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Technion - Israel Institute of Technology (2020)

Green Energy from the Desert – Algal Bio-Photo-Electrochemical Cell Systems using Chlorella Ohadii, for Sustainable Energy Production

Eichenbaum Benjamin Rafae

Titre : Green Energy from the Desert – Algal Bio-Photo-Electrochemical Cell Systems using Chlorella Ohadii, for Sustainable Energy Production

Auteur : Eichenbaum Benjamin Rafae

Etablissement de soutenance : Technion - Israel Institute of Technology

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2020

Résumé partiel
Photosynthesis is the process by which solar energy is converted into chemical energy in the form of complex carbohydrates and ATP. With growing interest in photosynthesis as a potential renewable- energy source, Bio-photo-electrochemical cells (BPEC) were designed and fabricated with the purpose of light energy transformation into electrical power or even hydrogen fuel. In these systems, photosynthetic-active biological materials, which can be : purified photosynthetic protein-complexes (photosystems), isolated thylakoid membranes, or phototrophic cells and organisms, are the active component that enables the passage of energy from light to the external circuit.

In BPEC systems, one of the factors limiting power outputs and efficiency is the molecular damage caused to the photosynthetic protein machinery due to intense radiation exposure for long time periods (e.g. Photoinhibition). This exposure leads to formation of Reactive oxygen species (ROS), hydrogen peroxide and other radicals in close proximity to the photosynthetic apparatus, resulting in the onset of photoinhibition.

Previously, several BPEC systems were designed and fabricated in our lab, with different setups and biologically active materials : Thylakoid membranes that were isolated from spinach leaves have generated ferricyanide-dependent photocurrent-densities of up to 500 µA cm-2 , but only for a short period as photoinhibition abolished the current after 15 min, thus demonstrating the determinantal impact of photoinhibition on the system. In a different BPEC design, also previously tested by our group, living Synechocystis cells were able to generate currents for prolonged time periods (several hours upon the addition of glucose), without the need of an externally-added mediator. Although the currents-densities recorded here were far lower than the case of thylakoids, the prolonged operation time demonstrates the potential benefits of using damage-repairing biological material.

Présentation

Page publiée le 9 janvier 2022