Kraut Source Energy

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⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡ KRAUT SOURCE ENERGY!!! ⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡



𝕮𝖆𝖗𝖎𝖓𝖌 𝖋𝖔𝖗 𝖊𝖑𝖊𝖈𝖙𝖗𝖎𝖈𝖎𝖙𝖞-𝖕𝖗𝖔𝖉𝖚𝖈𝖎𝖓𝖌 𝖇𝖆𝖈𝖙𝖊𝖗𝖎𝖆 = 𝖈𝖆𝖗𝖎𝖓𝖌 𝖋𝖔𝖗 𝖔𝖚𝖗 𝖇𝖔𝖉𝖎𝖊𝖘 = 𝖈𝖆𝖗𝖎𝖓𝖌 𝖋𝖔𝖗 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖊𝖓𝖛𝖎𝖗𝖔𝖓𝖒𝖊𝖓𝖙!

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Sauerkraut, Pee, Mud, what does it has uncommon Play with the stinky stuff and realize things are alive and valuable

More on ENERGY HARVEST by Miranda Moss [[1]]


Kidsworkshop during exhibition Earthbound organized by Esch2022 by HEK, ZKM and ARSELECTRONICA on the "13th and 14th of August 2022"

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Kids Workshop with Miranda Moss, Maya Minder and Ralf Schreiber: workshop for kids and family to create microbial fuel cells made with old stinky sauerkraut, for all other creatures it is a walk in format! Feel Welcome!!
preview here:
or here:


+ Ceramic Plant pot ~10cm diameter - 1 per fuel cell. Could also have some smaller ones too.
+ Gluten powderfor seitan (~ 6 spoons for 4 cells)
+ graphite powder - 1 tablespoon per cell
+ non-corrosive stainless steel wire - aprox. 10cm per participant OR thick solder also works (lead-free)
+ crocodile clips: 2 per cell
+ Activated charcoal powder, EITHER: buy activated charcoal powder (6 spoons for 4) OR we make our own: need a bag of fire wood, ,lemons, equipment: large sealable glass containers, stovetop, large metal cooking pot, food processor, sieve, surgical/dust mask. This is cheaper and more primal
+ Oats - 1 spoon per cell
+ large elastic bands - 3 per participant+ wooden stick, the same diameter as the ceramic pot’s holes
+ Fine, flexible Aluminium Mesh
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1x Custom PCB, see picture below 1x IC-74HC14, Hex Inverter with Schmitt-Trigger 3x 1uF, 4.7uF, 10uf / ELKO-capacitors 3x 10K resistors 1x piezo speaker 1x battery clip 1x battery holder (2x AA-Mignon) 2x empty AA-Mignon

+ waterproof containers - 2 per participant:Anything that the clay pots can fit into will work. Transparent containers are nice visually. big jars, science flasks, buckets, large yoghurt containers, giant coconut shells, transparent heavy-duty plastic bags suspended from the ceiling?.... The larger they are, the more substrate we will need however, so sticking to a volume not too much bigger than the clay pots is easier.
+ Oven + Fan / time to dry in the sun and wind+ funnel+ Digital multimeters+ box cutters, scissors
+ Soldering iron
+ Speakers / sound systems, with standard 2.5mm aux cables - 1 per every 2 participants would be awesome, for testing the devices, and hearing them, altogether would be amazing.
+ hot glue / epoxy / putty / some bio-epoxy? Would be nicer to use an environmentally friendly option. Anyone know a recipe?

+ Soldering tin ~1mm diameter, aprox. 1 metre per participant
+ coffee filters
+ sterile gloves
+ hot glue
+ cooking pots


001 Charcoal Cathode + Fill holes of pots with wood.
+ Make dry mixture of 50% gluten powder to 50% activated charcoal
+ Add +- 250ml of water, kneading well, until you have a kind of pastey-putty
+ Make a rectangle of the putty and Sculpt it onto the outside of the ceramic pot. Take care to not get it on the top lip of the pot (short circuit!), and to try have an even covering over the pot, including the base.
+ tightly wrap around some aluminium mesh. You can secure it with elastic bands.
+ Cook the charcoal-seitan either in an oven, or steam well, for about 20 minutes, or until set.
+ The longer it can dry out, the better.

