Tuesday, 15 Sep, 2009 Science
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Researchers Find Electricity Generated by Tree

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Recently it was unveiled that maple trees can be used to produce electricity to power small gadgets. A report published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology says that maple trees produce a rather small but still measurable quantity of electricity.

Those of you who have heard about potato battery probably are aware that the plant material can produce current. However, the electricity produced but a tree is something completely different. When creating a potato battery, there is a need of electrodes of two different metals in order to create a charge difference, which would make local electrodes flow. In the new study, scientists used electrodes created of the same material, reports Karen Hopkin for Scientific American. When researchers stuck one electrode into a tree while the other one was stuck into the soil, they noticed that big leaf maples produced a steady voltage of a few hundred millivolts.

In case scientists will continue exploring their finding, in the near future people could use maple trees to power various devices. This is due to the fact that scientist from the University of Washington in Seattle discovered that there's quite enough electricity flowing in maple trees in order to run an electronic circuit. More inventions and discoveries are available here at www.InfoNIAC.com - please check the links at the bottom of the story.

Because several hundred millivolts is much less than a volt and a half, generated by a AA battery, researchers decided to design a 130-nanometer device that runs just on tree power.

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