Computer has been running with algae for over a year

Computer has been running with algae for over a year

British researchers have succeeded in using blue-green algae to continuously supply a microprocessor with electricity over a long period of time.

system, which is approximately a . is shaped like AA batteryHave the potential to be a power source for small appliances such as internet of things come into use, it says in a message Cambridge University,

For their experimental setup, the British researchers used a non-toxic type of algae called SynechocystisBy Photosynthesis Getting energy from the sun. The small amount of electrical energy thus obtained is then a . interacts with aluminum electrode and is used to power the processor.

arm processor

In the experiment, which was carried out in collaboration with a British chip developer Poor and was scheduled for 6 months, a microprocessor of the company which Cortex M0+, for use. It is extremely economical and is also commonly used in Internet of Things devices. The experiment took place, as the researchers write, “in a domestic semi-outdoor environment, with natural light conditions and normal temperature fluctuations. Specifically, the system stood at a window from February to August 2021.

The computer ran in cycles of 45 minutes, continuously computing the sum of the numbers. need such a cycle 0.3 microwatts a demonstration. need an after standby 0.24 microwattsit is called new scientist, There was no power interruption during the experiment. Even months after the experiment ended, the system continued to produce electricity.

“We were impressed by how consistently the system worked over long periods of time,” says the biochemist. paolo bombelli Cited by the University of Cambridge. He is also the lead author of a study on the experiment published last week. Published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science,

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functional even in the dark

Algae make their own food by photosynthesis. And although light is required, according to the researchers, the device can continue to produce electricity even in times of darkness. They believe this is because algae process some of their food when there is no light, thereby continuing to generate electricity.

The growing area of ​​the Internet of Things – from smart watches till sensor – Requires more and more energy. The biochemist and study co-author said it must come from systems that generate energy rather than simply storing it in a battery. Christopher Howe, For example, supplying devices with electricity using lithium-ion batteries is not only harmful to the environment, but sooner or later it will not be possible at all because of the amount of lithium needed.

The British researchers’ system consists of common, inexpensive and largely reusable materials and can be easily mass-produced. commercially it might be in 5 years called experiment.

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