Producing renewable energy might still pollute – producing photovoltaic cells uses hazardous materials such as cadmium, hydrogen production requires electricity etc. In addition, producing and installing PV cells, wind turbines and other equipment requires transportation, energy and materials.
Bio-photoelectrochemical cells produce photocurrent from photosynthetic systems. Using real natural sources – plants and more specifically algae have huge benefit: in addition to producing energy they use CO2 and produce oxygen. They are already grown for different uses such as food, cosmetics and even for the pharmaceutical industry. However, typically, BPEC technologies utilize a potential bias on the anode to improve the current production. Such a process entails an extra investment of energy, which in some cases is higher than the energy produced by the BPEC itself.
Ulva and other macroalgae produce current along side hydrogen with no need for external energy invested. At the same time they utilize CO2 and produces oxygen to build biomass very quickly.
- Production of current and hydrogen with no external energy investment
- CO2 storage and oxygen production
- Biomass production for biorefinery
Applications and Opportunities
- Energy production at algae aquaculture sites