Biofuel Cell with Enzyme Modified Electrodes to Produce Electricity
French scientists have found a new energy source by extracting electricity from Mother Nature’s original power plants — plants.
The green chlorophyll in plants helps them convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose and oxygen in the presence of sunlight, using a complex series of chemical reactions that humans have never been able to replicate. But scientists at France’s Centre de Recherche Paul Pascal have created a biofuel cell, made of two enzyme-modified electrodes, that can generate electricity using the glucose and oxygen produced by plants during photosynthesis.
Inserted into a cactus leaf, the cell generated a charge of 9 watts per square centimeter, but the output is relative to light intensity, which means that shining a brighter light on the cactus produces more power. The researchers say this technology could one day be used as an environmentally friendly way to convert solar energy into electricity without the need for photovoltaic panels.