Researchers Find a Way to Harness Electrical Energy from Blue-Green Algae

Researchers Find a Way to Harness Electrical Energy from Blue-Green Algae

Researchers led by an Indian-origin scientist have recently found a new technology that can harness electrical energy from blue-green alage. The team claims that the energy harnessed could be used to power cell phones and computers in future.

According to the team, both photosynthesis and respiration, which take place in plants cells involves transfer of electron chains. Therefore, the team created a power cell that can harness electrical energy from the photosynthesis and respiration of blue-green algae.

MuthukumaranPackirisamy, an engineering professor at Concordia University, said, “Both photosynthesis and respiration, which take place in plants cells, involve electron transfer chains. By trapping the electrons released by blue-green algae during photosynthesis and respiration, we can harness the electrical energy they produce naturally”.

MrPackirisamy who is member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, said taking advantage of photosynthesis they created a new and scalable technology that could lead to cheaper ways of generating carbon-free energy.

The blue-green algae that are also known as cyanobacteria are the most prosperous microorganisms on Earth, evolutionarily speaking, researchers said. The photosynthetic power cell exists on a very small scale presently, and they consist of an anode, cathode and proton exchange membrane.

The researchers placed the blue green algae in the anode chamber, and as they undergo photosynthesis, the cyanobacteria release electrons to the electrode surface. Researchers said they connected an external load connected to their device that extract the electrons and harness the power.

The team hopes that the micro photosynthetic power cells will be very soon used in various applications, such as powering cell phones and computers.

Health