Power generation is the lifeline of cities. All activities come to a standstill even when there is a temporary power cut.
And although electric power has made modern life so comfortable, it comes with a great cost to the environment.
Traditionally electricity generation takes place in fossil fuel/ nuclear power plants that have huge detrimental impact on the ecosystem.
In the process of power generation, these plants emit copious amounts of greenhouse gasses (carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide) that degrade the air quality in the atmosphere.
The next innovator in OpenGov Asia’s Change Makers of Tomorrow series, came up with an eco-friendly method of electricity generation – from plants themselves.
Bioo is dedicated to generation of electricity from nature through unique technologies and patents of its own.
Pablo Vidarte, the CEO of Bioo told OpenGov Asia that the journey began with a vision to use nature and its organic processes as the biofuel to power batteries of the future without harming plants or any other kind of living being.
Pablo and his team collaborated with university nanotech experts to work out a prototype that could successfully utilise the tech envisioned by them.
After almost a yearlong of trials they came up with a range of products that work on the unique Bioo technology.
Bioo currently has two major lines as a part of its current business model.
1) Bioo Installations: Installations that use the proprietary technology of transforming plants into biological switches that can activate music, lights, and even screens in public spaces, making them look more attractive.
Two products that are currently under development are:
- Bioo Panel: A vegetal panel that is installed under the ground and that supplies power to lighting systems of parks and gardens. It enables constant electricity production during the day and at night along with saving up to 60% of irrigation water. Additionally, it is visually in line with the landscape.
- Bioo Sensor: The innovation is an alternative to the current chemical batteries used in irrigation sensors in agriculture industry that need replacement every 6 – 18 months. Thanks to the large existing need for a solution, major firms in the sector are interested in such an application, with the global market being measured in 7.9 billion euros.
Bioo uses the organic substances that are present in the soil naturally as well as those expelled by the plants through the roots. Something that happens immediately after the photosynthesis process.
These organic substances are then broken-down using microorganisms in the soil which eat them. Once the organic substances are broken, they set electrons free along with hydrogen which is naturally released during photosynthesis.
These free electrons are then used to generate electric current. And the hydrogen merged with atmospheric oxygen is used to generate water. There is no damage to the plant in this process, and in fact, the microorganisms are fed and water is generated in the process of creating electricity.
Pablo also shared that in future, Bioo will focus on creating products and installations for smart cities that consider plants as not just decorative objects but with a utility aspect as well.
Pablo and his team have been recognised for their sustainable, out of the box thinking at various platforms.
They were selected as the most innovative company of the year by the European parliament. They are also one of the top 59 finalists at the 10th Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition.
Organised by Singapore Management University (SMU) Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, this international competition is focused on urban innovations and solutions created by student founders and early-stage startups based on the theme “Reimagine, Smart, Sustainable and Resilient Cities”.
The top 59 finalists from around the world will convene in Singapore sometime second quarter of 2021, to compete for prizes worth up to S$1.5 million at the finals.
OpenGov Asia feels honoured to learn from the new generation of innovators like the Bioo team and hopes to encourage more innovative minds to think differently.