We Can Make Electricity From These Bionic Mushrooms

Author - Nov 10, 2018


We Can Make Electricity From These Bionic Mushrooms

Since electricity prices are rising fast, how useful it would be to generate your own electricity on mushrooms.

Over the years, there has been such a significant rise in electricity prices that we now spend a bunch of money on running our TV, air conditioner or microwave. Yet, what would happen if you could produce electricity on your own?

Good news for us, the Stevens Institute of Technology managed to do that. They have created “bionic mushrooms” that can produce electricity by themselves.

bionic mushroom

In particular, on the white button mushroom surface, the researchers used a robotic arm to 3D-print cyanobacteria clusters which can generate electricity. Next, they used electronic ink, consisting of graphene nanoribbon swirls which can collect the current, to print the mushrooms.

Manu Mannoor, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the institute, said that thanks to the integration of electricity-generating cyanobacteria and nanometer-sized materials that can collect the current, we can now take advantage of the unique characteristics of both materials, raise them, and make a totally new functional bionic system.

In this process, the mushrooms act as the environment for the cyanobacteria, aka electricity generators, to live and grow. The mushrooms have the perfect moisture, suitable temperature, balance, and nutrients to help the cyanobacteria work for a long time.

bionic mushroom

Their tests actually indicate that the bacteria live much longer when they are on the mushrooms than on a silicon surface or a dead mushroom. When the mushrooms were put under light, the bacteria produced electricity, and the electrons were moved to the graphene ribbons at whichever point the spirals met, giving a photocurrent.

Mannor stated that through this research, we can expect huge opportunities for a new generation of bio-hybrid applications. He continued by saying while some bacteria can glow, others can produce fuel or sense toxins. Now that we can integrate these microbes with nanomaterials, it is possible we will create more wonderful bio-hybrid designs for defense, environment, health care, and other fields.

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