Canadian researchers have developed a low-cost new type of bio-solar cell that USES e. coli bacteria to turn light into energy.The battery produces a higher current density than previous batteries, and works as efficiently in dim light as in bright light.
Biological solar cells are solar cells made from living microorganisms.After the preparation of biological solar cells, and is focused on extracting natural pigment used by photosynthetic bacteria, but it is a complex and expensive process, need to use toxic solvents, and may cause degradation of pigment.
According to the university of British Columbia, Canada recently issued a press release, the researchers choose to keep natural pigment in bacteria, e. coli them through genetic engineering technique, make the production of large Numbers of the lycopene.Lycopene, a pigment that gives tomatoes their orange hue, is particularly effective at absorbing light and converting it into energy.
When e. coli was modified, the researchers coated it with a mineral that ACTS as a semiconductor, then applied the mixture to a glass surface to create an anode for a solar cell.The experimental result shows that the preparation of battery produced by the current density is 0.686 milliampere per square centimeter, after the current density of the same battery only up to 0.362 milliampere per square centimeter.
Current density, the researchers said it is "the highest" of biological solar cells, and pigment production cost reduced to one over ten of the previous, optimized and its efficiency in the future is expected to be equivalent to that of conventional solar cells.They believe the results will help promote solar power in rainy weather areas such as British Columbia and northern Europe.
The researchers also say their ultimate goal is to find a way to produce pigment without killing bacteria.