Cracking the mystery of cyanobacteria photosynthesis to enhance solar cell efficiency
Compared with plant photosynthesis efficiency, artificial solar devices can only convert less sunlight, and have slow conversion efficiency and heavy machines, so scientists want to find out the riddle of efficient plant photosynthesis, or to further enhance the performance of solar cells.
Chlorophyll and other pigments (pigments) are the high efficiency of photosynthesis in plants. When light is irradiated to the chloroplasts, electrons are transmitted and stimulated by a series of pigments, and then carbon dioxide, water or hydrogen sulfide are converted into carbohydrates. Unlike the one-way path of plants, artificial solar cells can easily rebound electrons, thereby losing energy and reducing efficiency.
The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2017. It is considered that the one-way path of pigment is a secret recipe for plant photosynthesis. Although similar studies were put forward in 1992, they have not been confirmed before.
In order to better understand the process of photosynthesis and its complex reaction, the Gary Hastings team of the Department of physics and astronomy of Georgia State University, USA, used infrared spectroscopy to analyze the interaction between infrared light and substance, and received $400 thousand from the basic energy department of the energy agency of the United States, hoping to improve artificial solar cells. Efficiency and create a simpler solar capture system.
The team is not the general green leaf plant, but the blue green algae branch cyella (Synechocystis). The study found that the interaction of the chlorophyllone pigments in the Chlorella could produce special properties, and the study hoped that other pigments could be used instead of Ye Lvkun to change the light by different structural pigments. Cooperative system.
The team made the photosynthesis of the algae through the laser and used the infrared light to track the changes in the molecular bonds and the surrounding proteins caused by the electron transfer. These data allow the team to improve the pigmented protein system and control the speed of the electron movement. Hastings says that the process of purifying plant materials is rather complex, and that genetically engineer is simpler than plant cells.
Hastings points out that the team’s research can guide the new direction of solar cells, like a new way of making solar energy, and that knowledge of electron transfer, pigments and proteins can be used in other fields, because these are the core of biochemistry.
In addition to improving the efficiency of solar energy, the team is also working on how to use the algae for other uses, such as biofuels, which produce lipids (lipids) in the growth of algae cells, which can be extracted from cells and converted into diesel fuel.
Hastings said that the future research may also be used to detect algae bloom and avoid more and more pools of eutrophication and pollution. The massive accumulation of algae may lead to drinking water pollution and algal toxins that affect human health through the food chain, and the team aims to use the spectrum to detect algal blooms and predict whether they will grow again.
(this article is authorized by EnergyTrend; the first source: pixabay).