Bio-Batteries, A Step Closer to Clean Energy

Clean Energy.jpeg

 

 

Researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) are a step closer to enhancing the generation of clean energy from bacteria.

 

A recently published report shows how electrons hop across otherwise electrically insulating areas of bacterial proteins, and that the rate of electron transfer is dependent on the orientation and proximity of electrically conductive ‘stepping stones’.

 

The hope is that this natural process can be used to improve ‘bio batteries’ which may be used to produce energy for portable technology such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops, powered by human or animal waste.

 

Unlike humans, many microorganisms can, survive without oxygen. Some bacteria survive by ‘breathing rocks’, especially minerals or iron. They derive their energy from the combustion of fuel molecules that have been taken into the cell’s interior.

 

A side product of this reaction is a flow of electricity that can be directed across the bacterial outer membrane and delivered to rocks in the natural environment, or to graphite electrodes in fuel cells.

 

This means that the bacteria can release electrical charge from inside the cell into the mineral, much like the neutral wire in a household plug.

 

The researchers looked at proteins called ‘multi-haem cytochromes’ contained in ‘rock breathing’ bacteria such as species of Shewanella.

 

Lead researcher Professor Julea Butt, from UEA’s School of Chemistry and School of Biological Sciences said, “These bacteria can generate electricity in the right environment.”

 

“We wanted to know more about how the bacterial cells transfer electrical charge — and particularly how they move electrons from the inside to the outside of a cell over distances of up to tens of nanometres.

 

“Proteins conduct electricity by positioning metal centres — known as haems — to act in a similar way to stepping stones by allowing electrons to hop through an otherwise electrically insulating structure. This research shows that these centres should be considered as discs that the electrons hop across.

 

“The relative orientation of neighbouring centres, in addition to their proximity, affects the rates that electrons move through the proteins.

 

“This is an exciting advance in our understanding of how some bacterial species move electrons from the inside to the outside of a cell and helps us understand their behaviour as robust electron transfer modules.

 

“We hope that understanding how this natural process works will inspire the design of bespoke proteins which will underpin microbial fuel cells for sustainable energy production.”

 

The research was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and performed in collaboration with researchers at University College London, UK and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA.

 

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. If you enjoyed this article, let me help you with any of your professional content needs including original blog articles, website content and all forms of content marketing. Please contact me at michael@mdtcreative.com and I will put my 15+ years of experience to work for you.

First Battery to Store Solar Power is a Major Breakthrough in Renewable Energy

Solar Energy Farm.jpeg

 

Is it a solar cell or a rechargeable battery? Both! The patent-pending device invented at The Ohio State University is the world’s first solar battery.

 

In the October 3, 2014 issue of the journal Nature Communications, the Ohio State researchers reported, they succeeded in combining a battery and a solar cell into one hybrid device.

 

The key to the innovation is a mesh solar panel, which allows air to enter the battery, and a special process for transferring electrons between the solar panel and the battery electrode. Light and oxygen inside the device, allow different parts of the chemical reactions that charge the battery.

 

Professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Ohio State, Dr. Yiying Wu said the university will license the solar battery to industry, which will help reduce the costs of renewable energy.

 

“The state of the art is to use a solar panel to capture the light, and then use a cheap battery to store the energy,” Wu said. “We’ve integrated both functions into one device. Any time you can do that, you reduce cost.” Wu believes that the device will bring costs down by 25 percent.

 

The invention also solves a longtime problem in solar energy efficiency, by eliminating the loss of electricity that normally occurs when electrons have to travel between a solar cell and an external battery. Usually, only 80 percent of the electrons that emerge from a solar cell make it into a battery.

 

With this new design, light is converted into electrons inside the battery, so nearly 100 percent of the electrons are saved. The design of the battery takes some of its idea from a battery that Wu and doctoral student Xiaodi Ren previously developed.

 

The pair invented a high-efficiency air-powered battery that discharges by a potassium and oxygen chemical reaction. The design won the $100,000 clean energy prize from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2014, and researchers formed a technology spin-off company called KAir Energy Systems, LLC to develop it.

“Basically, it’s a breathing battery,” Wu said. “It breathes in air when it discharges, and breathes out when it charges.”

 

For this new study, the researchers wanted to combine a solar panel with a battery similar to the KAir. The challenge they faced was that solar cells are normally made of solid semiconductor panels, which would block air from entering the battery.

 

This lead to doctoral student Mingzhe Yu designing a permeable mesh solar panel from titanium gauze, a flexible fabric upon which he grew vertical rods of titanium dioxide like blades of grass. Air passes freely through the gauze while the rods capture sunlight.

 

During charging, light hits the mesh solar panel and creates electrons. Inside the battery, electrons are involved in the chemical decomposition of lithium peroxide into lithium ions and oxygen. The oxygen is released into the air, and the lithium ions are stored in the battery as lithium metal after capturing the electrons.

 

When the battery discharges, it chemically consumes oxygen from the air to re-form the lithium peroxide. An iodide additive in the electrolyte acts as a “shuttle” that carries electrons, and transports them between the battery electrode and the mesh solar panel. The use of the additive represents a distinct approach on improving the battery performance and efficiency, the team said.

