Ethan Crumlin, Andrew Hoy, Joseph Walish, Peter Weigele, John Craven, Gerardo Jose, and Jungik Kim of Team BioVolt
Team BioVolt from MIT has created a prototype device that generates cheap electricity from grass clippings. They won first place in the MIT and Dow Materials Engineering Contest (MADMEC) 2007:
The device the team invented for the competition generates electricity from cellulosic biomass. The device is intended to generate enough electricity to charge a cell phone in developing countries. Team members say that the current power output of the device would take about six months to recharge your cell phone.
However, BioVolt is quick to point out that the materials in the device only cost about $2 to obtain and the biomass "fuel" can be found everywhere in nature as leaves and grass clippings. The team members say that multiple units could be connected together to increase power output and that refinements in the design of the device could yield a 100 times increase in efficiency.