UIC Barcelona researchers develop a system that generates renewable bioelectricity from microalgae

Lecturers Alberto T. Estévez and Yomna K. Abdullah participated in the research that has been published in the book Sustainable Engineering Technologies and Architectures

Researchers from the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture have developed a self-sufficient, multi-scale bioelectricity system for architectural and urban application based on the use of microalgae as a renewable energy source. The research was carried out as part of the workshop BioLAB: Bioreactors and Cells on the Master’s Degree in Biodigital Architecture and was led by the director of the master’s programme, Alberto T. Estevez, lecturer Yomna K. Abdullah, and students Abd Al Qader Jaafari and Victoria Roznowski.

The results of the research project, titled “Self-Sufficient Bioelectricity Systems in Architecture: Employing Spirulina Platensis in Photosynthetic Microbial Fuel Cells for the Generation of Domestic and Urban Bio-Electricity through a Diffusion-Limited Aggregation Pattern”, are presented in the book Sustainable Engineering Technologies and Architectures, published recently by AIP Publishing Books.

“This system employs a photosynthetic microbial fuel cell (PMFC) using spirulina platensis to generate renewable bioelectricity,” explain the researchers, who have developed a prototype of the biobattery using 3D printing techniques. The prototype biobattery reached a maximum open-circuit voltage of 0.81 volts and maintained its performance for 14 days without needing to be recharged. The researchers have also designed a methodology to extend and aggregate the system for application in urban and architectural settings.

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