After energy harvesting watch, scientists have now developed energy harvesting wallpaper. The wallpaper has printed circuitry and cyanobacteria on its surface. Acting both as a battery and a solar panel, the wallpaper can even power a whole LED light bulb using just a small portion of the printed circuit. Researchers from Imperial College London have completed this discovery.
Energy harvest by Cyanobacteria using photosynthesis:
Cyanobacteria get their energy from photosynthesis. Hence when an ink made from the cyanobacteria is injected in the carbon nanotubes printed on the paper, these active bacteria perform photosynthesis letting the wallpaper the harvest electrical energy. This photosynthesizing wallpaper is known as a bio-solar panel.
Applications in medical sensors:
Scholars from Central Saint Martins, together with the researchers from Imperial College, think that this breakthrough discovery of theirs could possibly open a gate to commercial use of photosynthetic bacteria paper. From paper-based medical sensors to disposable power supplies, there could be a whole new range of electrical devices operated by these bacteria.
Said Dr. Marin Sawa, Co-author of the paper, from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London: “We think our technology could have a range of applications such as acting as a sensor in the environment. Imagine a paper-based, disposable environmental sensor disguised as wallpaper, which could monitor air quality in the home. When it has done its job it could be removed and left to biodegrade in the garden without any impact on the environment.”
Renewable energy source (BVP):