Production of photocurrent and hydrogen gas from intact plant leaves: Bioelectricity from plants

Yaniv Shlosberg, Matan M. Meirovich, Omer Yehezkeli, Gadi Schuster, Noam Adir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Here, we show that it is possible to harvest photocurrent directly from unprocessed plant tissues from terrestrial or aquatic environments in bio-photoelectrochemical cells (BPECs) and use the current to produce molecular H2. The source of electrons is shown to originate from the Photosystem II water-oxidation reaction and utilizes exported mediating molecules, especially NADPH. The photocurrent production is dependent on the concentration of the photosynthetic complexes, as an increase in total chlorophyll and oxygen evolution rates in the leaves lead to increased photocurrent rates. The permeability of the outer leaf surface is another important factor in photocurrent harvesting. Different tissues produce photocurrent densities in the range of ∼1–10 mA/cm2 which is significantly higher than microorganism-based BPECs. The relatively high photocurrent and the simplicity of the plants BPEC may pave the way toward the development of future applicative photosynthetic based energy technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114558
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2022


  • Bioelectronics
  • Electricity
  • Electrochemical cell
  • Leaves
  • Photosynthesis
  • Plants

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry


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