OSU Researchers Convert Plankton Power Into Electricity

OSU Researchers Convert Plankton Power Into Electricity

Oregon State University (OSU) researchers recently announced they have successfully harnessed the power-producing decomposition activity from plankton taken from the upper water column of the ocean.

According to OSU, Hatfield Marine Science Center researchers in Newport have successfully directed approximately 10 percent of the energy associated with plankton decomposition into a usable power source employing the same principal as seafloor fuel cells developed in previous experiments.

“Once we realized we could harness power from the microbes that grow on the anode surface, we began asking ourselves if certain microbes were better at shuttling electrons than others,” said OSU College of Oceanographic and Atmospheric Sciences professor and Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies director Clare Reimers. “The next step was to see what electricity-loving microbes might be enriched from plankton and if we could get to the energy in plankton before it degrades. But by harnessing plankton power, we potentially could fuel autonomous, mobile instruments that would glide through the water scooping up plankton like a basking shark, and converting that to electricity.”

Contact: Clare Reimers, OSU, phone 541-867-0220.

(EIN STAFF: 7/26)

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