Mimosa Solar Innovation Renewable Energy Generation through Mimosa Plant Weed

Mimosa Solar Innovation

Renewable Energy Generation through Mimosa Plant Weed                                    


Pharm. Justus Nwaoga justus.nwaoga@unn.edu.ng

University of Nigeria





What should be clear in our minds is that energy drives the world. The phenomenon is not appreciated only on this planet, but the entire universe. Energy sustains life and makes things move. Wherever there is movement, obviously there is energy. Take a moment out and perform a simple mental exercise. Look around; observe as many things (living and non living) as you can that are in motion. Identify their immediate source-forms of energy. You will see that, indeed, there is energy in everything.

In the fulfillment of original divine will for man, humans have successfully derived energy from a variety of inanimate source forms –Sun, Water, wind fossil deposits, etc. Nevertheless, there are efforts presently made to explore the energy generation in Mimosa plant weed. This will be discussed shortly in details.

What is Energy -?                                                                                                                                            

This may be defined as the capacity or ability to do work. It is also the capacity of a physical system to do work. Energy causes things to happen round us. Look out the window. During the day, the sun gives out light and heat.

We have 2 main types of energy

  1. Kinetic energy
  2. Potential energy

Energy exists in many forms, namely

Mechanical energy- object pushed into motion,

Heat energy – conversion of water to stem or heating the room,

Chemical energy – in accumulator or battery,

Electrical energy – work in ringing a bell or starting up motor car engine,

Sound energy – does the work in setting the air in vibration,

Light energy – causes the eye to see,

Gravitational energy- resulting to gravitational pull,

Potential energy – described as energy that is stored in oil, waterfalls and wind.

Solar energy – That is energy from the sun that is converted into thermal or electrical energy.

Renewable energy – It is the energy that comes from resources which are naturally replenished. Namely, the sun, wind, biomass, hydro power and Mimosa plant weeds among others

In this briefing, we are going to look at the generation of energy through Mimosa plant weed and the ways in which it has have been harnessed to man’s service.

Generation of Energy through Living Plant with particular reference to Mimosa plant Weeds

Scientists all over the world are looking for alternatives to fossil fuels. Plant materials are already used as an energy source through bio-fermentation. Now it appears that living plants can also contribute to energy production. This results in clean renewable energy.

Not long ago, Mimosa weed was found to be a raw material for making solar cells which transforms solar radiation (energy) into electrical energy.

Mimosa is a medicinal plant of African origin. A local weed grows and thrives in the tropics. This plant belongs to the family: Fabaccae, Genus: Mimosa, Species: pudica, Common name: Mimosa, Sensitive plant. It has physical features characterized by its ability to close the leaves at night or when touched, and open the leaves at sunrise or daylight. This observed however, led to the scientific extraction and isolating the material responsible for the behaviour .

The Inspiration

The inspiration came from the observed phenomena in Mimosa weed as can be seen in the pictures. The obvious control by the sun and photovoltaic response by the live Mimosa weeds stimulated the interest to embark on the innovation.


.solar                                     mimosa

Fig.1   Before charge induction                                               Fig.2   After charge induction and at night


The Innovation

Electric power distribution inequalities and the epileptic supplies have stimulated searches for alternative sources of power. One of the alternative sources revolves around solar energy which has since assumed the role of a major contributor to the power portfolio.


Attention is now focused on the Mimosa weed which is a medicinal plant of African origin. It is native to many parts of the northern hemisphere, near equator. This plant is a short evergreen sub-shrub. It has prickly stem and small fluffy balls with shaped pink flowers in summer. Mimosa pudica has physical features characterized by the ability to close to close the leaves when touched and the leaves open at sunrise the folds at sunset. The obvious control by the sun and photovoltaic response by the live Mimosa plant stimulated the interest to embark on the research. This innovation was conceived following these observed phenomena. Subsequently, the challenge was to find out the components of the leaf responsible for the activity. In other to explore the photo sensitivities of this weed, scientific procedures were organized which include processing the plant leaves, subsequence laboratory procedures. The stages are- drying. Milling, water extraction, isolation of the active materials and photochemical analysis to identify the active components of the weed.

Solar cells were constructed with the weed extracts. On exposure to the sunlight commensurate energy was absorbed which was transformed from chemical energy to electrical energy. The store energy was subsequently applied to power dc appliances. It is important to know that the energy is renewable. This is the hallmark of the innovation. The beauty of the innovation is that the weed used for its development is a plant that is seen growing un- nurtured in most soils. Furthermore, it is assembled at assembled at a very minimal cost when compared to other forms of Photovoltaic cell constructions. The aim of the innovation is to provide alternative solar energy source.


Advancement in Mimosa Innovation

The innovation has passed the Rand D stage and has been presented in many for a within and out of Nigeria. It has attracted high interests from solar energy researchers. It is now in start-up phase. The latest design of the mimosa solar panel is a thin film solar cells arranged in modules that absorb the solar energy which is eventually transformed into electrical energy and stored in the accumulator. With the advent of the black silicon isolated from the plant, calculated amount of it can now be applied to quantify the energy output and other indicating qualities, for example, power rating and voltage. The mimosa panels products are now installed locally in our immediate environment. The African solar panel is rated 4.5V, 1W and >250mAmp. It is packaged as micro size solar panel to charge 6.0V dc cells accumulator. This innovation has evolved with this size solar panel having the dimensions of 1.8ft x 2ft. It is now installed in the neighborhood to have the impact of the latest African Solar Panel innovation.


