In Cambridge, developed an ultra-efficient fuel cell from algae

<pre>In Cambridge, developed an ultra-efficient fuel cell from algae

Plants on the planet Earth have transformed millions of years of water and sunlight into energy that they use for their needs – scientists had something to learn from them. But sooner or later it is time to move on, and researchers from Cambridge have developed a new design of a fuel cell based on algae. They focused on minimizing losses in the transfer of energy from the cell to the consumer.

Algae do not produce electricity, it is formed as a by-product. In the process of photosynthesis and the formation of new chemical bonds in a living cell, some amount of free electrons is created. Some of them move beyond it – if you take this process under control, you can get the movement of electrons or electric current. This technology is called “bio-photovoltaics.”

Cambridge decided that if you divide the areas where photosynthesis takes place and where the electrons are “pumped out”, they can improve each of them separately. And create fundamentally different working conditions – for photosynthesis you need constant access to light, but the electric main is better to be isolated as carefully as possible, in order to avoid losses.

In passing, new GMO algae varieties have been tested, in which the generation of electrons during photosynthesis occurs more intensively. The result was a new fuel cell design, five times more productive than the previous version. And this is 0.5 W from 1 sq.m. and the “green battery” lives for a long time and can also be self-reproduced.

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