Concordia researchers create a technology to harness the electrical energy from plants
To limit climate change, experts say that we need to reach carbon neutrality by the end of this century at the latest. To achieve that goal, our dependence on fossil fuels must be reversed. But what energy source will take its place? Researchers from Concordia University in Montreal just might have the answer: algae.
In a study published in the journal Technology, a team led by Concordia engineering professor Muthukumaran Packirisamy describe their invention: a power cell that harnesses electrical energy from the photosynthesis and respiration of blue-green algae.
Why plants? Because the energy is already there.
“Both photosynthesis and respiration, which take place in plants cells, involve electron transfer chains. By trapping the electrons released by blue-green algae during photosynthesis and respiration, we can harness the electrical energy they produce naturally,” says Packirisamy, whose research is funded in part by theNatural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
Why blue-green algae? Because it’s everywhere.
Also known as cyanobacteria, blue-green algae are the most prosperous microorganisms on earth, evolutionarily speaking. They occupy a broad range of habitats across all latitudes. And they’ve been here forever: the planet’s early fauna and flora owe their makeup to cyanobacteria, which produced the oxygen that ultimately allowed higher life forms to flourish.
“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,” says Packirisamy.
He notes that the invention is still in its early stages. “We have a lot of work to do in terms of scaling the power cell to make the project commercial.”
Currently, the photosynthetic power cell exists on a small scale, and consists of an anode, cathode and proton exchange membrane. The cyanobacteria or blue green algae are placed in the anode chamber.
As they undergo photosynthesis, the cyanobacteria release electrons to the electrode surface. An external load is connected to the device to extract the electrons and harness power.
Read more: Algae could be a new green power source
The Latest on: Blue-green algae
via Google News
The Latest on: Blue-green algae
- The shallowest Great Lake provides drinking water for more people than any other. Algae blooms are making it toxic — and it’s getting worse.on November 14, 2019 at 9:33 am
Lake Erie’s noteworthy green tinge is the result of a medley of algae and bacteria. Phytoplankton, a microscopic green algae, is food for small organisms. Cyanobacteria, sometimes called blue-green ...
- What are algae blooms and dead zones?on November 14, 2019 at 4:22 am
An algae bloom is an overabundance of green aquatic plants, like phytoplankton. While these tiny plants serve as the base of the food web in lakes and oceans, the term “bloom" typically denotes ...
- Blue-green algae withers, but Austin officials delay all clear’ for Lady Bird Lakeon November 14, 2019 at 4:05 am
Harmful blue-green algae blooms, which first popped up in Lady Bird Lake over the summer, were not present in the water Tuesday, Austin officials said. But Brent Bellinger, an environmental scientist ...
- Toxic algae blooms that kill dogs are becoming more common. And climate change is making it worse, scientists say.on November 13, 2019 at 9:01 pm
Lady Bird Lake at Congress Avenue in Austin. Since late July, parts of the lake have been off limits due to high concentrations of toxic "blue-green" algae. Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune This ...
- Diseased Dolphins: Researchers say toxic algae poses health risk to marine lifeon November 13, 2019 at 7:52 pm
They’re looking into a possible connection between blue-green algae and Alzheimer’s, and as 7’s Kevin Ozebek tells us, researchers have already found a clear link between the two in “Diseased Dolphins ...
- Blue-Green Algae Blooms Reported In 3 RI Waterbodieson November 11, 2019 at 7:00 pm
PORTSMOUTH, RI — Toxic blue-green algae blooms have been found in three bodies of water in the state, the Rhode Island Department of Health announced. Residents are encouraged to avoid contact with ...
- Blue-Green Algae Blooms Found In 3 Rhode Island Waterbodieson November 11, 2019 at 2:00 pm
(Shutterstock) PORTSMOUTH, RI — Toxic blue-green algae blooms have been found in three bodies of water in the state, the Rhode Island Department of Health announced. Residents are encouraged to avoid ...
- With cyanobacteria blooms into fall, is Vermont doing enough to protect public health?on November 10, 2019 at 6:00 am
Three Burlington beaches were closed Friday after blue-green algae was spotted. Photo by Aidan Quigley/VTDigger After yet another summer with headline-grabbing cyanobacteria blooms in Vermont, the ...
- Fix Florida’s sewage and harmful algae bloom problems | Opinionon November 7, 2019 at 9:15 pm
This past summer, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Blue-green Algal Task Force concluded that to reduce harmful algal blooms, the State of Florida should aggressively mitigate its sewage leaks and dumping from its ...
- Avoid Lake Silver after algae bloom, Orlando officials sayon November 6, 2019 at 1:45 pm
A recent algae bloom has resulted in “potentially unsafe concentrations of toxins in Lake Silver,” City of Orlando officials said, and they advise people to avoid the lake. Water samples taken from ...
via Bing News