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The Moss Table

A piece of furniture generates renewable energy through biophotovoltaics

Cambridge University, United Kingdom

Green energy from moss

Indoor plants improve the climate of interiors and make apartments more comfortable. The "Moss Table" goes one step further: this innovative piece of furniture can generate renewable energy through photosynthesis—in this case, moss, which is placed in small pots underneath the tabletop. Moss Pots generate enough electricity to power small electronic devices such as electronic clocks. The ongoing development of the technology will enable the use of this type of BPV equipment to power lighting systems, computers and electronic household appliances. The table was developed by designers Carlos Peralta and Alex Driver (United Kingdom) and scientist Paolo Bombelli (Italy) within the Design in Science project at the IFM, University of Cambridge. Photosynthesis produces organic compounds and bacteria help to release electrons. The scientists used carbon fibres to absorb the charge and a battery to supplement it. The "Moss Table" not only looks decorative, it also supplies electricity. This project illustrates the potential of biophotovoltaics for our everyday lives and gives us an idea of the potential of innovative technology.

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