Mimosa innovation is the making of solar cells from mimosa plant weed. It has been found that the material responsible for this activity is black silicon.

This was used to make solar cells which have renewable activity. The cells when assembled and exposed to the sun were found to generate current supported by DC voltage commensurate with the concentration of the extracted black silicon.

Mimosa plant Sustainability

The innovation has been scaled up by establishing a farm for cultivation of mimosa weed. This has given rise to increased yield of the raw material and subsequent increase in the no. of mimosa solar panels.


Marketability: The world wide green revolution and quest for isolating sources of bioenergy introduced so many innovative instruments into the electrical market. Solar articles are very marketable. The innovation is cheap and affordable.


Originality: This is an original research both in conception and implementation techniques. The discovery of the mimosa solar cell has explored and isolated the compounds responsible for the electrical potential and renewable property of Mimosa weed as monitored in the live plant when it opens during the daylight. .Furthermore a patent been secured for this innovation. Journal publications in Journal of Chemical Science and Technology. Paper JCT, 10097 vol. 3 iss.3 in Jcst (3) www.academicpub.org/jcst to give credence to the innovation


have been presented to give credence to the innovation in the

Scalability: It is very scalable. The work on this project initially started with at a micro molecule, then the interacting substances, then the construction of solar cells. The cells can be developed to any conceivable scale following the principles of this innovation. The resource which is natural weed is now cultivated by increasing the acres of land to boost the scale of production and product. The cuttings from the plant are daily rejuvenated with fresh leaves. This is absolutely endless.

Social impact: It has impacted my immediate environment with the installations performed by the technical group. The impact has been gradual as a new innovation coming up stream. It is expected that in short while its application and use will extend to the wider society.

Who is the innovation for?

The innovation is meant to solve part of the perennial problem of the majority of the people which is acute electricity shortage black outs. It is also being projected for the African rural communities. 85% of Africans dwell in the rural areas. Nearly everyone depends on kerosene on and candle wax for light. These are costly, polluting and prone to hazards. The market segment is wide and inclusive

Here are pictures showing stages in the development of African solar panel.

The pictures speak volume of the innovative approaches.


Long term effects/impacts

The innovation will have long term beneficial effect of making available to the users a cheap, easy to manipulate source of solar electric energy to drive many of the everyday use appliances. Its simplicity, elasticity of usage and cost effectiveness is driving force to sustain its long term benefit. It uses the abundant solar radiation to generate electricity which can benefit areas currently not serviced by the National grid.


I collaborated with the following authorities. Prof. F. C. Okafor of the biological sciences with his contribution in Mimosa weed study. The solar energy experts in the National Centre for energy research and development, university of Nigeria offered their useful suggestions on the presentation of the innovation. Prof. F. C. Okafor – email: okaforfc@hotmail.com, Prof. W. I.Okonkwo l: – ifeanyi@yahoomail.com , Prof. G. Unachukwu. Email- godwinogechi@yahoo.com James Ugwu, Department of Physics/Astronomy, University of Nigeria, Nsukka,



Proof of Innovation


  1. PATENT NO. NG./P2011/366 link http://unn.edu.ng/

secured-patent-development-solar-cells from weed

Certificate no. : 001178

  1. Poster presentation of the Mimosa solar panel was made at the 26th European Union Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibitions in Hamburg, Germany, New Materials, Cells and Modules


  1. 3. Journal Publication on – Evaluation of the Boosting Effect of Black Silicon Molecules in Mimosa pudica Leaf Extracts on Solar Energy Transformation Efficiency –

Journal of Chemical Science and Technology. Paper JCT, 10097 vol. 3 iss.3 in Jcst (3)

  1. Published Books:             Discover the Renewable Energy Potentials in Mimosa pudica Plant Weed for Solar Cell Development. (Kindle edition) published by amazon.com, inc.
  2. International Paper Presented:

Topic: Green Electricity of Black Silicon Sustaining the Solar Energy Transformation in Mimosa pudica Weed – Symposium (PACN) – Royal Society of Chemistry London, 7 July 2013 Lagos Nigeria.


  1. Inspirational lecture at the Schlumberger 2014 SEED School Science Project Challenge & Exposition. Eko Hotel Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.                                                                                                                              Topic: Why the Young Innovators Must Embrace Science.
  2. Awards:

Awarded the 2nd best innovation in individual award in science & technology (research) by the national universities commission research and development fair, held in federal university of technology Minna, Niger State, Nigeria October., 2012.


  1. 8. Among top ten best innovators in Africa at the 2nd edition of the innovation prize for Africa held in May, 2013 in Cape Town, South Africa- innovationprizeforafrica.org


The scale of recent investment in energy efficiency worldwide makes it significant in its contribution to energy demand as renewable energy or fossil fuel generation increased.


Energy is the world most important “fuel’’, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The sun is the primary source of all energy

All other source forms of energy – marine, air, mechanical, sound, magnetic, electrical, etc. Derive impetus ultimately from the solar.

Energy is an important quantity that derives the world. Scientists are constantly working to explore untapped sources of energy. Nations have invested into clean, cheap and sustainable renewable energy to protect the ecosystem. Generation of functional electricity from an obscure plant strikes one as extra – ordinary and perhaps, unprecedented. It involves neither emissions nor significant levels of combustion. The innovative exploration of the electrical potential of mimosa plant for solar cell production is possible and presents a novel way of making green electric power available.