Timeless Garden concept by Francesco Castiglione Morelli and Tommaso Ceschi draws electricity from wet mud
March 3, 2009 § 6 Comments
The project of the two designers is inspiring. No batteries means no toxic materials, fire hazardous chemicals, landfill pollution at the end of the lifespan, transporting energy and loads of carbon released into the atmosphere during the production.
Built from two recycled plastic bodies fashioned as a pot/clock, the clock is powered by a reaction between electrodes with bacteria in the wet soil. It is sustainable to a certain point, green juice from a natural reaction and recycled materials but the lawn advertised in the pictures is less fortunate. It’s a living plant of course but as a green alternative lawn isn’t green at all. All over the world people destroyed prairies for lawn fields which take huge amount of water to grow and are a sterile ecosystem. There are no insects, the bees fly away to better places or, more probably, disappear from lack of favourable conditions to prosper. So PLEASE…. put there another plant, consider only the air purifying plants NASA and Paharpur Business Centre and Software Technology Incubator Park, New Dlehi, India.
The process of generating electricity from mud isn’t completely new. Scientists at the University of Massachusetts have discovered the bacteria that is responsible with this. A few other projects use the same technique, worth mentioning is the soil lamp by Marieke Staps‘s which is mud-powered and used for lighting the pathways outdoors.
The process works as follows: microorganisms in the soil, namely iron-breathing bacteria converts organic compounds to CO2 but instead using oxygen as humans and plants do it uses iron minerals that are abundant in most soils and sediments. The scientists have found that they are also capable of breaking down toxic chemicals, including oils, and turning them into electricity which makes the potential of such devices a green oasis for modern apartments.
I can think right now on some LED night lamps that stay ON from a certain time and that are actually some nice designed pots placed high on the walls, with nice little plants and that during the day serve as an air filter or power a fan that circulates the air in the room.
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