 

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. If you enjoyed this article, let me help you with any of your professional content needs including original blog articles, website content and all forms of content marketing. Please contact me at michael@mdtcreative.com and I will put my 15+ years of experience to work for you.

The World’s Smallest Battery

World's Smallest Battery

 

Researchers at the University of Maryland have invented a single miniature structure that includes all the components of a battery which they say could be the beginning of the ultimate micro energy storage component.

 

The device, known as a nanopore, is a tiny hole in a ceramic sheet that holds electrolyte to carry the electrical charge between nanotube electrodes at either end. The existing device is a test, however, the itty bitty battery performs excellent, researchers say.

 

First author Chanyuan Liu, a graduate student in materials science & Engineering, says that it can be fully charged in 12 minutes, and it can be recharged thousands of times.

 

A team of UMD chemists and materials scientists collaborated on the project: Gary Rubloff , director of the Maryland NanoCenter and a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and in the Institute for Systems Research; Sang Bok Lee, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering; and seven of their Ph.D. students (two now graduated).

 

Several millions of these nanopores can be crammed into one larger battery the size of a postage stamp. One of the reasons the researchers believe the device is so successful is because each nanopore is shaped exactly the same, which allows them to pack the tiny thin batteries together efficiently. Co-author Eleanor Gillette’s modeling shows that the unique design of the nanopore battery is responsible for its success. The space inside the holes is so small, it is no larger than a grain of sand.


Now that the scientists have the battery working and have demonstrated the concept, they have come up with improvements that could make the next version 10 times more powerful. The next step is to commercialize the battery, which the researchers have developed a plan to do just that in large quantities.

 

If you enjoyed this article and need a professional writer for your own blog, please feel free to send me an email, or check out my profile on oDesk.

 

How to Make Your Own Pinball Game

 

Pinball machines are some of the oldest arcade games in history. Dating back to the mid 1600s these games have evolved into the light flashing, ball bumping game we know today. The origins of pinball are intertwined with the history of many other games.

 

Games played outdoors by rolling balls or stones on a grass course, as in the case of bocce or bowls, eventually evolved into various local ground billiards games played by hitting the balls with sticks and propelling them at targets, often around obstacles.

 

In this experiment, we will build a pinball game where sticks hit a Ping Pong ball into a cup that buzzes when the ball hits it.

 

Materials Needed:

 

  • Sticks or pencils to use as a flipper
  • Battery, either a 9 V and connector or AA and holder
  • Buzzer
  • Paper clips
  • Scissors
  • Aluminum foil
  • Wire Strippers
  • Shallow box
  • Duct tape
  • 4 oz. Paper cup
  • Ping Pong ball
  • 22-gauge stranded hook-up wire

 

Process

 

Connect the leads of the battery holder and buzzer. Put the buzzer in the bottom of the cup with a hole in the bottom, so you can run the wires out to the battery holder.

 

Wrap the Ping Pong ball in a sheet of foil. Smooth it out so that the ball can roll freely when in play.

 

Next design a pinball machine table top on the shallow box. At one end, cut a hole for the cup to fit into. Set the cup, flush with the bottom of the box so the ball can roll into it unobstructed.


Add in obstacles and tubes to make play more interesting. The circuit is completed on the buzzer when the ball, wrapped in foil touches it, making it buzz.

Alarm System Batteries

Your alarm system battery supplies your home alarm with the backup power it requires to operate the system during a power outage. Most alarm panels operate on 12-volts, and use one of the few different sizes of sealed lead-acid battery.

 

A security alarm battery drops to about 80% or less of its original rated capacity after 3-5 years of service. This means that the battery may not have enough power to run the security system for very long in the event of a power failure.

 

Signs you need a new battery

The first sign of an alarm battery failure is usually a beeping keypad. This beeping or chirping will usually occur at the same time every day, or night, because many panels do their automatic battery test at the same time every 24 hours. Less commonly, a low battery can trigger a false alarm at random times of the day or night.

 

Also, almost all alarm panels will display a keypad warning light to indicate a problem with the system. Keypads with LCD displays will provide a print out “low batt”, “LB” or something similar, to let you know that your system’s battery needs replacing. Keypads with LEDs may require you to press a button for the lights to show what the problem is with the system. Refer to your security system’s manual to find out how to read the system’s trouble codes.

 

All of UPS Battery Center’s home alarm batteries are high quality rechargeable lead-acid batteries that are designed to provide excellent performance, durability and long life to ensure your security system works when you need it most.

 

Our alarm batteries are all brand new and arrive fully charged and ready to be installed in your alarm system. There is no need to charge them prior to installation. Please consult your security system owner’s manual before replacing the battery in your system. A call may need to be made to the alarm company to let them know that you plan to replace the battery for some systems.

 

UPS Battery Center’s alarm batteries are covered by our industry leading 1 year replacement warranty. Also available is our extended warranty of up to 3 years. Our warranty is the only one of its kind in the industry that includes shipping costs and is completely hassle free.

