10 Apr '12, 11am

Cheap, Next-Gen Solar Cells Could Come from Corn Flakes

Cheap, Next-Gen Solar Cells Could Come from Corn Flakes

A new generation of low cost solar cells could be as close as your next bowl of corn flakes if a grad student at Kansas State University has a say in the matter. The doctoral student in chemistry, Ayomi Perera, is working on a new dye-sensitized solar cell that eschews toxic chemicals in favor of a harmless bacteria that commonly occurs in soil and yes, corn flakes. The corn flake – solar cell connection Perera has tapped the bacteria Mycobacterium smegmatis for the job of creating low cost solar power. Despite the creepy sounding name it really is totally harmless, which you can easily test at home by enjoying a nice bowl of corn flakes. As described by KSU writer Greg Tammen, the bacteria’s value in solar tech is that it produces a protein called MspA, which already has many applications in a purified form. Perera has been mixing it with dyes that contain fewer toxic che...

Full article: http://cleantechnica.com/2012/04/10/low-cost-solar-power-...

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