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harshit • Feb 6, 2012

Generate Electricity From Grass Clippings - MIT Research

According to a research done at MIT by Andreas Mershin, it would soon be possible to produce electricity in the coming days just by mixing some grass clippings into a bag of cheap chemicals and then painting this mixture on the roof. Now, photosynthesis is a process where the plants produce energy from the sunlight. Mershin has been successful in extracting these photosynthesizing molecules from the plant matter. These photosynthesizing molecules called photosystem I contain the chlorophyll which is actually the protein responsible for the conversion of photons into electrons

Grass Solar Panel

After stabilizing these photosynthesizing molecules, they are spread evenly on a glass substrate covered totally with zinc oxide nanowires and titanium dioxide “sponges”. Electricity is produced as soon as the titanium dioxide and the new material absorb the sunlight hitting these panels. Electricity then flows through these nano wires. In short, the layer of silicon in the normal photovoltaic cells has been replaced with the photosyntesizing molecules. But the real fact unfortunately is that Mershin's solar panel only has an efficiency of 0.1%. For the solar panels to come into practical use ie. to light more than a single LED in a house covered with these solar panels atleast an efficiency of 1-2% is required. But Mershin is hoping that scientists all over the world can gather together and find a solution for boosting the efficiency. The bottom line is to come up with a cheap plastic bag filled with the necessary chemicals. Agricultural waste can then be added to this bag and after stirring it, can be spread evenly on a sheet of glass. Such an invention if ever comes into existence would be beneficial to the developing countries of the world where power generation is an issue.

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