Algae May Be The New Magic Power Source
There is an exciting, novel method to use electrical energy from photosynthesis and respiration in blue-green algae, according to scientists from Concordia University in Montreal.
The study is explained in their paper just before next week's 2015 United Nations Conference on Climate Change.
"Both photosynthesis and respiration, which take place in plants cells, involve electron transfer chains," said Muthukumaran Packirisamy, co-author of the study, according to HNGN. "By trapping the electrons released by blue-green algae during photosynthesis and respiration, we can harness the electrical energy they produce naturally."
The blue-green algae help in energy harvesting for many reasons. They are the most common and flourishing microorganisms from an evolutionary point.
"By taking advantage of a process that is constantly occurring all over the world, we've created a new and scalable technology that could lead to cheaper ways of generating carbon-free energy," said Packirisamy.
The process begins by putting the blue-green algae into an anode chamber. While they undergo photosynthesis, the algae release electrons to the electrode surface. This would be extracted by an external load linked to the device and harnessed for power.
Still, the research has to be completed.
"We have a lot of work to do in terms of scaling the power cell to make the project commercial," Packirisamy said.
Over time, the team aims to integrate micro photosynthetic power cells into cell phones and computers.