New Discovery: Plants Can Power Smartphones

Chilean students discover energy produced during photosynthesis can charge cell phones.


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A trio of Chilean engineering students has figured out how to harness the natural power of plants to charge their smartphones. During a brainstorming session in the college’s garden, student Evelyn Aravena wondered why plants don’t have a socket, stating that “there are so many living things which have the potential to produce energy.” The trio developed E KAIA, a biocircuit able to harness the energy that plants produce during photosynthesis without disrupting the plant’s growth cycles that can fully charge a smartphone in less than two hours. The students hope to launch the product commercially in late 2016, and given that animal agriculture produces more greenhouse gases than cars, there is yet another reason why raising plants, not animals, is part of a sustainable future.