Plant-e FAQ

When you have a question for Plant-e, or about Plant-e, we strive to help you as good as possible.

To make life easier, we have gathered our most frequently asked questions and put them in one handy list, with all the answers. Please check our FAQ below. If this doesn’t answer your question, please feel free to contact us.

Webshop

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What is Plant-e’s target group?

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Answer

Plant-e is for everyone who is interested in green electricity and  innovation and who likes to experiment with new technology.

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What can we offer you at the moment?

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All products for sale can be found in our webshop. For products that are under development you can take a look at the technology page and at our newsfeed.

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What are the conditions for Plant-e technology?

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The most important condition for the technology is that it is applied in an area with enough water and plants. At this moment we create this environment by incorporating our technology in closed plant boxes. Plant-e is working on a system that can be applied in existing wetlands such as delta areas, rice paddies, mangroves, etc This means that the system can eventually be applied in a fresh, salt and brackish environment.

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What kind of materials are used for the anode and cathode?

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The material we use for both anode and cathode are carbon materials. To create an electric circuit we use titanium wire as current collector. All these materials don’t deplete and don’t degrade in the process of electricity production.

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What membrane do you use?

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To separate the electrodes we use a non-conductive synthetic material.

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Can a Plant-e system be combined with water treatment?

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Plant-e technology will eventually be suitable for combination with water treatment with use of plants. By installing the tubular system (that is still under development) in the root zone of the plants, electricity can be generated while water is purified by the plants.

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Can Plant-e be combined with aquaponics or hydroponics?

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It is not possible to combine Plant-e with aquaponics or hydroponics. We might look into the possibilities in the future, but it is currently not part of our activities.

Modular system and square meter garden

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How much electricity is produced by a system?

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The electricity production of our modular system and m2 garden is enough to keep the included LED’s powered.

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When does the system provide electricity?

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The system generates electricity 24/7, as long as there is enough water. When the system is completely frozen, the production of electricity will stop temporarily, until it thaws again.

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What to do for maintenance of a system?

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A small system is easily maintained by making sure there is enough water in the system and (occasionally) pruning the plants. For the larger systems we offer maintenance contracts. These are aimed at both plants- and technical maintenance. For more information about the possibilities you can send an e-mail to office@plant-e.com.

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What is the lifespan of Plant-e products?

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The durability of the products is defined by the used materials. The materials we use as anode and cathode are inert and will not deplete. The most vulnerable materials are the electronics that are used. In all our products these parts are accessible and can easily be replaced.

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What type of plants are used in the systems?

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We can use plants that like to get ‘their feet wet’. The technology works in a waterlogged environment, which means that the roots of plants should be able to handle a wet environment.
Convenient plant to use are grass species, because grass can grow in a wet environment and has a large root system.
For more suitable plants you can look at our plantlist by clicking the button below. This list is not binding or complete, so if you think that suitable plants are missing, please let us know.

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Is it possible to use the technology in another design?

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The system that we can offer now consists of modules (plant boxes) of 50×50 centimetres. In these modules the technology is integrated and plants can be planted.
In any design, these modules have to be used. For vertical application this means that the modules still have to be place horizontally (e.g. on shelves).

DIY Boxes

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Can I charge my phone with a DIY-box?

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No, this is not possible. The pots that you put together do not produce enough electricity to charge a phone.
The DIY-boxes are meant for experiments with the technology and to get hands-on experience with this new technology. A small LED light is included, so you can see if your system works good enough to provide enough electricity for the LED.
The output per plant can vary from 0 to 0.7 Volt continuously. The voltage depends on several aspects that are hard to predict on forehand (how well the pot was built up, the type of plant, the environment, etc.). The electrical power (Watt) will vary between 300-350 μW.

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Which plants are good to use in the DIY-box?

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You can find a list for suitable plants by clicking the button below. This list is not binding or complete, so if you think a good plant is missing we would like to hear from you.

Students

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I would like to focus a research on Plant-e technology (P-MFC) for my school or study, where can I find more information?

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For more (scientific) information on P-MFC’s you can read the PhD thesis of Marjolein Helder.

For help with school projects you can contact the sub-department Environmental Technology from Wageningen University.

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Can I do an internship at Plant-e?

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Plant-e has internship places available. You can direct an e-mail to office@plant-e.com with your C.V. and a motivational letter explaining what your background is, the time you need for your internship and what you would like to do at Plant-e. We can then see if we have an internship available for you.