002 Graphite Anode + Apply a blob of non-conductive, non-porous glue around the wood on the inside of the pot, to properly seal the inside from the outside.
+ Cook some oats with water, to make a glutinous paste.
+ Strain through a coffee filter
+ Eat the Lumpy bits; we will just use the strained mixture.
+ Add salt for extra conductivity.
+ Mix in about 50% graphite powder to 50% oat liquid, and stir well into a paste.
+ Smear or paint a thin, even layer onto the inside of the pot. If you for some reason have graphene ink you can use this instead of this mixture. Leave to dry well.
+ Make a half-moon shape from non corrosive wire and wedge it into the inside of the pot.

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003 Where The Magic Happens
+ 3/4 Fill non-conductive containers with anaerobic substrate of choice - urine, old sauerkraut, mud,old yoghurt, sea water, chicken poo.... If your substrate is too solid(e.g. cow poo), mix some waterwith it.
+Take care not to disrupt any ecosystems when collecting substrate, or wasting edible food - only use things that are going to “waste”. healthY to Spoil, for instance, is in a state of global crisis, so we do not want to remove this from ecosystems.
+ Place the completed fuel cells into the container, taking care not to spill any inside (short circuit!)
+ Take out the multimeter, attach the cathode crocodile clip to the negative (-) terminal of the multimeter, and the anode to the positive (+).

004 Using the Cells
+ Depending on your application, you can play around with putting the cells in parallel and/ or series - putting them in series (- to +, - to +...) will make a higher voltage, and putting them in parallel (+ to +, - to -), will create more current / amps.

Since we can power signals using a small sound circuit - or an LED - it can make us wonder - what else can we, and could we, power with such low and sustainable energy? What other types of wild energy are out there and how can we (re/un)design consumer electronics to run off of them, in pursuit of radically regenerative techno-futures?+ Connect crocodile clips to the + and - terminals on the PCB (printed circuit board). You can also use old, “dead” batteries, or a small solar cell, if you don’t have your fuel cell with you. + For sound, you can connect, with crocodile clips, the negative (-) of the PCB to the ground of an aux jack, as well as the signal, to one of the other parts of the jack. Once the speakers are on and working, you can take the other end of the signal crocodile clip, and look for a nice output. This you can move around, and even connect another one to make a stereo sound. +You can play around with adding all sorts of components to find the “sweet spots” or to create mega chaos noise. Anything with capacitance and resistance properties can be added to the circuit (like plants, garlic...), and you can also make short circuits, or put the circuits under water. Go wild! These are Feral circuits, running on wild electricity. + By connecting a voltage-controlled oscillator to the fuel cells, we can use our sense of sound to understand what is going on in the microbiome. Not only will be able to hear what is happening with the electricity, but can become in tune with how the microbes are affected by environmental factors. Also, since a thriving microbiome, in certain substrates, can be indicitave of a healthy ecosystem, e.g. in soil, we could presume that if there is more electricity, we can determine the health of the substrate, without fancy and expensive sensors and tests. More power will make a higher frequency, and low power will make a deeper sound - even a drum beat. In this way, the circuit acts as an audible voltmeter. + We can have a lot of fun creating chaotic noises with the ultra low power sound circuit, where the three oscillators inside the 74HC14 chip begin to fight each other over the small amount of available power.


We try to keep protocolls for energy harvest depending on the materials we use the the energy output we have, feel free to edit as well to foster the free and open source research. Yay Science, Science is dead!

