With global temperatures rapidly approaching 1.5°C we need to invest in new sources of green energy. Biomaterials offer potential for clean, solar energy with low initial carbon investment, carbon capture and energy storage using earth abundant resources. Electrospun anodes can be synthesised from waste biomass as a carbon source to produce high surface area semiconducting electrodes with tuneable surface chemistries and material properties. These electrodes offer a platform to determine optimal binding conditions for cyanobacterial biofilms which convert solar light into electricity by exporting high energy electrons into the circuit via extracellular electron transport mechanisms where water is the primary electron source.
My PhD project will investigate the impact of surface properties on biofilm adhesion, and how that translates into higher current output. The aim is to produce high current density for grid-level power use, and energy storage in the form of hydrogen evolution at the cathode in a three electrode setup.