그린 에너지 배터리

연구원들은 그들의 기술이 미래에 지속 가능한 다목적 녹색 에너지 기술의 창조를 위한 길을 열 수 있다고 믿습니다.

식물은 종종 음식, 산소 및 장식의 원천으로 생각되지만 전기의 원천은 아닙니다. 그러나 과학자들은 식물 세포 내에서 전자의 자연 수송을 이용함으로써 녹색의 생물학적 태양 전지의 일부로 전기를 생성하는 것이 가능하다는 것을 발견했습니다. 에 발표된 최근 연구에서 ACS 응용 재료 및 인터페이스연구원들은 처음으로 다육 식물을 사용하여 살아있는 “바이오 태양 전지”를 만들었습니다.[{” attribute=””>photosynthesis.

The electrons are naturally transported as part of biological processes in all living cells, from bacteria and fungi to plants and animals. By introducing electrodes, the cells can be utilized to generate electricity that can be used externally. Previous research had created fuel cells using bacteria but it required constant feeding. This new approach uses photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert light energy into chemical energy, to generate current.

During this process, light drives a flow of electrons from water that ultimately results in the generation of oxygen and sugar. This means that living photosynthetic cells are constantly producing a flow of electrons that can be pulled away as a “photocurrent” and used to power an external circuit, just like a solar cell.

Living Solar Cell

The ice plant succulent shown here can become a living solar cell and power a circuit using photosynthesis. Credit: Adapted from ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2022, DOI: 10.1021/acsami.2c15123

Certain plants — like the succulents found in arid environments — have thick cuticles to keep water and nutrients within their leaves. Yaniv Shlosberg, Gadi Schuster, and Adir wanted to test, for the first time, whether photosynthesis in succulents could create power for living solar cells using their internal water and nutrients as the electrolyte solution of an electrochemical cell.

The researchers created a living solar cell using the succulent Corpuscularia lehmannii, also called the “ice plant.” They inserted an iron anode and platinum cathode into one of the plant’s leaves and found that its voltage was 0.28V. When connected into a circuit, it produced up to 20 µA/cm2 of photocurrent density, when exposed to light and could continue producing current for over a day. Though these numbers are less than that of a traditional alkaline battery, they are representative of just a single leaf.

Previous studies on similar organic devices suggest that connecting multiple leaves in series could increase the voltage. The team specifically designed the living solar cell so that protons within the internal leaf solution could be combined to form hydrogen gas at the cathode, and this hydrogen could be collected and used in other applications. The researchers say that their method could enable the development of future sustainable, multifunctional green energy technologies.

Reference: “Self-Enclosed Bio-Photoelectrochemical Cell in Succulent Plants” by Yaniv Shlosberg, Gadi Schuster and Noam Adir, 23 November 2022, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.
DOI: 10.1021/acsami.2c15123

The authors acknowledge funding from a “Nevet” grant from the Grand Technion Energy Program (GTEP) and a Technion VPR Berman Grant for Energy Research and support from the Technion’s Hydrogen Technologies Research Laboratory (HTRL).