What can generate clean energy, biomass for fertilizers, convert CO2 into oxygen and be used in space? Seaweed.
Who discovered this was the young Mexican biotechnologist Adán Ramirez Sánchez, only 23 years old. He was the winner of MIT 2019 Latino American Innovators Under 35 - and created solar panels powered by algae instead of minerals extracted the earth.
Called Solar Intelligent Biopanels - and developed by Sánchez's company, GreenFluidics - they are made of microalgae, using nanotechnology and are similar to the process of photosynthesis.
How it works
Its mechanisms absorb CO2 that they transform into electricity and oxygen, solving two of the biggest problems on the planet.
It is as if it were a mechanical photosynthesis, the method by which plants generate energy CO2 and sunlight.
In addition, the panels are fully biodegradable. They are made of algae and abundant marine material and produce biomass during operation, which can be collected and used as a fertilizer.
Measuring one meter in diameter, the green triangular panels are peculiar, avant-garde and can give an office a unique touch, while purifying the indoor air.
Ramirez defines GreenFluidics as the first technology company in Mexico to produce biotechnology for the exploration of outer space.
"We are looking to connect outer space to planet Earth through the technology we have developed," said the young man when he received the MIT award.
He expects his technology to be taken into space, to generate electricity and oxygen for astronauts.
The biomass produced can be used to fertilize space crops - another biotechnology being developed by NASA and ESA.