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Light Manipulation Using Organic Semiconducting Materials for Enhanced Photosynthesis

43 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2020 Publication Status: Published

See all articles by Jackie Zorz

Jackie Zorz

University of Calgary - Department of Geoscience

William D.L. Richardson

University of Calgary - Department of Geoscience

Audrey Laventure

University of Calgary - Department of Chemistry

Marianne Haines

University of Calgary - Department of Geoscience

Edward Cieplechowicz

University of Calgary - Department of Chemistry

Alireza Aslani

University of Calgary - Chemical Engineering Department

Agasteswar Vadlamani

University of Calgary - Department of Geoscience

Joule A Bergerson

University of Calgary - Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

Gregory C. Welch

University of Calgary - Department of Chemistry

Marc Strous

University of Calgary - Department of Geoscience

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Abstract

Photosynthetic microorganisms, such as algae, are sources of bioproducts and pharmaceuticals. As they require only sunlight and carbon dioxide to grow, they have potential for future mitigation of CO2 emissions. However, inefficiencies in the growth of these organisms remains an issue for realizing these emission reductions, primarily in terms of photosynthetic efficiency, photoinhibition, and photolimitation. Here, we show how the use of light filtration through semi-transparent films comprised of organic π-conjugated molecules and subsequent organic photovoltaic devices, has the potential to improve the photosynthetic efficiency of algae, and the total power generation of a combined organic photovoltaic/algae system. Experimental data is used to fit a photosynthetic model predicting algal photosynthetic growth given light intensity and light transmission through an organic photovoltaic device. This work demonstrates the feasibility of using a system combining photosynthetic growth with electricity-producing organic photovoltaics and provides a template for exploring other blended applications of these technologies.

Keywords: Light manipulation, photosynthesis, algae, cyanobacteria, organic solar cells, organic photovoltaics, solar energy

Suggested Citation

Zorz, Jackie and Richardson, William D.L. and Laventure, Audrey and Haines, Marianne and Cieplechowicz, Edward and Aslani, Alireza and Vadlamani, Agasteswar and Bergerson, Joule A and Welch, Gregory C. and Strous, Marc, Light Manipulation Using Organic Semiconducting Materials for Enhanced Photosynthesis. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3732411 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3732411
This version of the paper has not been formally peer reviewed.

Jackie Zorz (Contact Author)

University of Calgary - Department of Geoscience ( email )

Earth Science 118
2500 University Dr. NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
Canada

William D.L. Richardson

University of Calgary - Department of Geoscience

Earth Science 118
2500 University Dr. NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
Canada

Audrey Laventure

University of Calgary - Department of Chemistry ( email )

University Drive
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
Canada

Marianne Haines

University of Calgary - Department of Geoscience ( email )

Earth Science 118
2500 University Dr. NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
Canada

Edward Cieplechowicz

University of Calgary - Department of Chemistry ( email )

University Drive
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
Canada

Alireza Aslani

University of Calgary - Chemical Engineering Department ( email )

Calgary
Canada

Agasteswar Vadlamani

University of Calgary - Department of Geoscience ( email )

Earth Science 118
2500 University Dr. NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
Canada

Joule A Bergerson

University of Calgary - Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering ( email )

Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
Canada

Gregory C. Welch

University of Calgary - Department of Chemistry

University Drive
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
Canada

Marc Strous

University of Calgary - Department of Geoscience ( email )

Earth Science 118
2500 University Dr. NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
Canada

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