Cyanobacteria can power batteries, run small electronic devices
New Delhi : The scientists have discovered a property about cyanobacteria that enables it to generate an electric current both in the dark and in the light.
A group of scientists at the Imperial College London printed an electronic circuit using cyanobacteria microbes, capable of turning light into energy. Using a simple inkjet printer, they printed a carbon nanotube electrode surface and also the bio-ink of cyanobacteria on top of it.
"Our biophotovoltaic device is biodegradable and in the future could serve as a disposable solar panel and battery that can decompose in our composts or gardens," said Marin Sawa, author of a paper published recently in Nature Communications.
“Cheap, accessible, environmentally friendly, biodegradable batteries without any heavy metals and plastics - this is what we and our environment really need but don’t have just yet, and our work has shown that it is possible to have that,” said Dr. Sawa. Biophotovoltaic cells contain cyanobacteria or algae that converts light into energy. Currently one of the biggest challenges facing biophotovoltaic cells is producing them on a large scale.
Researchers showed that nine connected cells can power a digital clock or generate flashes of light from an LED. The researchers also showed that the cells can generate a continuous power output over the course of a 100-hour period consisting of light and dark cycles.