Wolfson alumnus harnesses the power of photosynthesis for green energy

by Fiona Gilsenan

Researchers from the Departments of Biochemistry, Chemistry and Physics, including Wolfson alumnus Dr Paolo Bombelli, describe a new energy-generation technique in the journal Nature Energy.

Dr Paolo Bombelli with algae-powered biophotovoltaics (biological solar cells)

The technique is more efficient at extracting electricity from plants than previously, moving closer to viable green energy systems that harnesses the power of photosynthesis. These algae-powered biophotovoltaics (biological solar cells) convert solar energy into electric current, perhaps not enough to power a large grid, but potentially suitable for local power generation in small or remote communities.

Dr Bombelli begain exploring the potential of photosynthesis to create electricity whilst doing his PhD at Wolfson. He is now a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Biochemistry. Read more about Paolo's work and the technique he and the team have developed.


Saar, KL et al. Enhancing power density of biophotovoltaics by decoupling storage and power delivery Nature Energy; 9 Jan 2018; DOI: 10.1038/s41560-017-0073-0