains that “if you make energy available to microorganisms, they’ll use it in some way to survive.”

These microorganisms use electrosynthesis to create acetate, which acts as a chemical store of energy. Then when needed, another circuit is switched on which activates a different set of bacteria to break down the acetate, thereby releasing electrons which flow through the circuit and providing electricity on demand. 

If it can be used at scale, can you imagine how revolutionary this would be? 

For more information on this exciting idea see the links below.



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