Electricity from algae
Bioelectricity 'green' produced dall'alga although in small quantities, through a nanoelectrodes gold in the cell, a method that could be interesting developments.
Imagine that one day the leaves can produce electricity for our needs. Imagine that the electrons circulating in their cells, activated by sunlight, does not serve only to produce sugar, as indeed happens, but some of them being diverted and channeled through a wire to ignite such a lamp. We are still miles away from all this. But scientists at Stanford University (USA), for the first time managed to "steal" power from algae. An infinitesimal amount, and true, but have developed a method that could be interesting developments. May be the first step towards the production of bioelectricity high efficiency.
"We are the first to extract electrons from living plant cells," says Won Hyoung Ryu, head of research published in the journal Nano Letters. Scientists have built a tiny, pointed nano gold electrode, specially designed to be introduced into cells. So they have gently pushed through the membrane of a cell of Chlamydomonas algae. This small electrode tool to capture the electrons that light stimulated.
Plants in fact, through specific organelles contained in cells, chloroplasts, the photosynthesis convert light energy into chemical energy stored in the sugars. The light penetrates the organelles and does "jump" the electrons to a higher energy level. Scientists at Stanford have "caught" after just these electrons were excited by light, then when they had their maximum energy. And through the tiny gold electrode inserted into the chloroplast them diverted out of the cell to generate a tiny electrical current.
"The result is the production of energy without releasing carbon into the atmosphere. This is one of the cleanest sources to produce it, "says Ryu. Now the question is whether this approach is economically viable. "We can extract from each cell one PICOamp" he continues, "a quantity so small that a trillion cells, would that work for one hour to produce as much energy as that stored in an alkaline battery. Moreover, the cells die after an hour. The next steps could be to optimize the electrode design to prolong the life of cells and chloroplasts of plants use larger to capture more electrons.
ISTITUTO NAUTICO SAN GIORGIO GENOVA
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