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These algae produce a small amount of current when they photosynthesize, being enough to illuminate the lamp.
Since it is based on the process of photosynthesis, this lamp must remain during the day in a suitable place, where it receives sunlight. In addition, it has a small nozzle in which its owner can breathe to provide CO2 that the artifact needs to work its magic. One valve lets out the oxygen that is generated as "waste" during the operation of the lamp, and another allows water to be added to the algae compartment when needed. Simple, beautiful and efficient, "Latro" is an example of how we could copy nature to generate energy without damaging - sometimes irreversibly - our environment.
WHAT IS PHOTOSYNTHESIS?
Photosynthesis is a process by which plants, algae and some bacteria capture and use the energy of light to transform the inorganic matter from their external environment into organic matter that they will use for their growth and development.
Currently, there are a large number of chemical projects aimed at the artificial reproduction of photosynthesis, with the intention of being able to capture solar energy on a large scale in the not too distant future. Although an artificial molecule capable of remaining polarized for the time necessary to usefully react with other molecules has yet to be synthesized, the prospects are promising and scientists are optimistic.
Industrial designer Mike Thompson, inspired by a major scientific breakthrough made earlier this year by researchers at the Universities of Yansei and Stanford who extracted a small electrical current (from chloroplasts in algal cells) from algae during the process of photosynthesis, he created the Latro lamp that extracts its energy from the algae contained in a glass chamber ...
THAT'S HOW IT WORKS …
Latro is a pendant lamp that draws its energy from algae and they only need sunlight, carbon dioxide (CO2) and water to survive. As soon as the lamp is placed outside and breathed into it through its handle, the process of energy production begins that can be stored in a battery that we will later use at night to illuminate ourselves.
Inspired by a major scientific breakthrough made earlier this year by researchers from Yansei University and Stanford University, it incorporates a pioneering technique using nano-scale electrodes that are introduced into the photosynthetic organs (chloroplasts) of cells of algae, thus managing to extract a small electrical current from its metabolism.
Algae only need sunlight, carbon dioxide (CO2) and water to survive; and we have a full handful of that, making these species attractive sources to harness their energy in the future.
"Latro" (from the Latin "thief"), incorporates the potential of the natural energy of algae and the functionality of a design lamp.
Breathing in the lamp handle provides the algae with CO2, while another hole allows the addition of water and the release of oxygen.
By placing the lamp in daylight, the algae synthesize food from CO2 and water. A sensor controls the intensity of the light, only allowing the accumulation of energy when the level of light intensity reaches a certain threshold, a safety mechanism to avoid malnutrition of algae from so much squeezing them from their biological processes.
This energy can be stored in a battery ready to be used during the hours of darkness. And most importantly: the owners of a "Latro"
THOMSON'S CRITICISM OF ELECTRICITY COMPANIES
Mike Thomson is a graduate of the Eindhoven Academy of Design who recently surprised us by a concept of an unusual lamp powered by human blood, created in a way of criticism of the electricity companies. The “Blood Lamp” was a “single-use” lamp, since it had to be broken and cut with the glass, to later mix the blood with a liquid so that it would light up.
It was a criticism of how the electricity companies suck our blood and, also, how our energy waste will also end up leaving us without it. Now Mike Thomson goes straight to the heart of the matter and, instead of criticizing, shutting up and walking around, he offers a tangible and ecological solution to the problem of energy waste; and from the hand of our
friends the green algae.