Electricity generation from digitally printed cyanobacteria
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Sawa, M., Fantuzzi, A., Bombelli, P., Howe, C., Hellgardt, K., & Nixon, P. (2017). Electricity generation from digitally printed cyanobacteria. Nature Communications, 8 (1327)https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-01084-4
Microbial biophotovoltaic cells exploit the ability of cyanobacteria and microalgae to convert light energy into electrical current using water as the source of electrons. Such bioelectrochemical systems have a clear advantage over more conventional microbial fuel cells which require the input of organic carbon for microbial growth. However, innovative approaches are needed to address scale-up issues associated with the fabrication of the inorganic (electrodes) and biological (microbe) parts of the biophotovoltaic device. Here we demonstrate the feasibility of using a simple commercial inkjet printer to fabricate a thin-film paper-based biophotovoltaic cell consisting of a layer of cyanobacterial cells on top of a carbon nanotube conducting surface. We show that these printed cyanobacteria are capable of generating a sustained electrical current both in the dark (as a ‘solar bio-battery’) and in response to light (as a ‘bio-solar-panel’) with potential applications in low-power devices.
The authors are grateful for funding provided by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), EnAlgae (http://www.enalgae.eu/, INTERREG IVB NWE) the Shuttleworth Foundation, and the Leverhulme Trust.
Leverhulme Trust (RPG-2015-393)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-01084-4
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/269399
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