Grass Power

Grass Power

Otherwise known as biophotovoltaics, it is an emerging technology that endeavours to utilise the processes of photosynthesis to generate electricity.


In a recent scientific report published by MIT, researcher Andreas Mershin revealed that his team has produced an improved method for creating electricity-producing biophotovoltaics without sophisticated laboratory equipment. This is a huge step forward in creating solar cells that could be made use of in rural and developing countries where there is not access to affordable energy.


Mershin explains that the process is as simple as combining a bag of custom chemicals with any green organic material and painting the mixture on a roof. "After many years of research, we've managed to make the process of extracting this protein and stabilizing it and putting on a surface that is made in a way to allow for the photovoltaic effect to happen to be very easy."


This is not the first time scientists has been able to create biophotovoltaics, however it is the most simple and best performing method yet. The system can convert 0.1 percent of the suns energy into electricity, which is a 10,000 percent efficiency improvement on previous models.


Mershin hopes that within a few years the systems will have an efficiency increase by ten fold and rural developing communities will be utilizing biophotvoltaics to full effect. "Commandeering this intricately organized photosynthetic nanocircuitry and re-wiring it to produce electricity carries the promise of inexpensive and environmentally friendly solar power."


-Rhys Leitch

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