GC: n

CT: Bioelectricity is generated from two bioenergy sources: solid biomass, such as wood chips and pellets, and biogas and biomethane that can be used both for electricity generation or co-generation and for injection into the gas grid as a direct substitute for natural gas. Electricity generation from these sources is quite efficient and low‑polluting.

S: EEA p. 15 – (last access: 23 November 2016)

N: 1. From Greek bios, ‘life’, and from the adjective ‘electric’, coined as Modern Latin electricus, ‘resembling amber’, by English physicist William Gilbert (1540 – 1603), from Latin electrum, ‘amber’, which comes from Greek elektron, ‘amber’.
2. Electric power derived from biomass.
3. Bioelectric effects were known in ancient times from the activity of such electric fishes as the Nile catfish and the electric eel. Later on, the Italian anatomist and physician Luigi Galvani (1737-1798) was one of the first to investigate experimentally the phenomenon of what came to be named “bioelectrogenesis”. Galvani and his cousin, Giovanni Aldini (1762-1834), were then able to demonstrate that animal tissue is a source of electricity. Causing a frog’s muscle to contract by touching it with the nerve of another one, Galvani was the first to establish with certainty the existence of bioelectricity. However, he published this in 1794 only, in the supplement of an anonymous book titled On the Use and Activity of the Conductive Arch in the Contraction of Muscles. The definitive experimental clarification of the issue was left to the German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt (1769 – 1859), in 1797.
4. It can sometimes be found hyphenated, “bio-electricity”.
5. In the field of Medicine, it is the electrical current that is generated by living tissues, such as nerves and muscles. The electrical potentials of human tissues, recorded by electrocardiograph, electroencephalograph, and similar sensitive devices, are used in diagnosing the condition of various vital organs.
6. Cultural Interrelation: We can mention the American film The Matrix (1999) by Lana and Lilly Wachowski. In a well-known conversation between Morpheus and Neo, Morpheus explains that «the human body generates more bio-electricity than a 120-volt battery. (…) The machines had found all the energy they would ever need. », making reference to the fact that the human race was being enslaved by machines to generate energy.

S: 1. OED – (last access: 22 November 2016); MEDICALDICT – (last access: 22 November 2016). 2. TERMIUM PLUS (last access: 25 November 2016). 3. EncBrit – (last access: 22 November 2016); BM – (last access: 23 November 2016). 4. EC – (last access: 23 November 2016). 5. MOSBY – (last access: 22 November 2016). 6. IMDb –; (last access: 23 November 2016).


CR: biogas , biomass, electricity, electromagnetic wave, energy, hybrid car.