Energy use of microorganisms

2000/04/01 Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

Without oxygen, organisms living in the seabed use nitrates and sulphates as an energy source.

The chemical reactions that occur to transform these molecules into energy generate a potential difference in the area, a phenomenon similar to the one that occurs between the two electrodes of the battery.

Two U.S. researchers have turned this potential difference into an energy source and designed a natural fuel energy cell: by burying an electrode on the 10 cm marine sediment and placing the other on water, an electric power of 0.03 W m2 is obtained, enough to light up a light-emitting diode. The project remains a prototype, but if more powerful energy cells are obtained, diodes will be tested in the oceans.

Seabed mycoorganisms are theoretically an inexhaustible source of energy, as microbes are working continuously. If the project is successful, in the future we can see sonars and luminous buoys fed by microorganisms in the sea.

Gai honi buruzko eduki gehiago

Elhuyarrek garatutako teknologia