According to a recent news from the University of British Columbia's official website, researchers at the school have developed an inexpensive and sustainable way to use bacteria to convert light into energy to make solar cells. This new battery produces more current density than previous devices. Strong, and work in dim light as well as in bright light.
Researchers say that to make solar cells widely used in places like Scandinavia and British Columbia where there is more rainy weather, this innovation is an important step. As technology advances, this kind of living organisms are made – from biology (biogenic) solar cell efficiency comparable to synthetic batteries used in traditional solar panels.
When constructing bio-derived batteries, the method was to extract the natural pigments used in bacterial photosynthesis, but this method is costly and complicated, requires the use of toxic solvents, and may cause pigment degradation.
To solve the above problems, the researchers left the pigment in the bacteria. They genetically engineered E. coli to produce a large amount of lycopene. Lycopene is a red pigment that gives tomatoes a red color that is used to absorb light and convert it into energy. Particularly effective. The researchers applied a mineral that could act as a semiconductor to the bacteria and then applied the mixture to the glass surface. They used coated glass as the battery anode to produce a current density of 0.689 mA/cm2. The current density achieved by other researchers in the field is only 0.362 mA/cm 2 .
Project leader, Prof. Vikramiyah Yadav, professor of chemical and biological engineering at UBC, said: 'We have recorded the highest current density of bio-derived solar cells. We are developing these hybrid materials to make them economical. And sustainable methods of manufacturing, and the final efficiency is comparable to traditional solar cells.'
Yadav believes that this process will reduce the production cost of pigments by 10%. Their ultimate dream is to find a way to not kill bacteria, and thus infinitely produce pigments. In addition, this biologically derived material also Can be widely used in mining, deep sea exploration and other low-light environments.