Open Conversation

I recommend we do the ceramic pot design, cos it generates on average about 10 times more power, which can then power the synthesizer. And the other types of MFCs I think have been woven into quite a few Ars-type and other well known bioart projects over the years, so it would be nice to do something a bit fresh :) What do you think? I think plant pots are also nice for demystifying technology because they are such a well known object, but are also secretly nano-high-tech ;p It would also be nice to try this stack idea of anode - cathode - anode etc. But then this is more work to figure out. Also needing oxygenation - in these types of chambers the scientists have a pump to oxygenate the anodic side, which uses more electricity than it produces so it's a bit tricky - but the ceramic pots just use the oxygen from being exposed to the air so that's easy for us to think of for now.

Manuals (approximate estimates):

1 small ceramic pot per participant image.png Activated charcoal (2 tablespoons per participant) Graphite powder (2 teaspoons per participant) would also be super cool to try graphene! but maybe in our spare geeky time.... Bio-binder: Vital wheat gluten powder [[2]], or banana or oats I've used before, but something more stable and long lasting would be great, that dries/sets quickly! Needs to be semi-permeable too) Aluminium mesh ( enough to wrap around ceramic pot once) elastic bands for keeping mesh together ( 2-3 per participant) 1 jar / container / glass beaker / tupperware per participant (maybe 500ml to 1litre in size - ceramic pot plus a few centimeters needs to fit inside) crocodile clips non-corrosive thick wire (for anode, 5-10 cm each) something waterproof and non-conductive to plug the hole in the ceramic pot (we can do this before with hot glue and stones or wood or whatever)
Equipment: bowls and forks for mixing. Paintbrush for applying graphite. Speakers with aux cables. multimeter/s Could be super cool to have a microscope!! A couple of Ralf's circuits
(lights for exhibition!)
Substrate I think we should pre-organise a bunch of jars with different fun substrates, which could be things like:
Old Sauerkraut Some other old ferment/s (cheese making effluent?) Mud Compost / bokashi water from the bottom of a lake / river / sea / fishtank water from the mining well? poo from the animal reserve? - a way to label these.


1. intro and contextualisation and welcome and latecomers (20 minutes?) 10 mins
2. making the electrodes (could split into 2 groups, 1 mashing up carbon and the other mixing graphite mixtures, nice and messy and gooey, wash hands after) (10-20 minutes) 5-10 mins
3. Assembling the cells (put on electrode paste, wrap aluminium mesh, elastic bands) ,(20-30 minutes) 10 mins leave to dry / set
4. Break while electrodes dry? (20 minutes? How long do kids need and do they need snacks and stuff?)
5. Collecting substrate / get our anaerobic environments ready (could dig for mud on the break, go on a little nature walk to find cool substrates etc. gloves and spades are good for this.)
6. put cells in substrate and test their power! ( 5-10 mins) 2-5 mins 7. Wire them up in series, connect to sound and play! 5-10 mins See how different substrates sound. Look at substrate under microscope? fun part, could go on forever lol
Let's make a folder on the mega and think of some zine ideas! And see you tomorrow at Openlab :) Sorry if I was a bit grumpy yesterday but my back was super sore. It's slowly getting better. Much much love <3

Further Research

Improved Performance of Microbial Fuel Cell Using Esterified Corncob Cellulose Nanofibers To Fabricate Air-Cathode Gas Diffusion Layer

Wetland plant microbial fuel cells for remediation of hexavalent chromium contaminated soils and electricity production]]


RalphSchreiber Suneater HExinverter.jpeg

Ralph Schreiber's famouse Suneater a little hacked for the microbial fuel cells, it uses a HEXINVERTER (what the Hek) that is capable of using tiny amounts of energy store it and burst in a second to create endless chaos loops and sound. it works with less then 400 mlV, for real? Try Try Try

further references here: Ralph Schreiber - Suneater

I used to oscillate, but now I've relaxed...

For the Workshop dedicated in Esch - Sur - Alzette Ralf composed a brand new PCB to edge yourself: Parts to provide with here:
Pipimusic.jpg PLAN krautsource 1.jpg


Our fanzine provides all the recipe and manuals to recreate your own microbial fuel cell to harvest energy from scratch.

Download the Fanzine here:

Download the foldable A4 Fanzine here: