Harvesting Electricity from Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a member of the Asphodelaceae (Liliaceae) family, with electrical properties. The plant has electrophysiology features with crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM).
The perennial plant has many medicinal and cosmetic properties and stands widely cultivated across the globe. It is more naturalised in warm regions of Northern Africa, the Mediterranean, South America, the Indian subcontinent, and the Caribbean.

The Aloe vera leaves are succulent and have been analyzed for anisotropy and nonlinear properties of electrochemical circuits. Apart from which, there has been a development of the DC charge stimulating method that allows direct in vivo evaluation of the electrical circuits in the simplest form in a cluster of cells or a single cell. It has also been discovered in the past that there is a strong electrical anisotropy of the aloe vera leaf, which is also found to be nonlinear in behaviour. When electro-stimulation by voltages with amplitude higher than 2V is applied to the plant, the initial input resistance is observed to be dropping. The changes that occur are attributed to the opening of voltage-gated ion channels in the aloe vera leaf.

Another approach to the energy harvesting system includes Zn-Cu electrodes being immersed in the aloe vera leaf. It has been observed in the above approach that oxidations of zinc atoms occurred when an external load was connected between the two electrodes. It was also observed that there was an increase of efficiency when a lower load resistance was used, thus reiterating that the electrochemistry process was influenced by the load connected to the system.

Such findings have helped provide a better understanding of harvesting electricity and the understanding of energy production mechanism of the system vis-a-vis aloe vera.

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