(Sci-News) A thin-film device made from nanometer-scale protein wires harvested from the microbe Geobacter sulfurreducens can generate continuous electric power in the ambient environment, according to a new study published in the journal Nature.
“We are literally making electricity out of thin air. The Air-gen generates clean energy 24/7,” said Dr. Jun Yao, an electrical engineer at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
“It’s the most amazing and exciting application of protein nanowires yet,” added Professor Derek Lovley, a microbiologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
The Air-gen device can generate power even in areas with extremely low humidity such as the Sahara Desert.
“It has significant advantages over other forms of renewable energy including solar and wind, because unlike these other renewable energy sources, the Air-gen does not require sunlight or wind, and it even works indoors,” Professor Lovley said.
The device requires only a thin film of protein nanowires less than 10 microns thick.