Marshes Could Produce Electricity: About 6 percent of the Earth's surface is covered in marshes and wetlands. Researchers in The Netherlands think that some of these areas could become sources of renewable energy.
They've developed a Plant-Microbial Fuel Cell that generates electricity as plants grow without harm their environment. The fuel cell is made from an electrode and anode, basic components that make up a battery. The electrode is placed in the soil near the plants roots, where organic material is excreted by the roots and where naturally occurring bacteria release electrons as a waste product. By capturing these electrons, the fuel cell is able to generate electricity.
In addition to harvesting electricity from the soil, the researchers also think their technique could be used to produce energy on houses that have green roofs, that is, roofs made of living plants. Grasses such as common cordgrass and rice produce a low-voltage direct current, which can be directly used to charge batteries and power LEDs.