Moss FM is a proof of concept for the world’s first plant-powered radio, and the first working moss-powered object requiring more electricity than an LCD. It makes use of an emerging biophilic technology: Photo Microbial Fuel Cells (P-MFCs). Electrons and protons produced by photosynthesising plants are harnessed and transformed into electrical current. In addition, it harnesses naturally occurring bacterial digestion in the soil.

Since part of the photosynthetic process is light-independent and thanks to microbial digestion, the cells in Moss FM produce electricity also during the night.

P-MFCs make use of a biochemical process and are still at an experimental stage, which are both reflected in the design of the radio. It can currently run for a few minutes via a battery that is charged solely by the moss cells. Low-powered gadgets, such as the LCD screen shown in the images below, run continuously hooked to a capacitor or directly to the serial circuit of moss pots.

Moss FM resulted in the publication of a study published in Royal Society Open Science.

Prototype and illustrations