Silicon solar cells are so, well, dead. Dollops of green goo made of living cells – from jellyfish to algae - are now being recruited to produce cheaper solar power.
Zackary Chiragwandi at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, and colleagues are developing a photovoltaic device based on green fluorescent protein (GFP) from the jellyfish Aequorea Victoria.
The team deposit two aluminium electrodes with a tiny gap between them onto a silicon dioxide substrate. A droplet of green fluorescent protein is then added on top, whereupon the protein assembles itself into strands between the electrodes.
When exposed to ultraviolet light, the GFP absorbs photons and emits electrons, which travel around a circuit to produce electricity.
The green goo acts like the dye used in current "dye-sensitised" solar cells, called Grätzel cells.
However, unlike such cells, the GFP does not require the addition of expensive materials, such as titanium dioxide particles. Instead, the GFP can be placed directly on top of the electrode, simplifying the design and reducing overall cost.
The team have also used the proteins to create a biological fuel cell that generates electricity without the need for an external source of light.
Instead, they used light emitted from a mixture of chemicals such as magnesium and the luciferase enzymes found in fireflies (Lampyridae) and sea pansies (Renilla reniformis) to generate electricity from the jellyfish biophotovoltaic device.
Such a fuel cell could be used to power nano-devices embedded in living organisms, says Chiragwandi, for example to diagnose disease.
Jellyfish are not the only sea creatures that can be exploited to generate energy: algae could power floating devices on the ocean wave. Adrian Fisher and Paolo Bombelli at the University of Cambridge and colleagues are developing biophotovoltaic devices based on algae and photosynthetic bacteria.
The team deposit a film of photosynthetic cells on top of a transparent conductive electrode, which faces a carbon cathode seeded with platinum nanoparticles.
When exposed to sunlight the algal cells begin splitting water and producing oxygen, electrons and protons. These would usually be used by the algae to convert carbon dioxide into organic compounds, but instead the device siphons them off to generate electricity, says Fisher. "The algal cells produce electrons very generously," he says.
The team has so far used a proof-of-concept device to power a clock. The sunlight-to-electricity efficiency of the device is only 0.1 per cent at present, compared with between 10 and 15 per cent for existing dye-sensitised solar cells, however. Screening different algae species to find the most productive electron donor might be one way to produce more juice.
Eventually, algal cells could float out at sea, generating electricity from sunlight and seawater. "We might end up with less efficiency than [conventional] photovoltaics, but we think we can win on cost, and we don't require space where people want to live," says Bombelli.
This was one big mother fucker. The bomb was built and eventually tested on October 30, 1961, on the west coast of Novaya Zemlya Island (A...
Radial Engines Radial engines are used in aircrafts having propeller connected to the shaft delivering power in order to produce thrust its ...
" Comet Elenin, Earth, and the Sun were in exact alignment last year on February 27th. That is when the Chile Earthquake happened, and ...
Source Every once in a while archaeologists (and sometimes regular Joes) make some remarkable discoveries. Stunned, they are often unable to...
Thanks to the internet, there are numerous pictures and videos on freaky sea creatures out there. The main point of this post is not to debu...
Source Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, and El Chupacabra are all creatures that are regulated to myth. They have been ignored by mainstream...
Source by jewditzsue A cryptid is a creature who may be thought by some people to exist, but is not recognized by the scientific community. ...
From Cracked.com By Jake Slocum Oct 02, 2008 2,573,979 views 0 digg The world is a magical place, full of mysteries science may never unde...
Source by Steve Quayle Ancient India Puranas and their history are NOT Mythology. it comes from ancient Vedic civilization .What caused ...
Source by Stephen King Here are ten of the most terrifying and bizarre creatures to ever, allegedly, walk the Earth. These creatures defy lo...
3D Printing (2) Abiotic Oil (4) agriculture (1) alternative energy (26) Ancient Technology (2) Anti-matter (1) automobile (1) bacteria (2) bigfoot (7) Camera Technology (1) Climate Change (1) Cracked.com (5) cryptid (3) Cryptids (2) cure for cancer (1) Cyber Weapon (1) data storage (1) Debunked (2) Destruptive Technology (1) dvice.com (2) electric car (1) electric instrument (1) Evolution (2) food production (1) Frankenstein (1) fuel cell (1) Giants (1) Gold (1) Healing (1) How Things Work (1) Image Software (1) Internet (1) Invention (1) laser (1) Levitation (1) LFTR (3) Lizard Man (1) magnets (1) Mechanics (2) mermaid (1) Meteor (1) Mokèlé Mbèmbé (1) mysterious sounds (2) new aircraft (2) New Animal Discovery (1) New Materials (4) New Science (1) New Tech (6) Nicola Tesla (1) ningen (1) Origin of man (2) Perpetual Motion (2) Planet (1) Plasma (2) Plasma Rocket (1) quadcopters (1) remote controlled (2) Renewable energy (4) roads (1) Science (1) solar power (1) solved mysteries (7) Space (2) space travel (2) Strange Carcass (1) Sun (2) surfaces (1) Ted (4) telekinesis (1) Thorium (3) Time Travel (1) TR-3B (1) Transparency (1) Tree (1) UFO (7) unsolved mysteries (6) Vehicles (1) waste management (1) water (1) weather (2) wind energy (2) X-Ray (1) Yeren (2) Yeti (1) zombies (1)