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Generation Mechanism of the Tree Electrochemical Potential

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A.S. Kholmanskiy, Yu.M. Kozhevnikov

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The paper presents the research results of the influence of external conditions (light, tempera-ture) on the efficiency of electrical generation by a galvanic cell formed from of a pair of metal electrodes placed in trees of various species and the soil. We used the electrodes made of iron, stainless steel and copper. The trees of different species (birch, linden, oak, larch, pine, spruce) in Moscow and Kaluga regions were examined. The potential difference between a tree and the soil varied during the day from 0.1 to 0.7 V depending on the type of a tree and a material of an electrode. The electrode was immersed into a tree to a depth of ~ 2 cm, and into the soil at ~ 15 cm. The potential difference did not depend on the height of the location of the electrode in the tree and the distance between it and the electrode in the soil. Maximum efficiency of electrical power generation in the summer time was achieved at midday on deciduous trees with the use of iron electrodes (wood) and copper electrodes (soil). We made a conclusion about the acceleration of the kinetics of redox reactions in the xylem electrolyte with the elec-trode metal by the solar light. The higher values of the potential difference in deciduous trees compared to conifers trees are associated with the difference of the chemical composition of their saps and higher values of pH and a dielectric constant in a root exudate than in the soft resin. The obtained results are useful for the batteries constructing of electric energy of trees, which can charge the low-power electronic devices – the mobile phones, monitoring sensors of environmental parameters (temperature, air pollution, ionizing radiation).


A.S. Kholmanskiy, Doctor of Chemical Sciences, Professor, Leading Researcher Yu.M. Kozhevnikov, Сandidate of Engineering Sciences, Chief of Laboratory


All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Farm Electrification, 1st Veshnyakovskiy proezd, 2, Moscow, 109456, Russian Federation; е-mail:


tree, electrochemistry, potential, galvanic cell, sunlight.


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Received on March 16, 2015

Generation Mechanism of the Tree Electrochemical Potential


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