Scientists seek to harvest electricity from Algae in green-energy effort to tackle climate change

The Paris climate talks are scheduled to start shortly. The need to find eco-friendly energy sources has never been felt as acutely as now. Scientists are in the process of harnessing electricity from algae in what will be a breakthrough in green technology to tackle climate change. However, it will be years before this technology will be available for mass consumption.

A scientist from the Concordia University in Montreal has designed a power cell that uses blue-green algae. The process of photosynthesis and respiration is both utilized to promote electron transfer chains that can be used to produce clean, green energy.

The process was published in the journal Technology; scientists entrapped the electrons released by blue-green algae during photosynthesis and respiration. Thus naturally produced electrical energy from the plant is harnessed.

Algae produced electrons during the process of photosynthesis, and when metal probes are stuck in the plant, energy is captured and is transferred into electricity for batteries.

Algae naturally create electrons during photosynthesis, and metal probes stuck into the plant can capture that energy and transfer it into electricity for batteries, he said on Wednesday.

Muthukumaran Packirisamy, a professor of engineering at the Concordia University said that by taking advantage of this process that is happening all over the world, a new and cheaper way to generate carbon-free energy has been discovered.

The new technology has immense potential to be used in future and will also reduce greenhouse emission.

However, it will some time before this energy can be produced for mass consumption. Packirisamy told Thomson Reuters Foundation that the technology will be perfected to power a Smartphone in five years. It will take another decade before it could take the place of solar energy.

Packirisamy added that photovoltaic cells were hazardous since it relies on crystalline silicon and other elements while algae are more environment-friendly since it will be using a fewer hazardous material in construction.

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