Humans have known ways and have been able to find new ones to get the thing they want. Humans learned about fore when two flint stones accidentally fell on each other. Then they found ways of producing fire easily. This and many similar incidents are present in history. Now humans have constantly been on the race to find new and easier ways of producing electricity. Researchers have now been able to harness electricity from mushrooms.
There exist a few species of bacteria that have the ability to channelize energy. For a long time now researchers are trying to make use of this quality of the bacteria. In the previous experiments, the bacteria were not able to stay alive in artificial environments. To overcome this problem researchers shifted the environment from artificial to real, inside a mushroom!!
Nature and electronics
Researchers are using mushrooms does not mean they are using actual mushrooms. They are using bionic mushrooms. Bionic mushrooms are a combination of 3D printing, conductive ink, and bacteria. The three together will generate electricity. It is a partnership between nature and electronics.
Cyanobacteria also are known as blue-green algae prepares its own food by the process of photosynthesis. During the process of photosynthesis, the bacteria splits water molecules and releases electrons. These electrons when gathering in enough amounts at a place can produce an electric current. Researchers are thinking of harnessing the current into electricity.
3D house for the bacteria
Now, this electric current is produced only when the number of electrons are considerably high. That means huge numbers of bacteria need to be present at the same place. To lock these bacteria at one place researchers created used 3D printing to deposit the bacteria on the surface of mushrooms.
The mushroom was particularly the choice of researchers because mushrooms naturally host large numbers of bacteria and microbes. The real problem when the actual work of printing began. The general 3D printers are coded to print on a flat surface. The team of researchers had to spend a considerable time in writing a new code that would enable printing on curved surfaces.
Once done with the printing problem. The researchers printed mushrooms in two colors green and black. Green ink consisted of the cyanobacteria and the black ink was graphene. Spiral patterns made with green ink on top of the mushrooms and branching pattern was made with the black.
The actual execution
When the mushroom was ready the team exposed the mushroom to a source of light. This did have the expected result. The cyanobacteria in the green ink started releasing electrons which the black ink caught. The graphene in the black ink is a good conductor of electricity allowed the flow of electrons through them thus generating electricity.
So far the team has been able to produce hardly 70 nanoamp current. This is too less to do anything. But to learn to walk you need to learn to take a step and the stem is taken by Mr. Sudeep Joshi’s team. The whole experiment is the brainchild of Mr. Sudeep Joshi and this team and not to mention they have been successful in making it a success.
Sometimes what is important is not the success in bulk at the first attempt but to try the idea that you think can work. The worst that can happen is failure. This experiment has proved that technology and science can go ahead walking hand in hand too. Together they can be able to go a long way