Click here for more information about Algenuity
Click here for more information about LiqofluxPhenometrics Buy 3 Get 1 Free
Visit cricatalyst.com!Evodos Separation Technology

Research

Algae for next-generation solar panels

May 13, 2019
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

fluorescent algae

These fluorescent algae are able to capture up to 95% of available light.

David Nield writes in ScienceAlert.com that a long-living, light-emitting microalgae could be about to help us develop the next generation of solar panels. These fluorescent algae are able to capture up to 95% of available light — way better than even our most efficient solar panels.

Using advanced mass spectrometry methods, where ionization is used to analyze chemical and structural properties of the organisms, University of Birmingham and Utrecht University scientists have been able to get a more insightful look at two types of microalgae in particular: cyanobacteria and red algae.

A mass of light-harvesting antennae called phycobilisomes cover these microorganisms’ surface, responsible for converting light into energy. Each antenna is made up of stacks of building blocks, and the new study has identified four different types of building blocks — a huge step in understanding how these algae work.

These phycobilisomes, or antennae, are able to capture up to 95 percent of the light that reaches them. The potential boost for renewable energy is huge, considering the majority of mainstream photovoltaic cells we have at the moment operate in the 10-20 percent efficiency range.

By identifying the distinct building blocks or modules in the cyanobacteria and red algae that haven’t been spotted before — each a little different in the way it traps light — scientists can start to work out how to develop better performing solar panels.

There are more layers of biological sophistication to dig down into yet, and the team estimates there might be as many as 20 building block types to discover. “The ingenious control panel that algae use to convert sunlight into usable energy is more complicated than a Swiss watch,” said Albert Heck, one of the researchers from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. “This is the product of three billion years of evolution, and engineers could learn a lot from it — a primal organism that gives us the blueprint for the ultimate super-efficient solar cells.”

The research has been published in Cell Chem.

Read More

More Like This…

Copyright ©2010-2019 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission required to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

twittertopbarlinks_eventstopbarlinks_requesttopbarlinks_archives

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
San Diego, CA and Kailua-Kona, HI-based Cellana, Inc. has signed an Asset Purchase Agreement with Cyanotech Corporation for the sale of Cellana’s six-acre production and ...
How did plants make the evolutionary jump from water to land? Scientists think that green algae are their water-living ancestors, but we are not sure how the transition t...
At the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Science Nordic.com reports, researchers are investigating bioluminescent algae, to determine whether bioluminescent organism...
Judith Lewis Mernit writes in e360.yale.edu that an experiment being conducted by animal science professor Ermias Kebreab at the University of California, Davis, is testi...
42 Technology has been appointed by LabXero, acoustic particle filtration technology company, to help develop pilot-scale biomanufacturing equipment that could significan...
Cécile Barbière writes for Euractive.fr (translated by Rob Kirby) that, in large greenhouses formerly home to the tomatoes and cucumbers of the market gardening Groupe Ol...
Israeli-based Algatechnologies, Ltd. (Algatech), is teaming up with the Italian R&D company, Sphera Encapsulation S.r.l (Sphera), to develop innovative functional ingredi...
French researchers have been exploring the potential of algae for boosting the immune systems of animals and reducing the use of antibiotics in livestock farming. Past st...
Cody Nelson writes for MPRNews.org that a team of University of Minnesota-Duluth researchers wanted to know how shortening winters — and less ice cover on lakes — might i...
Foodbev.com reports that French marine ingredients company Algaia will install a new specialty seaweed extract unit at its facility in Brittany, France, after securing €4...
Mazda U.K. has announced that they are currently involved in joint research projects and studies as part of an ongoing industry-academia-government collaboration to promo...
Sophie Kevany writes in Decanter.com that a group of vineyards in France’s Bordeaux and Cognac regions are exploring whether algae can be used to prevent the fungal infec...