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Bacteria Can Also Be Used As A Solar Cell, Light Conversion Current Density Sets A New Record
- Jul 11, 2018 -

According to a recent news report from the University of British Columbia (UBC), the University of Canada, researchers have developed a cheap and sustainable way to use bacteria to convert light into energy to make solar cells. The new battery produces more current than it used to be, and it works in dark light. It's the same in bright light.

It is reported that they genetically engineered Escherichia coli to produce lycopene. Lycopene is a kind of pigment that gives red pigment to tomato. It is especially effective for absorbing light and transforming it into energy. Researchers smear a kind of mineral that can act as a semiconductor for bacteria, and then apply the mixture to the surface of glass. They use coated glass as a battery anode, which generates a current density of 0.689 MA / sq cm, while other researchers in this field have a current density of only 0.362 MA / sq cm.

"We have recorded the highest current density of solar cells derived from organisms," said the project head and professor of UBC chemistry and bioengineering. The hybrid materials we are developing enable them to be manufactured in an economical and sustainable way, and the final efficiency is comparable to that of traditional solar cells.

Yadav believes that this process will reduce the cost of pigment production by 10%. Their ultimate dream is to find a way to not kill bacteria, thus creating pigment without limit. In addition, this bio derived material can also be widely used in mining, deep-sea exploration and other low light environments.