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Electrochemical Characterisation of Bio-Bottle-Voltaic (BBV) Systems Operated with Algae and Built with Recycled Materials

Bateson, P; Fleet, JEH; Riseley, AS; Janeva, E; Marcella, AS; Farinea, C; Kuptsova, M; ... Parker, BM; + view all (2018) Electrochemical Characterisation of Bio-Bottle-Voltaic (BBV) Systems Operated with Algae and Built with Recycled Materials. Biology , 7 (2) , Article 26. 10.3390/biology7020026. Green open access

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Abstract

Photobioelectrochemical systems are an emerging possibility for renewable energy. By exploiting photosynthesis, they transform the energy of light into electricity. This study evaluates a simple, scalable bioelectrochemical system built from recycled plastic bottles, equipped with an anode made from recycled aluminum, and operated with the green alga Chlorella sorokiniana. We tested whether such a system, referred to as a bio-bottle-voltaic (BBV) device, could operate outdoors for a prolonged time period of 35 days. Electrochemical characterisation was conducted by measuring the drop in potential between the anode and the cathode, and this value was used to calculate the rate of charge accumulation. The BBV systems were initially able to deliver ~500 mC·bottle−1·day−1, which increased throughout the experimental run to a maximum of ~2000 mC·bottle−1·day−1. The electrical output was consistently and significantly higher than that of the abiotic BBV system operated without algal cells (~100 mC·bottle−1·day−1). The analysis of the rate of algal biomass accumulation supported the hypothesis that harvesting a proportion of electrons from the algal cells does not significantly perturb the rate of algal growth. Our finding demonstrates that bioelectrochemical systems can be built using recycled components. Prototypes of these systems have been displayed in public events; they could serve as educational toolkits in schools and could also offer a solution for powering low-energy devices off-grid.

Type: Article
Title: Electrochemical Characterisation of Bio-Bottle-Voltaic (BBV) Systems Operated with Algae and Built with Recycled Materials
Location: Switzerland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3390/biology7020026
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3390/biology7020026
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: algae, bioelectrochemistry, recycled materials, renewable energy
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Biochemical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10047522
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