Bacterial solar microfluidic plates provide lasting power

Researchers at the University of Binghamton have for the first time connected nine bacterial solar cells to a microfluidic bio-based solar panel and continuously obtained clean power with a maximum power of 5.59 watts. This research is expected to overturn traditional solar power generation. The research report was published in the latest issue of the online edition of Sensors and Actuators B-Chem.

At present, one of the new bio-solar energy research focuses is on the use of cyanobacteria, which can be found in almost every earth and terrestrial habitat of the earth, as a sustainable energy resource. Last year, the research team built a better biological solar cell by changing the positive and negative materials used in the battery, and designed a microfluidic-based small single-cavity device to install bacteria to replace the traditional double-chamber biological Solar battery. This time, the researchers connected nine identical biological solar cells in a 3×3 model to form a scalable and stacked biological solar panel that produced 60 hours of continuous power through bacterial photosynthesis and respiratory activity. .

This kind of bacterial power generation is carried out in microfluidic bio-based solar panels. Researchers can significantly improve the performance of such bio-based solar panels by miniaturizing the device structure and connecting multiple micro-cells on the panel. The obstacles faced by research on bio-based solar cells have enabled bio-based solar cells to generate electricity in a sustainable and more efficient manner.

The researchers believe that the study will help deepen people's understanding of photosynthetic extracellular electron transfer in a small microbiota under a well-controlled microenvironment, and thus build a multi-functional platform for basic bio-solar cell research. "This breakthrough can maximize power generation capacity/energy efficiency/sustainability." The metabolic pathways of cyanobacteria or algae can only be partially understood, and their significant low power density and low energy efficiency are not yet practical. As a result, additional basic research is needed to understand the metabolism of bacteria and the potential for production of bio-solar applications.

Sean Cui, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, said: "Once this biological solar panel works, it can be used for small wireless remote control systems and inconvenient for frequent battery replacement. Remote-site wireless sensors provide long-lasting power." (Reporter Hualing)

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