Cyanobacteria-based Bio-Photovoltaic Cells

The performance of a Bio-photovoltaic system built around the cyanobacteria, Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, and aluminium-anode over a six-month period is described as averaging approx. 0.2uW/cm2 and 0.37uW/cm2 under dark and light conditions, respectively; scaled up to a 1m2 panel, this could amount to between 2mW and 3.7mW, respectively.

Cambridge University. 2022. Algae-powered computing: scientists create reliable and renewable biological photovoltaic cell. Press Release. Retrieved from

Bombelli, P et al. “Powering a Microprocessor by Photosynthesis”, Energy & Environmental Science, May 2022. DOI: 10.1039/D2EE00233G

  1. The published paper mentions the use of the cyanobacteria Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, presumably because it is “capable of both phototrophic growth by oxygenic photosynthesis during light periods and heterotrophic growth by glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation during dark periods”; what other species exhibit this behaviour and/or are easier to source?
  • Last modified: 2022-05-29 07:39
  • by Peter