Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 2981–2988 | Cite as

Algal biophotovoltaic (BPV) device for generation of bioelectricity using Synechococcus elongatus (Cyanophyta)

  • Fong-Lee NgEmail author
  • Siew-Moi PhangEmail author
  • Vengadesh Periasamy
  • John Beardall
  • Kamran Yunus
  • Adrian C. Fisher
8th Asian Pacific Phycological Forum


The exploitation of renewable energy sources for delivering carbon neutral or carbon negative solutions has become challenging in the current era because conventional fuel sources are of finite origins. Algae are being used in the development of biophotovoltaic (BPV) platforms which are used to harvest solar energy for bioelectricity generation. Fast-growing algae have a high potential for converting CO2 from the atmosphere into biomass and valuable products. In photosynthesis light-driven splitting of water occurs, releasing a pair of electrons and generating O2. The electrons can be harvested and converted to bioelectricity. In this study, algal biofilms of a tropical cyanobacterial strain Synechococcus elongatus (UMACC 105) were formed on two types of electrodes, indium tin oxide (ITO) and reduced graphene oxide (rGO), and investigated for use in the algal biophotovoltaic (BPV) device. The highest maximum power density was registered in the rGO-based BPV device (0.538 ± 0.014 mW m−2). This illustrates the potential of this local algal strain for use in BPV devices to generate bioelectricity in both the light and dark conditions.


Algal biophotovoltaic (BPV) device Bioelectricity Cyanophyta 


Funding information

This work was supported by Newton Fund, Institutional Link Grant (IF007-2015), Newton Prize 2017 (IF008-2018), IOES UMCoE RU Grant (RU003C-2017), HICoE MOHE: Air-ocean-land Interaction Grant (IOES-2014), and UM Algae Grant (GA003-2012).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fong-Lee Ng
    • 1
    Email author
  • Siew-Moi Phang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Vengadesh Periasamy
    • 3
  • John Beardall
    • 4
  • Kamran Yunus
    • 5
  • Adrian C. Fisher
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute of Ocean and Earth Sciences (IOES)University of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  3. 3.Low Dimensional Materials Research Centre (LDMRC), Department of PhysicsUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  4. 4.School of Biological SciencesMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  5. 5.Department of Chemical Engineering and BiotechnologyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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