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This algae battery can power a computer for months

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  1. cmccabe

    University of Cambridge researchers successfully used algae to power a computer chip for six months. The blue-green algae perform photosynthesis and generate a small electrical current that “interacts with an aluminum electrode and is used to power a microprocessor,” according to an official release.

    The study, published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science, marks a significant step toward creating more sustainable batteries. The system is about the same size as your household AA battery, but it doesn’t have rare earth metals like lithium that require gnarly, energy-intensive mining. It’s also made from recyclable materials.


    Don’t expect algae to usurp the power supply as we know it — it’s not time to convert your apartment into an energy farm. Not yet, at least.

    The researchers behind the study believe the technology could be a reliable way to power small devices, particularly in rural areas without reliable energy. But as The Verge points out, it would take about 333 million of these algae batteries to power a normal desktop computer; the Arm Cortex M0+, the microprocessor that the cyanobacteria powers, is just a small, energy-efficient device used in IoT devices.

    4 votes