 

Make Your Own Hydrogen Fuel Cell

A fuel cell is a cell that produces an electric current directly from a chemical reaction.

hydrogen fuel cell is capable of producing electricity without any pollution because the only byproduct is pure water.

 

Hydrogen fuel cells are the most common, used in spacecraft and other areas where there is a specific need for a clean and efficient power source is needed. We will show you how you can make a hydrogen fuel cell yourself in about 10 minutes. When finished you will be able to show how hydrogen and oxygen can combine to produce clean electricity.

 

Items needed:

 

  • One foot of platinum coated nickel wire, or pure platinum wire
  • A popsicle stick or similar sized piece of wood or plastic
  • A 9 volt battery clip
  • A 9 volt battery
  • Transparent scotch tape
  • A glass of water
  • A volt meter

 

Cell Creation

First, cut the platinum wire into two six inch long pieces, and wind each piece into a little coil which will serve as the electrodes in your fuel cell. You can use a nail, ice pick or a coat hanger to form your coils.

 

Next, cut the leads of the battery clip in half and strip the insulation off the ends. When this is done, twist the ends of the bare wires onto the electrodes. Attach a positive wire from the battery clip and the positive cut wire to one electrode and do the same with the negative wires to the other electrode. The loose wires will be used later to connect to the volt meter.

 

Tape the electrodes securely to the popsicle stick, and then tape the popsicle stick securely to the glass of water. The electrodes should be almost completely submerged in the water.

 

Next, connect the red wire to the positive terminal of the voltmeter and the black wire to the negative terminal of the voltmeter. The voltmeter should read 0 volts, however, it may also read a small amount, such as 0.01 volts.

 

Fuel Cell Operation

Now that your fuel cell is complete to operate it you will need to cause bubbles of hydrogen to cling to one electrode, while oxygen bubbles cling to the other electrode. To do this, you simply touch the 9 volt battery to the battery clip. There is no need to actually clip the battery in place because it will only be needed for a second or two.

 

Touching the battery to the clip causes a process called electrolysis, which is when the hydrogen and oxygen in the water split and their bubbles form at the electrodes while the battery is attached.

 

When you remove the battery, if you weren’t using a platinum coated wire, you would expect to see the voltmeter read zero volts again because there is no longer the battery connected to it. However, in this case the platinum acts as a catalyst, allowing the hydrogen and oxygen to recombine.

 

The hydrolysis reaction reverses. The hydrogen and oxygen recombine to make water again and produce electricity.

 

In the beginning you will get a little over two volts from the fuel cell, as the bubbles pop and dissolve in the water or are used up by the reaction, the voltage drops, at first quickly, and then more slowly.


After a few minutes, the voltage declines a lot slower, because most of the recent decline is due to the gasses being used up in the reaction that produces the electricity.

Bio-Batteries, A Step Closer to Clean Energy

Bio-Battery

 

Researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) are a step closer to enhancing the generation of clean energy from bacteria.

 

A recently published report shows how electrons hop across otherwise electrically insulating areas of bacterial proteins, and that the rate of electron transfer is dependent on the orientation and proximity of electrically conductive ‘stepping stones’.

 

The hope is that this natural process can be used to improve ‘bio batteries’ which may be used to produce energy for portable technology such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops, powered by human or animal waste.

 

Unlike humans, many microorganisms can, survive without oxygen. Some bacteria survive by ‘breathing rocks’, especially minerals or iron. They derive their energy from the combustion of fuel molecules that have been taken into the cell’s interior.

 

A side product of this reaction is a flow of electricity that can be directed across the bacterial outer membrane and delivered to rocks in the natural environment, or graphite electrodes in fuel cells.

 

This means that the bacteria can release the electrical charge from inside the cell into the mineral, much like the neutral wire in a household plug.

 

The researchers looked at proteins called ‘multi-haem cytochromes’ contained in ‘rock breathing’ bacteria such as species of Shewanella.

 

Lead researcher Professor Julea Butt, from UEA’s School of Chemistry and School of Biological Sciences, said, “These bacteria can generate electricity in the right environment.”

 

“We wanted to know more about how the bacterial cells transfer electrical charge — and particularly how they move electrons from the inside to the outside of a cell over distances of up to tens of nanometers.

 

“Proteins conduct electricity by positioning metal centres — known as haems — to act in a similar way to stepping stones by allowing electrons to hop through an otherwise electrically insulating structure. This research shows that these centres should be considered as discs that the electrons hop across.

 

“The relative orientation of neighboring centres, in addition to their proximity, affects the rates that electrons move through the proteins.

 

“This is an exciting advance in our understanding of how some bacterial species move electrons from the inside to the outside of a cell and helps us understand their behavior as robust electron transfer modules.

 

“We hope that understanding how this natural process works will inspire the design of bespoke proteins which will underpin microbial fuel cells for sustainable energy production.”

 

The research was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and performed in collaboration with researchers at University College London, UK and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA.

 

If you enjoyed this article and need a professional writer for your own blog, please feel free to send me an email, or check out my profile on oDesk.