Study Suggests Understanding Plants’ Circadian Rhythms Could Yield Clean Energy Source

Gaining an understanding of the circadian rhythms of plants could open the door to developing a new type of clean energy, a study suggests. The research shows that we could harness the electric potential or voltage that plants create when they draw water through their roots by learning their biological clocks. Using this electric potential could lead to the creation of a new renewable energy source.

Every living organism is subject to a circadian rhythm, or biological clock, that determines its biological processes through the day and night in cycles. Plants use light from the sun to conduct photosynthesis and absorb water and nutrients from the soil during the day cycle before winding down their processes during the night cycle.

According to Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur researchers, the electricity produced during these biological processes is impacted by changes during the day and night cycles. Study author Suman Chakraborty says that while this voltage could potentially offer a continuous and sustainable renewable energy source, the only question is how a plant’s electric potential was affected by the biological clock and how much potential a plant could produce.

The research team used electrodes to analyze how ion type, ion concentration and pH of internal fluids affected the electric potential of water hyacinth. Chakraborty says the team’s “Eureka moment” came when the researchers could use a plant’s circadian rhythm to generate energy in a cyclic rhythm. The team found that plants could control the flow of sap or fluids based on day and night cycles, which in turn affected the voltage response, and that increased pH or lower ion concentration in plant fluid increased the electric streaming potential.

Chakraborty says the team may have discovered a potentially untapped sustainable electrical-power output that has no impact on the environment, doesn’t disrupt the ecosystem in any way and can be harnessed to produce electricity. The researcher said his team’s findings could aid in the development of nature-inspired biometric systems that use environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions to combat the global energy crisis.

Harnessing the electric potential of plants would also provide a novel type of green energy to aid in the transition from fossil fuels to renewables while incentivizing the planting of new trees, essentially killing two birds with one stone. With no impact on the environment or ecosystem, this new form of green energy could offer a significantly sustainable means of generating sustainable electricity for the grid alongside solar, wind, geothermal and hydro energy.

As sourcing energy from plants is further explored, entities such as Mullen Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: MULN) will press ahead with bringing to market innovative electric vehicle models that run on green energy in order to decrease the use of fossil fuels and combat climate change.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Mullen Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: MULN) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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