Solar Cells Made From Plants?

By Admin
A researcher at MIT, Andreas Mershin, has found a way to create solar panels using agricultural waste. According to him, in just a few short years, it...

 

A researcher at MIT, Andreas Mershin, has found a way to create solar panels using agricultural waste. According to him, in just a few short years, it will be possible to stir up some grass clippings or dead leaves into a bag of inexpensive chemicals and paint that mixture on a rooftop, where it can immediately start producing electricity.

The process works by extracting the photosynthesizing molecules from the plant matter that contain chlorophyll, which can convert photons into a flow of electrons. Once those molecules stabilize and are spread out on a glass substrate covered in zinc oxide nanowires and titanium dioxide “sponges,” sunlight can then be absorbed and turned into electricity. Essentially, Mershin replaced the layer of silicon in conventional photovoltaic cells with a slurry of photosynthesizing molecules that he describes as “an electric nanoforest.”

SEE OTHER TOP STORIES IN THE ENERGY DIGITAL CONTENT NETWORK

Wind Power Without Blades

Volcanos: New Source of Geothermal Energy?

January's issue of Energy Digital has gone live!

However, at the current stage of development, Mershin's solar panel idea has a long way to go before it's efficient enough for practical use. Eventually, his goal is to create a cheap plastic bag of the ingredients along with “one sheet of cartoon instructions, with no words.” People will add agricultural waste and then spread it over a sheet of glass—a creative idea at the very least.

 

DOWNLOAD THE ENERGY DIGITAL IPAD APP

Share

Featured Articles

COP27 agrees to climate compensation fund

The deal is said to be a historic first in acknowledging the vast inequities of the climate crisis

North America's natural gas can help mitigate energy crisis

In the effort towards decarbonisation, North America could be a key player in providing affordable natural gas, addressing energy security issues

COP27: Egypt and Norway to build 100MW green hydrogen plant

Plant will be built in Egypt’s Ain Sokhna region, on the Red Sea coast, and will be implemented in cooperation with Scatec, the Norwegian energy giant

Renewable energy company Masdar opens office in Saudi Arabia

Renewable Energy

Ørsted closes US$140m transaction with ECP for US portfolio

Renewable Energy

ADNOC Drilling delivers world record well at Upper Zakum

Oil & Gas