Spinach power has just gotten a big boost.
An interdisciplinary team of researchers at Vanderbilt University have developed a way to combine the photosynthetic protein that converts light into electrochemical energy in spinach with silicon, the material used in solar cells, in a fashion that produces substantially more electrical current than has been reported by previous “biohybrid” solar cells.
The research was reported online on Sep. 4 in the journal Advanced Materials and Vanderbilt has applied for a patent on the combination.
"This combination produces current levels almost 1,000 times higher than we were able to achieve by depositing the protein on various types of metals. It also produces a modest increase in voltage," said David Cliffel, associate professor of chemistry, who collaborated on the project with Kane Jennings, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering.
"If we can continue on our current trajectory of increasing voltage and current levels, we could reach the range of mature solar conversion technologies in three years."
Sterling D. Allan reports on the Energy Catalyzer (also called E-Cat), a purported cold fusion or Low-Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) heat source built by inventor Andrea Rossi. Temper your enthusiasm in the knowledge that his website, Pure Energy Systems News, has a business relationship with Mr. Rossi:
This past week saw at least 80 stories on the web, 4 from mainstream news, regarding Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat powered by LENR or cold fusion. The hottest theme was Rossi’s assertion that he is in discussion with Home Depot to distribute 1 million home heat units this Autumn for less than $2,000 USD. Reality will probably dictate a longer time-line.
Once again we bring you a compilation of various news items about Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat that have emerged since ourDecember 22 compilation.
ScienceDaily (Dec. 1, 2011) — Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have invented a new type of electronic switch that performs electronic logic functions within a single molecule. The incorporation of such single-molecule elements could enable smaller, faster, and more energy-efficient electronics.